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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28469
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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MY 16 YR. OLD CAT HAS RECENTLY BEEN STARING INTO SPACE FOR

Customer Question

MY 16 YR. OLD CAT HAS RECENTLY BEEN STARING INTO SPACE FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME . SHE IS ON SEIZURE MEDS BECAUSE OF EXPOSURE TO MOLD, BUT THE STARING IS NOT A FOCAL SEIZURE . SHE SEEMED TO BE MORE COGNIZANT AFTER I GAVE HER A GOOD DOSE OF FLUIDS ( SHE HAS KUDNEY ISSUES & IS ON SUB Q FLUIDS EVERY DAY . SHE ALSO PRESSES HER HEAD AGAINST THE WALL WHEN SHE IS SLEEPING IN A CORNER OF THE BATHROOM ( OCCASIONALLY ) . MY APT. IS VERY HOT & HUMID DUE TO NO AIR CONDITIONER . I'M SO WORRIED . WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER ?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?
Customer: NOT THAT I CAN THINK OF .
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your elderly cat. Her staring and head pressing are pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of encephalopathy (brain disorder) involving her forebrain - the cerebrum and thalamus. Both intracranial encephalopathies such as brain tumor (or seizure disorder as you mentioned) and extracranial encephalopathies such as hepatoencephalopathy (a poorly functioning liver would be intoxicating her brain) or uremic encephalopathy (poorly functioning kidneys would be intoxicating her brain) need to be considered. Her vet can recheck your cat's kidney values again and perform serum bile acid testing to see how well her liver is functioning. MRI is necessary to evaluate her brain - not something I would encourage at her age.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OMG . I JUST LOST TINKERBELL PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THE TOXINS FROM THE MOLD . SHE WAS SUCH A HAPPY GIRL , EVEN @ THE AGE OF 17 . NOW MY VENUS IS IN TROUBLE . SHE HAS A NEUROLOGIST BUT SHE IS FAR AWAY (I HAVE NO CAR ) & IS QUITE EXPENSIVE . I FEEL SICK TO MY STOMACH . I AGREE WITH YOU THAT AN MRI IS NOT ACCEPTABLE CONSIDERING HER AGE , ETC .. SHE SEEMS TO PERK UP A LITTLE AFTER HER FLUIDS
. I HOPE TO GOD THAT I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG WITH HER . YOUR ANSWER IS AN APPROPRIATE ONE . IS THERE ANUTHING I CAN DO FOR HER RIGHT NOW TO MAKE HER MORE COMFORTABLE ? I WILL GET HER KIDNEY & LIBER FUNCTIONS ON MONDAY WHEN MY VET IS OPEN . THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH . MY HEART IS BROKEN IN PIECES .
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Oh my. Every day must be considered a gift at their advanced ages.

You didn't do anything wrong. If her kidneys are causing a uremic encephalopathy your giving her the fluids was just the ticket. In fact, I'd administer 75 mL twice daily until she were attended to on Monday.

You're quite welcome. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow me to speak to customers by phone in this venue but other experts in this category may be able to assist you in this regard. Please let me know if you'd like another expert to do so and I'll opt out of this conversation. Please stay in the conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I GIVE HER 150 ML. ONCE A DAY
. I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT SOMETIMES I GIVE THEM EVERY OTHER DAY AS I AM ILL ,ALSO , FROM TOXIC MOLD POISONING ... BUT NO EXCUSE ) . WHY IS 75 ML. TWICE A DAY BETTER & IS MY REGULAR VET OK TO TAKE HER TO ? OR SHOULD I TRY TO SOMEHOW GET TO HER NEUROLOGIST ? YOU ARE A VERY INTELLIGENT VETERINARIAN . I WISH YOU WERE IN MY TOWN .
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your kind words. 150 mL once daily is fine if she has tolerated that well. I was concerned that 150 mL once daily might be hard on her heart and so 75 mL twice daily might be safer. A neurologist isn't important at this time. She should be hospiced instead of subjected to stressful and costly tests. Her regular vet can run the simple blood tests.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
WHAT EXACTLY IS HOSPICED ? I KNOW IT'S NOT GOOD , BUT WHAT DO I DO TO MAKE HER HOSPICED ? I UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE 75 ML . BEING EASIER ON HER HEART & I AGREE . ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO BESIDES GETTING HER VALUES CHECKED . I HAD HER ON CANNED KIDNEY FOOD BUT RECENTLY SWITCHED TO STORE BRAND BECAUSE OF THE , NO CAR & MONEY ISSUE . I STILL HAVE HER ON DRY KIDNEY FOOD . SHPULD I PUT HER BACK ON CANNED KIDNEY FOOD ?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I prefer the canned food if only because it increases her fluid intake. Frankly, I'm just happy when a 16 year old eats. Don't tell me what to eat when I'm her age!

Let's see what the tests show before deciding what more we might do for her. Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
THANK YOU . I UNDERSTAND . KEEP HER COMFORTABLE . YOU HAVE COME UP WITH A VERY ASTUTE ANSWER . I WILL BE VERY SURPRISED IF MY VET COMES EVEN CLOSE TO YOUR DIAGNOSIS . I WOULD LOVE TO STAY IM CONTACT WITH YOU . YOU ARE A VERY CARING & KNOWLEDGEABLE VETERINARIAN & I'M SO BLESSED TO HAVE MET YOU . I WILL KEEP YOU ABREAST OF THE SITUATION , AS I TRUST IN YOUR WISDOM . VENUS & I THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CARING . MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU
LOVE , VENUS & MOM
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Please keep me posted. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO BOOKMARK . I AM USINGY CELL PHONE . I'M NOT VERY ADEPT @ USING THE INTERNET . BUT IT WOULD BE EASIER TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE WITHOUT TOO MUCH RIGERMAROL .
I
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I THINK I FOUND IT . THANX , DOC .
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

You're welcome.