Tests on Tests on Tests, oh my! At-home urine/stool collection?

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
I've made a variety of posts, feel free to read them for Simon's backstory.

Over the last week, his already ravenous hunger has increased even further - and despite adding another can every day, we're just maintaining weight (and honestly, you'd think he'd gain a little with the additional food); He was roughly 8 lbs 3 oz when we took him in about a month and a half ago - and he weighed in at nearly the exact same weight today. He's starting to have more and more episodes of increased aggression to the point where I very narrowly avoided needing stitches a couple different times. I had thought the appointment was just for a simple blood draw, so I sent my Mom while I took care of some things here at home that are difficult to do when Simon is around. Here's what was referred to me:

  • They tried to get urine/stool - but because I hadn't expected those to be ran today, I had let him urinate before he left. I don't know why they couldn't get stool, but it's likely due to the fact that we're still trying to get him regulated after the Clavamox did a number on his GI system.

  • They were able to get enough blood to run some basic blood tests (from what I can tell, this means like a CBC, Thyroid, and some others; This part ran $293). The vet thinks we should get the results for those back tomorrow.

  • If the initial blood test results don't show anything, he said they'd have to send the blood - or the results, I'm not entirely clear - to a lab at Texas A&M to have it reviewed for an additional several hundred dollars. If THAT doesn't show anything, we would likely need to put Simon under anesthesia at the cost of $700+ dollars - and as cold as it sounds, we just can't afford that, especially not after $290 today and whatever it would cost to send it to Texas A&M (and the few hundreds of dollars we've spent on other vet visits since September). This isn't even touching on the fact that he doesn't do well with Anesthesia.

Because they were unable to get urine or stool, they sent at-home collection kits home with Simon - and because we've got some things going on the next couple days, it's looking like Wednesday would be the earliest we could attempt collection.

I have a question about the urine collection; They gave me a small bag of this non-absorbant litter and said that I am to empty his litterbox and fill it up with this litter instead. When he goes, I collect it with a pipette, put it in a tube, and take it back to the vet. The problem is that there is NOT that much litter in this bag. I doubt it would even cover the bottom of Simon's litterbox. How does one do this?? The stool collection is just a tube with a (for lack of better term) little spoon that I'm assuming I scoop a small amount of stool into. I've never had to do at-home collection before, and I don't want to mess either up.

**I included the prices as I was curious about the costs myself, and could rarely find anyone list how much they had to pay; Keep in mind, those costs are at a small vet clinic in a small-ish town in Illinois. Larger cities and specialized practices will likely cost more**
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
28,049
Reaction score
38,080
Location
Colorado USA
You should double-check with them, but hopefully he doesn't mind that there's not enough litter to cover the pan. Be sure and ask them the timing, I seem to recall that urine needs to be collected within hours of then getting it...
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
2,389
Reaction score
3,733
Location
Los Angeles
I have never done this as my vet handles it but have friends who regularly do the fake litter and pipette maneuver and have no trouble with it. I would give it a try...ask if they can give you more of the fake litter? And check on timeframe of collection and drop off.
 

mrsgreenjeens

Every Life Should Have Nine Cats
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
13,875
Reaction score
3,808
Location
Arizona
I've never had to do a urine collection at home, but for the fecal, I've always just turned a ziploc sandwich baggie inside out, picked up a piece of stool with the inside out baggie, turned it rightside out and zipped it up. Voila. Of course, I guess this wouldn't work if you don't have a firm stool to work with, and I don't know if you're working with a "puddle" or a stool here. As far as time frame, our Vet said we could refrigerate the samples for a few hours, so I actually got my sample the night before our Vet visit and put it in our spare fridge (double bagged), then put it in a small ice chest to take to the Vet. T
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
mrsgreenjeens mrsgreenjeens - When he IS going, it is firm and formed. They gave me a little tube to collect it in this time, though I have used the plastic baggie method in the past when we thought he might have had worms/parasites (he did not, thank g-d). Simon is very sneaky about when he poo's, so I likely wouldn't know he even went until I clear out the litterbox; Looks like it'll be a day or two of keeping him in the crate under observation.

