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cat: year old female..lb..chance she eats a little grass..blood work…

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I took my 15 year...
I took my 15 year old female cat to the our vet for her routine check up and blood test, he had noticed that she had lost 1/2 lb. since her last year visit, she seems to eat OK, but when she can get the chance she eats a little grass and then throws up, she only seems to thow up clear stuff and the grass. It doesn't happen that often, he seemed to think that she may have a chronic upset stomach, and recommened a possible change of food, I will find out about her blood work on Monday. He gave her a shot of Depo Medrol and her Rabies Vaccine, and gave me a liquid drug to give her once a day (Tagamet). Only trouble is , she doesn't feel at all well today (Sunday), didn't eat much, I had to coax her to eat and gave her special food that she did eat, but she didn't eat her usual dry food, and didn't seen to drink any water today. Very worried about her, will call vet tomorrow. She was normal before I took her to the vet, do you think it is a bad reaction to the Depo Medrol injection, or is this normal reaction?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Cat
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Answered in 25 minutes by:
6/21/2010
Cat Vet: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20,774
Experience: 15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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Hi,

 

I wouldn't expect what you're describing to be a reaction to the Depo Medrol injection. Usually, what are possible side effects of the steroid injection are increased urination, drinking and appetite. I would be more worried that there is something more going on with her than we know at this point. The blood work is going to be key. An older cat with the history you're describing has me concerned with diabetes, chronic renal disease, hyperthyroidism or cancer. These are the big 4. That blood work will reveal a lot as to what else may be going on. I would keep her quiet and let her rest. Don't force too much food on her as that might upset her stomach.

Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20,774
Experience: 15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
We are taking her to the vet this morning, she is breathing heavy, really worried, she was super healthy until I took her in for her checkup, really suspect either the RAbies, Depo or the dose of Tagament I gave her, doesn't make sense.
Cat Vet: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
I'm very sorry to hear that she's having this issue. I think that a recheck with your vet is a very, very good idea. I would strongly recommend chest x-rays to better assess what is going on. Hopefully it is a situation that will respond quickly to treatments started up. Can you let me know what they diagnose? This link will stay open.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
We took her in this morning, her blood-work was in from Saturday and everything was good, the vet also did a chest x-ray, what he found was fluid on one side of the lung and just a little on the other, he also said that she had a 'valentine' shape to the heart indicating possible disease there. I had given her a dose of Tagment liquid on Sunday AM, and I shot it into her mouth rather fast, so she may have aspirated some of it, not sure, I feel bad about that. They are keeping her 24 to 48 hrs, in a special kennel that has oxygen, also treating her with Lasix to try to get the fluid down and also antibiotics, he said he was hopeful, but she may have a heart condition which he said can be managed. I am very worried about her, I am going in this afternoon to see her and bring her food from home. Thank you for writing me back.
Cat Vet: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Thank you for updating me on her situation. I would be pretty confident in saying that I'm not that worried that you caused any of the fluid on her lungs by your shooting the Tagamet liquid in her mouth in a fast manner. The chance of causing an aspiration event in your pet in this manner is fantastically minimal. I wouldn't blame yourself in any way! Given her breathing, what they saw with the shape of her heart and the fluid - it all points to a primary cardiac problem. There are some cases that can be managed depending on what is the reason for the heart issue and how progressed it is. I'm glad she's at the clinic in the oxygen cage to help provide an oxygen rich environment to help her breath easier while hopefully the medications start to allow her heart to work better. The one thing that I'd throw out to help add information to the situation is a cardiac ultrasound. It can help to assess how progressed the situation is and what exactly the disease is with her heart. I'm hoping since you last wrote that the clinic has called you to let you know that she's getting better. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and your little girl! I would really appreciate knowing how she responds.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dr. Bruce you will be happy to know that Vivian is much better today, I went to see her this afternoon and she is out of the oxygen cage and breathing normally, they are keeping her overnight and will do another x-ray to check her lungs and a mobile cardiac ultrasound is coming tomorrow to the vet clinic to get that as well, like you suggested my vet felt it was important tool in diagnosing her cardiac problem. I just hope it doesn't scare he too much. Thank you for your assurance about the Tagamet, I was really kicking myself for that. I just hope that with medication we can have her for a few more years. she seemed normal today, she really wanted to come home, she is not eating very good there and she wouldn't eat for me when I came to visit, I hope she eats better at home, she is a small cat so can't afford to loose any weight. will let you know the meds they suggest and what kind of Cardiac problem she has when I find out. Thank you again.
Cat Vet: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Glad to hear that she's improved here over the past 24 hours! It is sometimes a very, very, very big challenge to get a cat to eat in a hospital situation. It is not her comfort zone. Given how she's improved, I would be very hopeful she'll start to eat at home. Again, your administration of the Tagamet didn't cause this. Once we know the problem, the best medications will be started up to get us the most time with her. Sounds good!
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Vivian is home now, she came home Wednesday night. She was a little woozy and very tired the first night and day, she drank well, seems to like to drink in the bathtub with the faucet dripping. They have her on Furosemide, 1/2 pill daily. She seems to be improving every day, her appetite isn't there yet, I have been spoon feeding her wet food and sometimes baby food (chicken no onions) to keep her strength up. The last x-ray they did showed her lungs nearly clear and her heart back to normal shape. The ultrasound results showed she does have Dilated Cardiomyopathy, and recommended she see a Cardiologist vet they can refer me to for medication, since they don't specialize. I worry about driving her to a strange vet office, and this one is about 20 minutes from our house. I'm not going to do this until she is feeling even better. I hope I have her for a few more years and this is not a death sentence, it scares me. Do you think the Cardiac drugs will help her?
Cat Vet: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
I'm glad to hear that Vivian is now at home. Sometimes it can take a little while for their appetite to come back from all the excitement / stress that they've undergone. If her appetite isn't coming back here in the next couple days, your vet can start up an oral appetite stimulant. You might try some of the gerber baby foods - meat flavor, warmed slightly in the microwave. I deifintely would say that the correct cardiac medications when started can help. I would say that aXXXXXwould be well worth the trip, ideally when she's stronger. But, she might need to go there to get put on the meds to get her to this state.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Hi Dr. Bruce, Vivian is eating on her own now, wet and dry food which I keep available. I gave her favorite "Friskies" wet and that seemed to do the trick to get her to eat, don't want to keep her on it too long, I think the Wellness is better nutritionally, and that is what she has been on for the last year. I did spoon feed her baby food (when she wasn't eating), but stopped giving her that as soon as she started eating on her own, didn't try leaving it out. Also gave her plain tuna packed in water to entice her, which it did, but worry about the salt content. My vet had mentioned KD pet food for cardiac patients, I hate to mess around with her food, maybe I will try mixing it in a little.

She is still taking 1/2 tablet (12.5mg) which he had me do 1/4 tablet AM and PM of Furosemide. He mentioned maybe reducing it to the 1/4 a day. She seems to be very thirsty and hangs out in the tub where I run the water for her, and I am scooping alot (urine) from her catbox, shortly after the doses. Are cats usually thirsty on this drug?

As for the Cardiac vet, I was not worried about me driving 20 minutes, was worried about her, our current vet is only 5 min away, the vet the did her cardiogram said stress probably brought the symptoms on, so to have her in the car 20 min one way and 20 min back concerns me. I am going to call them just to ask some questions, if I only had to go once and then let my regular vet take over that would be better I think.
Cat Vet: Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Thrilled to hear that Vivian is responding to her medications as well as she is. Yes! The drinking and urinating a lot is definitely a side effect of the Furosemide - it is a diuretic. Our goal is to get to the lowest dose of furosemide to control clinical signs of their heart situation, that way we have the least signs of the drinking and urinating a lot. You should notice her thirst going down as the dose goes down. Ideally she wouldn't have to be in the car for theXXXXXthere, and 20 minutes back - but we have to deal with what is given. Most likely you're hope of going once and then your vet taking over will be a very realistic expectation. A lot of times after the initial consultation and work up, follow up care is done by the regular veterinarian. With heart disease in cats as well as people, trying to have low salt diets is a goal. But, we have to make sure that they are eating too!
I'm again glad to hear that things are going as well as they are. You can keep letting me know how she does! Give her a good belly rub for me!
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