Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Troublesome Tuesday Comments

TBT:  Thank you all for the suggestions. 

The Vet suggested (last January after all The Mews had their annual checkups) that AYLA get a Senior Exam when she turned 10.  That occurred in June.  But she seems to be in excellent health, so I will arrange that but it will be a standard one.

Iza is 9, but she has actual problems.  I am making a list of my observations about Iza to bring to the vet so we can plan a series of tests.  I want to know exactly what tests he proposes (so I can look them up and be aware of what the tests are designed to find) and ask why not other tests.

He won't like that.  He has a sign in the exam room that says something like"Don't compare your internet research to my education and experience".   AFAIK, he is a good vet, and he has taken care of my cats for 30 years.  But I've always been willing to question doctors, lawyers, contractors, etc, and won't stop now. 

Now, some more info about Iza:

1.  I see Iza drinking water from the bowl near the food frequently.  Oops, I thought it was the others not drinking enough or from the pond outside (which I often saw Skeeter and LC do in their days,.  Now I am realizing that Iza drinks much more water than a typical cat.  She has a favorite spot in one litter box to pee, and the amount is massive in just one day. 

2.  Iza is really the dominant cat in the house.  No one bullies her around the litter box.  She is so relaxed about it that she will use one while I am cleaning the others, and she will casually use one when another cat is in another.  On the hand hand, her poops are solid and healthy-looking, and she never pees outside of the boxes.

It may be my fault she is using the space between them about once a day.  I've seen her to it and never Marley or Ayla.  I certainly never react when she does; that might make her upset or worried.  But there have been days I forget the nightly scooping and perhaps she became sensitive to that.  I think one thing to do is pull all the boxes away and thoroughly clean the cement floor with one on those pee/poop neutralizers (she uses the same couple of spots repeatedly).  And I'll move the boxes a couple of feet towards their "approach path".

3.  It doesn't seem to the the brand or flavor of food that disturbs Iza.  When she was having "every few days" immediate regurgitation a few months ago, I  observed that it wasn't related to the flavor,  I keep 6 flavors and use 5 cans every day.  So there was a different flavor every morning for 6 days. 

What I did notice was that it was almost always the first meal of the morning.  Something about eating on an empty tummy was causing a problem.  I adjusted her first morning meal to be smaller, and that has mostly stopped.  She can handle more even 30 minutes later, and regular size meals all the rest of the day.

4.  But she has a possibly related problem.  For months, she has had a habit of gagging up a small amount of clear froth (almost entirely water, from the smell) around dawn.  Sometimes I stay up all night and then stay in bed 12 hours and I thought it was because she wasn't getting food regularly.  So I started getting up briefly at dawn just to feed them all a couple months ago.  They loved it of course, but Iza kept having that problem.  

5.  The eating of bread may also be my fault.  I make very tasty bread, with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and beer instead of water.   When Iza discovered she could jump up the the countertops, she went right after the bread.  When I removed the bread to the M/W for storage, she went after the corncobs and bowls.  She is addicted to oils, fats, and butter.  Marley is too, but only meaty fats.  But Marley will sniff around and leave if nothing good is easily available, while Iza will pull stuff around and drag them off the counters to get at them.  She shoved a 10" cast iron skillet I had covering a cat food can with a tight cover on it off the cutting board  last week to get at the can.  And I had packed her with all the food she could eat that night.

That is my fault too.  I tend to clean the dinner pans and plates in the morning.  I am very lazy after dinner and spend post-dinner time on the computer or watching TV science and history DVDs. 

6.  Iza has never been the most routine of cats.  She butt-scootches, she wheezes at night, she is the loudest slurpiest groomer you ever heard.  I know the butt-scootching is a sign of packed anal glands, but when he have had the vet express them, she is right at it a week later.  I know there is an operation for that, but I've read it can cause defecation problems and that might be worse.  I may have to learn how to do the anal gland expression myself.

7.  And last, I must say that Skeeter and LC may have dulled my recognition of feline problems.  In their early years, they ate from a never-ending container of dry food, then got one whole can each of canned food at 6 am when I left for work and another at 6 PM when I returned home, drank from the toilet inside and the pond outside (ignoring the inside water bowl), and stayed utterly healthy without any odd habits until 16.  At 16, Skeeter began a general dementia and lost the litterbox understanding completely and 16 1/2, LC just keeled over into a coma. 

