I Must Share The Good News

Yesterday morning, when I got up, and went to the kitchen for my coffee at 3am, my daughter came in and told me that it was time for us to have her cat, Bob, put down. She’s 21 years old, and she was very upset, as Bob has been her constant companion all of his life. Recently, he’s been getting very thin, and as of yesterday morning, he was quite weak. She had to help him into his litterbox, and then help him up onto her bed.
We thought he had FeLV, as one of our other cats, Spot, had it, and had to be put down about three years ago, due to complications from it. We had all of our other cats tested, and they all get vaccinations each year to prevent it, except for Bob, because putting him into a carrier and hauling him to the vet is just too much for him to handle. He almost needs to be sedated before we can do that. He was so weak yesterday, that he didn’t even put up a fight.

So, promptly at 8am, I called our vet, and made the appointment for Bob. After getting there, they did a FeLV test on him, which to our surprise, came up negative! We were elated, to say the least. Apparently, the FeLV has now run its course at our house, and all of our other cats (an 18 year old, two 3 year olds, and a 12 year old, along with Bob, who is 13 years old) have now tested negative. The vet checked him out, found that his heart and lungs are doing great, his eyes and ears look great, no worms, no fever, and he’s not anemic.

Anyway, here we had poor, old Bob written off as dying, because of his quick decline. Our vet told us that he either has a hairball problem, because he’s been vomiting up his food quite often, and that could be the problem of him becoming so thin, so quickly.
Also, in one week I need to get him back to the vet for a checkup, and if he hasn’t stopped losing weight, they’re going to do a thyroid test, to see if that could be the problem. Then, we’ll go from there, to help him get more weight put back on.

As of yesterday, he’s on a special diet, and he gets a good dose of Laxatone each day for the upcoming week.

We are just SO happy that he tested negative for the FeLV, though! That was very good news for Bob, and for us.
Pictures will follow, as soon as I can figure out how to post the links properly.

Yay, nice to hear you got some good news. Here’s hoping Bob gets well soon.

This is Bob (13 years old):
Gina Hendrixson uploaded this image to

Arlene (18 years old):
Gina Hendrixson uploaded this image to

Mr. Brandybuck (12 years old):
Gina Hendrixson uploaded this image to

Baggins (3 years old):
Gina Hendrixson uploaded this image to

Luca (3 years old):
Gina Hendrixson uploaded this image to

Oh Good News for Beautiful Bob (So Handsome) I’ve heard of Hairballs causing such issues in cats before. Does he groom often? Shed much? Hopefully he will be on the mend soon!
Skritches for Bob & hugs for you & your daughter

Thank you for the kind words, CairoCarol and janis_and_c0.

I believe things are not as good as we had hoped, and I’m quite concerned.
I will be calling our vet again this morning. It seems that Bob is dragging himself around, and had to be helped to his litterbox, and onto the bed. Again.
I think he needs to be on an IV to get rehydrated, and I want them to find out what the problem is with him, and find out NOW. Even though his heart and lungs sound fine to the vet, he’s so damned thin, and he’s just not drinking enough, or eating enough (just a few bites of food since yesterday, and very little water since then, also) for my liking. Something else needs to be done, and done quickly.
So, wish us luck!

Yikes! Good luck with Bob, and yeah, don’t let the vet tell you “well, if he hasn’t improved by next week, bring him in then”. If the kitty is that weak, he must be helped now.

That is one good-looking kitteh family you have there! :cool:

Hooray. Go Bob, go!

Thank you Kadaji and norinew!

I took him back to the vet this morning.
They did more bloodwork, and his protein levels are high, which means that he’s dehydrated.
I knew that YESTERDAY, damnit!

His white count is also high, and that means one of three things.
Cancer, infection, or an inflammatory problem.
The individual white counts have different values, and that’s what they are looking at.
Right now, the particular values that are high, look to be more of an inflammatory problem than it does cancer.

Upon palpitation of his abdomen, they feel some thickening.
That may be caused by either cancer, or the inflammatory problem.

His current physical symptoms lean toward either cancer, or an inflammatory problem.

Our vet is going to check him out a bit more, then give me a call back, and we’ll decide what to do…
That will be either to put him to sleep, if our vet is leaning toward it being cancer, or if he thinks it’s more the inflammatory problem, they’ll put him on IV to rehydrate him, give him meds and then a shot of appetite stimulant, when his body can handle it.

