Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jack was back at the vet..



So Thursday we got indications that Jack was feeling poorly again.  I was so hopeful that we had finally gotten this under control since it had been almost two weeks since he had gotten any supplements to help his bladder and urinary issues.

Then poof, we had a few pink urine drops in one of his favorite "I'm not feeling well" pee spots.  As soon as I saw them I had every intention of bringing him to the vet the very next day, and come morning he was obviously suffering.


Oh how it broke my heart to see him obviously hurting again, but I knew we could fix this.. so I called the vet and told them I wanted to do a cystocentesis (cysto) (see a video of a dog getting a cysto) and a culture and sensitivity (C&S) on the urine to see what was going on.  The vet allowed me to drop him off to do it when they could so I packed him up


and dropped him off


and went to work and attempted to get some work done..  I called to check in on him after lunch and was told the cysto was done and that the vet would call and talk to me when he had a minute.  He said the cysto showed a lot of blood in the urine and some bacteria but no crystals!  Now I am convinced that we are looking at a side effect from the catswell product I fed him, so I asked the vet if he could check Jack's liver and kidneys to make sure they were not damaged.

It was interesting talking to the vet, because since he is unaware of my history, he felt the need to start at the very beginning.. trying to explain why these things happen, he threw acronyms at me (FLUTD) and mentioned what foods he recommends and why (urinary food that has extra salt in it to promote water consumption), and that stress might be a part of it.. etc.  He also thought my boy was only 4 years old.. (he's 11ish) I explained he has had crystals in the past so I'm quite familiar with the current beliefs of FLUTD, and explained that raw food has kept him in check for a long time, and that I feared this was a side effect from treats I fed (hence the request for the blood work)  He too asked if they were recalled - which they aren't but all recalls start somewhere don't they?

I was told I could pick him up at 4, and I showed up at 4.  The blood work showed issues with his liver and kidneys.  The vet believed that it was just from Jack being dehydrated and when he saw the results he gave him fluids. When I called I had asked about fluids and he said he didn't feel the need because he wasn't dehydrated - so I can not help but be scared out of my gourd that this is damage despite what the vet thinks. He suggests a recheck in a couple of weeks and I will be redoing the blood work then and hope that it is just dehydration.

He also took an x-ray and almost everything looked good there.. no stone which is a relief.  I knew the chances of that were minimal, but I felt more comfortable ruling it out then not being 100% sure.  They took the x-ray after the cysto.  After the cysto Jack vomited - which isn't uncommon.  The x-ray showed that Jack's stomach was pushed off to the right.  He didn't think it was anything to worry about that it probably happened during the vomiting or when they manipulated him for the x-ray.  He said it could be an issue, but he didn't think it was since he didn't have any symptoms of it prior to coming in - which is mainly vomiting.

I spent a good deal of time talking to him about the blood values and the xrays and what I should be worried about and watching for if these things were actual issues that I did not stop to think about Jack's immediate situation.  He had a very long needle inserted in him, had his urine stolen directly from his bladder.  He vomited despite not haven eaten in quite some time and had his stomach shifted to the wrong side of his body.  If I had used a few extra brain cells I would have asked about pain medication and anti-nausea medications.  I guess I simply assumed the vet would have thought about it - especially since he walked in the door in pain and the last time he gave me buprenorphine to take home for him.



When I got home Jack was absolutely miserable. For some reason I thought I should give him the antibiotics that were prescribed to him - I guess I didn't realize just how miserable he was.  A few minutes after giving them to him he vomited them up and was drooling something fierce.  I offered him his ultra favorite things in the world (canned food and freeze dried meat treats) and he was interested when the can popped open, but he couldn't even bring himself to go sniff it.  I put a little food gravy on my fingers and he wouldn't lick it.  My heart broke into a million pieces.  And sadly by this time the vet's office was closed so I couldn't get any injectable famotidine.  I have pepcid at the house, but I doubt he could have kept it down long enough to do him any good, so I did my best to just be with him but not bother him.   As we sat there, he peed himself.. it was only a little so when he eventually got up and went to sit back in the carrier I saw a slight wetness on the floor and his 'pants' were wet.  I did my best to clean him up with out bothering him, but left most of it in his fur.


We kept him alone with us in the bedroom with us while he recovered (Muffin sat at the door banging it for quite some time, she is so not used to not being able to sleep with me)  He sat in his carrier most of the night.  He would purr a little when I patted him, but would stop pretty quickly - like it hurt to even purr.  Some how I went to sleep and was awoken at 4am to the sound of Jack eating.  It was the best sound I had heard in a long time.  I got up to check on him and he purred happily when I patted him and was much more interactive.  When morning came I went to the vet and got some pain meds for him.  When I called I was told they would be getting me five days worth but when I got into the vet to pick them up they said they only put up three days because it was expensive.  ($36 for 1.2 cc in six 0.2 doses) to which I could only roll my eyes and it took a lot of strength for me not to have words with them because I just spent $500 on him yesterday running tests.. money was not an issue for me when it comes to making Jack comfortable.  (to which I am beyond thankful!!)  the other part of their reasoning that this would take us to Tuesday when they open back up again and if he was still in pain he should probably be seen... which I agree with

I am so lucky that at this point he's doing well.  He hasn't urinated on the floor since Thursday (well except when he peed himself, but I don't count that) and there hasn't been any blood.  he is eating, purring, seeking out attention, and being his old self.  Now we just wait on the C&S to see if the bacteria in his urine needs different antibiotics to get rid of it.

26 comments:

  1. Poor Jack! I hate it when the furkids are sick. Fingers and toes crossed that he turns a BIG corner and feels better soon, for both of you!

    I hate vets in general--they either assume you're a dunce, or they turn out to be one.

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  2. Poor Jack, we are sending healing purrs and our paws are crossed for your speedy recovery.
    Purrs ... Rainbow

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  3. Poor Jack. We are sending healing purrs for him and hope he is better soon.

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  4. I am purring for Jack to get better quickly - the poor guy has been through a lot with this problem!

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  5. Ditto Trish re: vets. The C&S should come back this week, presumably, since it take a few day to grow the culture (or try to) in the lab. That was the case when I had a C&S done with Annie -- and btw, though the in-house UA came back with bacteria, the C&S had nothing, it was clean. So I do NOT trust these in-house labs, frankly.

    Purrs for Jack....Have you ever thought of trying something homeopathic for Jack's bladder? Maybe you discount that because it's not mainstream? I don't know. I just know that, knock on wood, since Derry's been on PetAlive.com's UTI-Free, he's not had another bout of cystitis. There've been a few times I thought he might be starting to have one and I've just given him a few extra doses via syringe, rather than just sprinkling on his food. I can't say he'll never have another bout, but he's been fine for 7+ months now, fingers and toes crossed.

    I don't believe the product is available elsewhere, it's their own product, FDA registered, if that makes any difference.

    Or maybe there's something else to try?

    Good luck!

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    1. I have had and used a number of alternative options to help him with his crystals and have been able to keep him crystal free for years. This time they were keeping his current issues at bay, but they weren't clearing it up meaning that when I would stop using them he would start having issues again. I don't mind giving him supplements for the rest of his life, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing something. I don't know if the treats I fed him damaged his liver and or kidneys or introduced a bacteria that wasn't being killed

      I always appreciate ideas and suggestions. It is how I learn of new things that might help.

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  6. I feel awful that he's in such pain. You can see it in the photos. I sure hope the pain meds get him by, especially with it being a holiday weekend. (I don't blame you for forgeting to ask about the pain meds. So many things are on your mind. . )

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  7. Poor boy! We hope the pain goes away soon! Lee and Phod

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  8. Poor Jack, we is so sorry he isn't feeling well. We's sending our purrs his way!

    Sasha, Sami, & Saku

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  9. It is true about vets. They either treat you like an ignorant moron or they would rather have their arm up a cow's backside (I live in farming country). My present vet is not too bad, so far! I am glad that Jack is doing better, but oh isn't it horrible seeing them suffer so!

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  10. Doesn't it break your heart to see them in such pain? I hope Jack keeps feeling better. I'm now feeding my Poppy raw food only (going against vet advice)
    I am sick with worry for her BUT it has been 6 days and she is an entirely different cat! She even PLAYED this morning, which is so unusual these days. And, her itchiness seems to have subsided.
    I know she will not have a long life, but if I can make it a good life...
    XO

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    1. I went against the advice of quite a few vets (I worked at a vet clinic at the time) when I started raw.. it was such a leap of faith, but it made sense. That was many years ago now and I will never go back..