The previous cat (Tinkerbelle) just never came home one day at 16, the one before that (Mischief) died in her sleep curled up peacefully at 12 (I assume some sort of heart failure).  But they were all mixed breed cats, and those are usually healthier.

Ayla and Iza are the first purebreeds I've had.  I know, in my mind, that purebreeds have more health problems than other cats.  But I think I am now understanding it directly.  I've mentioned all the health problems Iza is having.  But Ayla is starting to look a bit old at 10. 

So "senior" problems at 10 are new to me.  I'll do the best I can for them.


There are probably other things I am missing, but that is a good start.  In fact, writing this post was partly to help myself create a list to bring to the vet (without Iza along) for planning purposes...


Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Darling Iza Lambie! We hope TBT and the Stabby Person can figure out what's on your mind! Since you are eating and playing and purring and napping on TBT's lap, we are hopeful there is nothing too much amiss. But we think TBT is right to get everything checked out. Perhaps I should come visit you, and give you a nice baff, while you tell me your troubles. I am sure that would be more effective than the Stabby Place. XOXOXOXOXO

Summer at said...

Honestly, the amount of peeing is of the most concern. If Iza is starting to lose kidney function, you would be better off knowing that sooner than later.

Your doctor is showing his age with the internet sign. EVERYBODY looks at the internet these days, and there are actually some really good sites run by vets and experts. The younger (under 45) vets my human has encountered just try to get their clients to discern between helpful things and the fake stuff - and tell them to keep bringing their pets in for regular checkups, because nothing online can replace that.

The Menagerie Mom said...

It's fantastic that you are so aware and in tune with what your kitties are up to. Compiling a list like this for your veterinarian is a great idea, and it could really help make a quicker diagnosis. I agree that the large quantity of urine is another concern, but bloodwork and other tests can certainly help determine if kidney disease, diabetes, or something else altogether is playing a role. Iza (and Ayla and Marley) is lucky to have you keeping such a watchful eye on her. We continue to send our purrs and prayers your way!

The Whiskeratti said...

Online research is just a part of life these days, no way around it. As long as a client isn't aggressive about what they think they know, vets should welcome this interaction. For what it's worth, I can tell you that when Toby was having problems, my vet ran a thyroid test, which showed he was fine. A few days later we went back and a different vet at that practice ran a more expensive test - which showed that the thyroid was not working as it should. Sometimes you just have to go deeper.

Katie Isabella said...

I like what Summer and Whiskeratti said. I have been through it with Robin, & poor Admiral worst of all.You have to jump on it soon as you see it. I didn't know that for poor Robi, so her kidney disease stayed un-diagnosed for a longer time that it should have. I was ignorant of the signs and she was an indoor outdoor girl, only sleeping in at night. So I didn't get to observe her what with that and my 12 hour shift rotation. Iza may indeed be presenting with kidney disease but the earliest stages where you can make it easier for her. If it is kidney, then early intervention is key but you know that already.
Their Dr. seems a bit testy about patient knowledge. I am sure that doesn't stop his good work..but it's a fact that we all look things up now-- and that's a good thing. I like YOUR attitude very much of not leaving a sane unturned. Go as well armed as you can re: them and yourself when you visit your Dr. and be a partner in theirs and your own healthcare...not just a standby incidental person.

The Whiskeratti said...

I was thinking.... It might also be more than one issue at work here. The bread might just be because she loves it.

The Swiss Cats said...

We don't have a lot to add to what is said above, and we agree with it : the amount of drinking (and peeing) is the most worrying. Purrs

Brian said...

We send lots of purrs to dear Iza and we know you will advocate for your sweetie girl.

Colehaus Cats said...

Sending comforting purrs to Iza. We agree with everyone on the extra drinking and peeing and think this is an early sign of kidney issues. Nothing wrong with Internet research. Sounds like this is a sore spot for your vet and we understand completely as we have one who is like that, too. Nothing wrong with questioning, either. You live with these dears and know they better than anyone else, including your vet. If something sounds a little different or off, there's nothing wrong with questioning it, or with coming back with research done online. You're learning and how could that be wrong?

Mary McNeil said...

Hope you can get some answers to help Ayla and Iza - and that Marley keeps rockin' along. It is so frustrating not to be able to help them !

Terri said...

I had a Himalayan that had to have her anal glands removed after one developed an abscess. It wouldn't empty normally after it healed. The vet said he always removes both anal glands. The only poop issue occurs right after surgery. My cat pooped in her carrier on the way home; however, she had no more incidents after that.

Megan said...

A worrying time, TBT. Hang in there - you're clearly doing all you can to help Iza.

Sydney, Australia

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

You're an amazing cat dad to compile this list and it will be very helpful to bring to your vet. I agree with the others that the large amount of pee is the most concerning. Honestly, I think the sign at your vet's office is a bit offensive. There's nothing wrong with doing internet research to help our pets. What I discovered online to help treat Mudpie's asthma my vet has been very impressed by.

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

That sign at the vet annoys me. I always do internet research and ask tons of questions too. Please hide that bread as garlic and onion are toxic to cats. I do think an ultrasound might be a good idea if blood work is inconclusive. I will be praying that she is healthy.

The Island Cats said...

You sure are in tuned with your cats, TBT. One thing about the vomiting foamy bile first thing in the morning...this usually is because acid builds up in the stomach over night and when the stomach is empty, cats will tend to vomit. You may want to consider giving 1/4 of a 10mg pepcid in the evening to help with the acid. Of course, check with your vet first before starting any meds.

Oh and there is a lot of very good information out there on the internet...and some bad I don't think it's a bad thing to research.

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

Oregano and onion are bad for cats. I can't remember why I will try to remember to ask my vet and if I get a chance work all Iza's symptoms into the conversation. She was actually at lunch when I went into pick up the heartworm medicines yesterday, she usually eats at the office so I have a chance to chat with her.

Scylla throws up her food sometimes, but I have come to the conclusion it is because she eats to fast, my solution was a puzzle feeder to slow her eating down. She seems to enjoy it too, it seems to give her a sense of superiority over the other cats. She actually left some food in the compartment that is the easiest to open this morning. Smarty pants had to make sure I knew she opened them all.

My vet actually encourages internet searches and prints out vast amounts of material and links for me, she also taught me how to run a tube down Chimera's throat to feed her much to the dismay of the vet that covers for her. That said Iza's symptoms seem confusing. I think you are right about the peeing outside the box being due to the litterboxes not being clean enough for her Scylla will do the same thing if someone uses her litterbox the others don't seem to mind sharing and seem puzzled why Scylla won't use a litterbox that another cat has used. If she was losing weight a would think hyperthyroid with the constant eating but since she is gaining weight I don't think that is it. Hopefully the blood work will point to something.

Catio Tales said...

You should have a sign 'don't confuse your years of training with my knowledge of my cat'. I have been thinking about Iza a lot and have no wisdom to add except that if she has stomach irritation then Slippery Elm Bark can provide comfort - it seems to sooth and stop vomiting. I got it for Puna and it helped him, and earlier for Rilli who had advanced crf and would vomit because of that. Paws are crossed for you.

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Hello Iza-Lambie,
Just come right on over. I have plenty of beddies big enough for two, and the Human would die of happiness with a kitty who actually *wanted* to snuggle up. See you later? XOXOXOXO P.S. You might enjoy my little movie tonight.

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

I hope that with your comprehensive list and your vet that any problems that Iza may have will be discovered.
No matter how good your vet is, he should encourage owners to look up symptoms when there are health issues. Admittedly some people do find problems where there are none, but most owners search the internet when they know something is amiss. Our vet actively encouraged me to research various suggestions to help Flynn by giving me links to look up and then we would discuss them.

Just Ducky said...

OK, Derby loved to drink and also had large pee deposits in the litter box. He failed due to kidney issues. So ask about kidney issues.

MeezerMews&FrecklesWoofs said...

Our Toki had that huge pee-pee stuff, and he drank copious amounts of water from the fountain we had back then...and he had diabetes. He weighed over 20 pounds, though...
Minko was a vomiter, too. Pepcid in the morning and Prilosec at night helped that a lot. Of course he had loose stools...from his IBD...and he would not eat on his own.

Any vet who thinks they know more than the kitty's owner is not doing a good job. That is why we changed vets after many long years of going to the same practice...the vet we have now is not young, but he loves when petcretary discusses what she knows about her furs and then agrees or offers tactfully what he thinks.
We fur pawrents are the vets eyes and ears because the vets don't live with them like we do.

You have made a furry comprehensive list of what you have been observing, which are the best way for finding out the clues to this health/behavior issue.

Sending big purrs and POTP.