Please think good thoughts for Bob…I don’t know if wishing for an inflammatory problem is a good thing or not, but it’s WAY better than cancer! We’ve had him for 13 years, and he’s part of our family.

Thank you all!

Never mind.

Hoping for the best for all of you!

IANAV: Careful if it turns out to be a thyroid problem. My first cat Aurora developed a thyroid problem when she was only 10. Over a $1000 in bills and she lasted only 3 more months and was never healthy or pain free.

Asking around, it sounds like thyroid problems are hard to recover from and especially for a much older cat, you may well only be prolonging the cats time of pain. It was heartbreaking to me, but I wish I had asked the vet before the procedure what the likelihood of recovery was. I should have either taken her home to die without the procedure or had her put to sleep.

I’m sending out my best wishes and I’m hoping it is only hairballs and Bob recovers quickly.

Jim

I know many cats who have successfully been treated for hyperthyroid. I belonged to an online support group list when my own 14 year old cat developed it, and many people on the list treated their cats for years with daily methamazole pills. I opted for radioiodine, and my cat came though it with flying colors. The vet that did the procedure told me he had performed it on cats as old as 21.

Best wishes to Bob!

Well as I said, I am not a vet. I still think if it turns out to be a thyroid issue, **nonacetone ** should ask the vet about recovery. Neither your experience nor mine gives a good idea of success rates. I would not have said anything except a family member worked at a veterinary hospital for years and now for a county animal shelter and she told me success rates were not very good, especially with older cats. As she also is not a vet, I offered my caveat with good intentions. It was bad enough to watch my first cat die a slow painful death and worse to find out the procedure done was costly and did not offer a great success rate of recovery.

Even if the problem turned out not to be hairballs, I still want to share this for anyone who does have cats with hairballs. In addition to the Laxatone and Petromalt stuff in tubes, there are also hairball remedy treats. My Katya won’t eat the stuff in tubes, but she absolutely loves her Friskies hairball treats.

I hope Bob will be okay and that’s inflammatory and easy to treat. Give him a good petting and lots of love.
My cat Raven is 18 and I’ve been treating her for thyroid problems for a couple years now. I rub the medicine in her ears. She’s been getting thin too, and vomiting. My vet has me giving her 1/2 tablet of Pepcid (makes her foam at the mouth so I have to wipe up her drool) plus feeding her kitten food. We tried giving her pain killers in case it was her teeth, but the vet said she’d seen cats with worse teeth still eating.

Thank you all for the kind words, and all of the information.
We still haven’t heard anything from our vet, so we’re still waiting.

I understand, but from what I learned on my list, I still think your case was the exception, and not the norm. Hyperthyroidism in cats is very treatable, regardless of the cat’s age (except surgery. That is always riskier in older cats).

What sort of treatment did your cat undergo? After much discussion with my vet, I was given three choices:

  1. Pills (methamazole/Tapazole), the cheapest initially and most common treatment. Many cats do well on this if you can successfully give your cat a daily pill.
  2. Radioiodine, which is what I chose. It is the most expensive, but after calculating pill costs over years of time/hassle of pilling I decided it was the best for me & my cat. It is non-surgical but did involve quarantine time; the separation hurt me more than it hurt my cat, I’m sure. I hate pilling cats! One thing about radioiodine is that sometiems the hyperthyroidism is covering up other diseases, like kidney disease. My cat did show some decrease in kidney function after treatment, but it wasn’t bad enough to need to treat with sub-q’s at that point.
  3. Surgery to remove the thyroid gland. This was pretty much out for me as I didn’t want to subject my 14 year old car to anesthesia and my vet told me that after surgery it is not uncommon that the thyroid gland on the other side could go hyperthyroid.

My cat lived for three healthy, happy years after his radioiodine treatment. He gained back all the weight he had lost (plus some) and his coat returned to its normal shininess. He lived to be 17, at which time he developed bladder cancer and I lost him.

Surgery and I think that is where our confusion is coming in. I never said surgery and I should have. Please forgive me. My understanding is the surgery for a thyroid problem is not a very good idea. We were never offered any other solutions.

Damn, that vet might have been even worse than I thought.

Jim

That’s so sad that your vet didn’t offer you any alternatives. Poor Aurora. My vet made it pretty clear that surgery should be at the bottom of the list as far as treatments went. I’m sorry for you & your cat. :frowning: