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Dr. Andi
Dr. Andi, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 612
Experience:  I am skilled in small animal emergency, medicine, surgery, acupuncture and complementary medicine.
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My 13 year old Persian cat was diagnosed with lung digit syndrome

Customer Question

My 13 year old Persian cat was diagnosed with lung digit syndrome about 1.5 weeks ago after presenting at my vet with extreme hind leg lameness The vet did radiographs, an echo of the stomach and lung and a lung aspiration. A suspicious mass was also seen on his liver. He did fine for about 5 days - regained movement, was eating well etc. However yesterday, he had the same symptoms again - severe lameness, loss os appetite. What can I expect from the progression of this disease. Don't want him to suffer so just wondering how soon the end may come.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andi replied 7 years ago.

I am so sorry your cat has this awful disease. Unfortunately, there is no good treatment and most cats only live for 1-2 months after diagnosis. The main goal with lung-digit syndrome is to treat the pain.

I see that he is already on some pain meds- can you tell me which one? The best pain management approach for something like this is to use 2 or 3 different types of pain medications: a good anti-inflammatory, like Metacam; an opioid, like Buprenex; and a drug for nerve pain called Gabapentin. Another useful drug is called bisphosphonate which really helps decrease bone pain. You can also inquire about lidocaine cream or gel, to act as a local numbing agent.

One more option is an herbal formula called "Hoxsey-like combination with Boneset". I have had great luck when using this to help animals with bone pain.

Keep up the appetite stimulant. I would encourage her to eat: try cooked chicken or hamburger and rice, canned tuna, Fancy Feast or canned baby food (turkey or chicken is best).

I hope these suggestions help your cat, and I wish you luck with this difficult diagnosis.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The Pain med he has is Buprenorphine. It is very sedating. Is inflammation a big cause of the pain. Why does it come and go? At what point do I know that he is in a serious decline?
Expert:  Dr. Andi replied 7 years ago.
I am glad she is taking Buprenorphine (which is Buprenex). This is a great pain killer in cats. If she is very sedated while taking it, you can try giving her a little less.
I think her pain can come and go because a lot of it is from bone pain. So, I would try the herbal formula I suggested or the bisphosphonate to help with bone pain.

I usually tell me clients to think of 3 things their pet enjoys doing (this could be eating, chasing flies... whatever). Once your pet has lost 2 of these favorite things, then it's probably time to consider quality of life and euthanize. This can be a little difficult to assess in cats, so I would say that once she has totally stopped eating, then that is probably your answer.

I am sorry you are going through this tough time. I am sending lots of blessings towards you and your cat.
Dr. Andi and 3 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your kind words. The decision is so difficult, but you have given me some good advice.
Expert:  Dr. Andi replied 7 years ago.
You're welcome. I know cats sure have a way of reaching your heart.