I might be able to do all of this tomorrow, but we have a new appliance being delivered tomorrow that we have to be home for (and these places apparently think we don't need to know when they're going to show up which is frustrating, to say the least). Hopefully they come early, we can get the sample(s) done and delivered and go from there.

On one hand, I hope they show nothing and that this is just a passing thing with him - but on the other hand, I want to know why all of these issues are happening with definitive answer.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
14,711
Reaction score
13,094
Location
USA
Did you get the hydrophobic sand-type litter? Kit4Kat is one brand name. What you can try to do is put the litter into a cup and hold the cup under the cat's tail to collect the pee. Some cats won't let you do this, though.

An alternative is to get a temporary litter box. Fill with clean, thoroughly rinsed fish tank type pebbles. Let the cat pee, Tip the box to pool the urine up and then collect the urine with the pipette.

With the poop, try to get a fresh sample. Use the scoop to just scoop some of the poop into the tube. If you get a dried out hours old poop, you can use the scoop to break the clump apart and get some of the crumbles into the tube.
 

CL56

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
176
Reaction score
456
Location
Florida
I had to do this when I had Merlin.
They gave me about 1/4 cup of these black plastic pellets that was supposed to be his litter
I thought yea,,,riiiight...
But I got a new small litter box and put them in - he used it just fine. (surprised me for sure ! )
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
LTS3 LTS3 - I have no idea about brand. It's little white pebble looking things (smaller than pebbles, but not as small as grains of his normal clumping litter). He would definitely not let me hold a cup under there - but this WILL be one of those times I hope he pees over the side of his litterbox and onto the plastic tray underneath :lol2: He pees a decent amount when he goes though, so I'm hoping it won't be too difficult if I just put this other pellet-litter into a new box and let him do his thing. The little paper included says that push-come-to-shove, we can collect a sample and keep it refrigerated for up to 12 hours, if we can't get to the vet right away.

CL56 CL56 - That's probably pretty close to the amount they gave me for Simon. We have a smaller tupperware-like container (the size meant to put a rectangular-shaped cake in) that we may be substituting for a litterbox, at least for the purposes of this test (though we WILL have to try and fit it in his larger enclosed litterbox, because my guy has TERRIBLE aim and would probably pee on the walls otherwise. :tongue:
 

carebearbaby1

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
593
Reaction score
1,046
Sounds like a thyroid problem. Personally I'd wait until your blood work comes back before trying to gather a urine sample.

They usually only give you a small amount of plastic litter, he should use it anyway. Urine must either be fresh or kept in the fridge until you can get it to the vet. The fresher, the better.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
carebearbaby1 carebearbaby1 - That's what I'm leaning towards personally. His symptoms all seem to line up with thyroid issues, despite him being younger (4 years old). My big concern on that front is that we'd be treating with meds rather than radiation/surgery, and since I have HYPOthyroidism (rather than the HYPERthyroidism common in cats), I'd have to be real careful about potentially coming into contact with the meds.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
Slight update: The vet called first thing this morning with the results of part of his tests, which I'll upload as soon as the office emails them to me. The jest of it is that everything looks mostly okay - thyroid is where it should be, CBC is good. Vet said that the eosinophils might be just SMIDGE high, but he wasn't concerned at all, and that it could be a result of parasites or even an allergy response. There was a bit of clumping of platelets but again, not a degree that the vet was concerned. He said that there was something called "CPK" that was a little high, but that this is found frequently in cats that have lost weight (Apparently, at the appointment prior to end of August, he weighed either 12 or 13 lbs, but to be fair, we also got him off of the dry food and onto a wet-food only diet, with the occasional treat). He called this a "good thing, bad thing; Good in that everything is where it should be, bad in that we don't have answers"

I mentioned that Simon seemed to not be a fan of the pellets to which the vet responded "Yeah, they don't work for my own personal cats either" and told me to try putting some plastic wrap/saran wrap over his regular litter - which worked IMMEDIATELY. Honestly, poor Simon must have been ready to burst with as much as he went. Still no stool sample yet, but we have a week to get one turned in, so I'm not too worried (nor is the vet; He even said it didn't matter much if the stool was covered in litter)


The next step after testing the Urine and Stool is to send some blood to Texas A&M for the Pancreas Function Test, but we're waiting as that test will be another $290.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
Here are Simon’s current results - we turned the urine sample in yesterday and will turn a stool sample in tomorrow, so we likely won’t know those results for another day or two.
 