      I am so happy to hear that it is helping your kitty.. I know this isn't going to help much, but you can stop worrying.. it was what she was designed to eat. There have been more issues of cats eating commercial foods and getting sick vs raw..

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  11. Poor kitty! Sending lots of hugs and well wishes!
    xo Catherine

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  12. So sorry to read Jack had to go through all this. I hope he will stay better now.
    We are sending tons of purrs!

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  13. It really breaks my heart to know Jack is going through such pain.... Glad he began to eat again. We are sending purrs and prayers to him.

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  14. Hi Connie I don't if this will help Jack But I'm prone to bladder infections my self and I have found the taking cranberry extract tablets or capsules seems to control it I used to get a bout 2 or 3 times a year but since taking the cranberry tablet I get them from the health food shop its reduced to every 18 months to 2 years now.its just one tablet or capsule every day and it couldn't hurt him as its natural,xx Rachel

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  15. Oh, sweet, dear Jack! I can only imagine how happy you were to hear and see him eating! I have had a ton of experience with our vet the last six months, more than I have ever had (even with one kitty having cancer years ago) and more than I hope to ever have again. However, I have an alternative thought to some and think there are some very good and caring vets. I really hope all will now be well with him and it isn't anything more serious (not that this wasn't serious!. Going through bladder cancer with Lucy was the hardest thing ever. Hugs to Jack!

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  16. This really breaks my heart. It's good that he's eating again and we hope he'll continue to recover and that the readings were due to him being dehydrated.

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  17. I am so sorry.. I can relate to every part of the story. I know how hard these last few days. It sounds like Jack turned a corner... My fingers are crossed that this is just the beginning and that he will be feeling purrfect very soon.

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  18. Oh poor Jack! We will purr for him at our highest level!!

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  19. We're so sorry to hear that Jack is having issues again. We are purring for him and hope he is feeling better soon.

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  20. Sending Jack get well purrs

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  21. Oh, poor Jack! We are purring hard for him, poor guy, and we hope he is doing better soon. Sometimes you just can't think of everything, our brains go on overload. Its so hard on everyone when one of our kitties is sick. Hopefully he'll be back to normal quickly.

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  22. Poor Jack! I recognize that expression on his face. My Namir had idiopathic cystitis, and in his later years he also had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and occasionally slipped into congestive heart failure. In all the years he was treated for this the only guess among a bunch of different vets was that he'd had a herpes virus lodge in the exit from his bladder, and occasionally it would flare up and block him, sediment would build up and he had horribly bloody urine for sometimes up to three weeks. And he would pee on the floor as if it was a spasm that he couldn't control. It was usually in the kitchen on the tile, which was on the way to the litter box in the basement, so that was probably what was happening. At exams for his heart condition and general yearlies and such, my vet, the cardiac vet and the emergency vets each said at least once when they gently squeezed his bladder, they could feel it spasm or quiver, which was consistent with his activity.

    Before the CHF made most treatments difficult, I would give him 50cc of fluids when he began to have a problem, sitting in the box waiting to pee, and often that would help flush him out, and the saline likely helped to cleanse a growing infection from his bladder if it wasn't too far along. I also used vitamin C to make sure his urine was acidic, and cranberry gelcaps that would also help to cleanse his urinary tract and help coat the walls of his bladder, keeping infections from developing. I kept him on this much of the time until his HCM medications went form two to four, and it was too many pills a day. Fortunately, after a while, the lasix he took to help keep the fluids from building up also helped to keep his bladder clean of issues--he had to pee so often and so much he never had a chance to block or build up an infection again.

    But even if it's not the same idiopathic condition, my Jelly Bean can't even lick out cans of non-approved cat food or have any treats but the "best", he will block within a day if he gets "cheap" canned food and will have issues for days in a row if he gets a bit of it or licks a can. Before he blocked one and always had hesitation and some pretty tense days where he waited to pee. But since he's been on the raw diet, the only time there was a problem was when he'd gotten some Friskies canned and again when he had some Pounce treats.

    Sorry for the long message! Hope Jack is okay.

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  23. Jack we are so sorry you were feeling poorly...mom and I send you hugs
    Madi

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  24. Sorry to hear about Jack. Hope he'll be feeling better asap!

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