Attachments

game misconduct

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
663
Reaction score
1,867
i used a deli cup to scoop the poop into the time graycie had to provide a sample then gave it to the gf to drop off on her way to work :lol:
 

game misconduct

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
663
Reaction score
1,867
:lol:that came out wrong i mean used a scooper to put the poop into the deli cup
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
Luckily, we finally got Simon to go today (though it looks like we need to up the MIralax for a couple days, judging by the size/firmness) - but we probably won't be able to drop it off until tomorrow. It should be alright, since the vet said the sample could be a couple days old and still be a valid sample (We just used the poop scoop to put it in a sandwich baggie LMAO)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
Got the urinalysis results back - not great. Anyone help interpret these? Vet said he'd like to put Simon on the C/D Multicare diet to help with the crystals (which is NOT something I expected him to have; I was misguided and believed that having crystals meant a cat was blocked up, and Simon has never had issues with peeing, other than it occasionally spraying outside of his box) and that he'd likely need to be on it for life. He said that the blood was probably irritation from the crystals - and that all of this could be contributing to the shift in personality (increased aggression), but that it still didn't explain the intense hunger.

My luck, this food will probably cost a small fortune and Sir Fatty is just a gluttonous pig LMAO


But yeah, I'd love to hear from anyone who has dealt with these kinds of crystals in their cats (specifically male cats) before. Does this technically mean he has FLUTD now?
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
28,049
Reaction score
38,080
Location
Colorado USA
I can't help with the results, but about the hunger, does he have some kind of parasite? Is he diabetic?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
Furballsmom Furballsmom - Vet said the blood test results don't indicate diabetes, but that he MIGHT have a parasite (because of the increased amount of one of the things tested on the blood results, can't remember which one - the eosinophils maybe? It wasn't dramatically high though, more borderline). The fecal would probably be the determining factor on a potential parasite, which tbh, doesn't seem likely as he spends 99% of his time in a room sequestered away from everyone else and eats processed foods rather than a raw diet (not saying raw diets are bad).
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20

dkb817

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
166
Yet another update: The vet said that Simon's stool sample apparently came up positive for Giardia (which I still don't know how he got it, as he never leaves the house - with the exception of vet visits - and I use bottled water in his water fountain. The only thing I can figure is that it transferred from me washing the pieces of his cat fountain in the sink, but one would think if he got sick from our tap water, then so would the humans in the house who are washing themselves with it). I still have to call the vet back as he left the results on a voicemail, but they're currently out to lunch/staff meeting. He mentioned wanting to put Simon on a med to treat the Giardia, offered to have it compounded if I didn't think I could pill him, but if I can crush the med up in his food, I should be able to just do it that way. I swear, it's a good thing this boy is food motivated, I don't think he'd be as much of a fan of the kitty burrito method as my last furball :lol2::lol2::lol2:

The other issue is that he's went from the diarrhea/runny stools caused by the clavamox treating his upper URI to borderline constipation - going just once every two days, despite getting miralax twice a day. Is it possible for him to show signs of constipation with Giardia? I always thought parasites caused borderline diarrhea.

EDIT: Called the vet who was just as confused about how he contracted it as I am, but said "Yeah, my cat was ALSO just diagnosed with Giardia and is ALSO an inside only cat" and made a few dad jokes about neither cat having gone to Mexico to contract it (kept comparing it to what people get when they drink the tap water and get sick) :tongue: He seemed pretty confident that if we can clear up the Giardia that we SHOULD theoretically clear up the issues he's having.
 
Last edited:
Top