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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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Candy, my 18 year old cat's ears are boiling hot. Instead if

Customer Question

Hi Candy, my 18 year old cat's ears are boiling hot. Instead if her deep Siamese meow, she is almost doing a yelping sound which is quite high pitched. She is in pain killers and has had 2 enimas and constipation medication over the last 3 days but the screeching is getting worse. The vet doesn't know what the problem is. Can you help please?
Anya x
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I apologize for the wait I was offline when you wrote in and just signed on.

Can you tell me what tests the vet has done and what were the results?

Any way you can take a rectal temp if not has her temp been normal at the vets?

Is she crying all the time or is it only certain times per day?

Is she eating and drinking?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately I don't have much info for you. She spent 8 days boarding at the vet and was apparently fine until the last day when I arrived to pick her up and they said she had been quiet that day. When I aporoached her that's when she let out these horrible cries, almost like a high pitched cow and about 5 minutes later she was trying to meow and no sound was coming out at all. So she stayed at the vets for another 2 nights. He said she was quite 'backed up' so he have her 2 enimas over the space of 24 hours as the first one didn't seem to work, he also gave her fluid under the skin as she was dehydrated and dupholac (spelling?) 3mls x 3 times a day for the 2 days which I am to continue at home for 3 days. He didn't mention her temperature to me and no bloods have been taken as yet. She doesn't cry all day but when she does (kind of every hour) it is very distressing. When she is sitting on me she purrs but it takes her a while to settle in a comfy position. Due to her old age her legs at the bottom near her ankle bones are starting to buckle.
The vet said she is eating like a bird and she hasn't eaten much since she got home 4 hours ago.
I can't take her temperature but her ears are extremely hot and when she is sitting on me I can feel the heat coming through her paws. Her hearing which was deteriorating seems to have completely gone.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. You requested a live phone call and I would be happy to do that or we can continue via this forum I just need to know how you would like to proceed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Candy, sorry I didn't realise there was a cost involved in the live call. I am a single mum so need to keep my costs down so please just continue with the written form.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all we can continue this way at no extra change.

It is really distressing to me to see that she developed these problems when boarding at the vets even becomeing dehydrated and constipated and they did nothing until you got back.

You mention her ankles buckling can you tell me before she went to the vets for boarding have you noticed any weight loss, increased drinking or increased urination?

Does she appear to be able to see normally?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think her sight has deteriorated greatly too. She doesn't seem to see me til I'm right up close. The vet says its normal for her to have a loss of appetite and drink less when she's boarding due to the stress of being away from home.
She has been very thin for about 2 years so it's hard to say if she's lost more weight. She seemed to be sleeping more often before she went to the vet. I think she may have been drinking a bit more too.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

First thing we need to do is get a rectal temp if possible. We need ot be sure she is not running a fever. If her temp is over 103.5 then she needs to be seen right away.

Now cats run a normal temp of 100.5-102.5 so it is not uncommon for their ears to feel hotter to us sometimes. Look in her ears and make sure they are not red as infection could explain the heat and appearing to have lost hearing.

If her hearing and or eyesight have severely diminished then this could account for her crying more then normal causing irritation to the throat and even laryngitis.

The fact that she ate like a bird should have concerned your vet if she was there for 8 days. Cats unlike dogs can not stop eating or decrease their eating for more then 48 hours or this can have a direct effect on the liver. Cats will not stop eating unless they are very sick, in pain or extremely stressed. When they stop eating or decrease the amount of food in take the body begins to burn fat for energy. A cats liver can not process this fat and a condition called hepatic lipidoses develops. This can be fatal if not addressed promptly.

I am concerned that what you are describing with her ankles could be a condition called diabetic neuropathy .This causes the ankles to appear weak and they begin to walk more on the hocks. This is a complication due to untreated diabetes and it is painful Here is a link to more information on this LINK. Diabetes, hyperthyroidism and kidney disease are the 3 most common health problems that we see with senior cats.

Yes it is common for them to have some decrease in eating and drinking due to stress but that does not mean that in a clinic situation we allow it to continue especially to the point of dehydration. There are medications we can give to decrease anxiety and things like SQ fluids and even appetite stimulants. For a cat to decline and nothing to be done while under a vets care is just in my opinion unacceptable.

I would get her in today and get at least baseline blood work done to look at the liver, kidneys, and blood glucose levels, I would also like to see a thyroid test done and if they do a senior blood panel it will be included but I think we need to know where organ function and BG levels are in order to know where to go from here.

I hope this helps give you some direction. Please reply back if you have additional questions and I will be more then happy to continue. If you have no additional questions please take a few moments to provide a rating as this is the only way I am compensated by justanswer for assisting you.Even after rating you can still come back to this thread and there is no charge for follow up. I would like to know what the results are if you can get some blood work done.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much Candy. I have just come across a child's thermometer which is very thin on the tip so I will try and take her temperature now and get back to you asap. I think the 'add files' button below will allow me to send you a photo of the thermometer tip.
Also you mentioned a link above that I can click on, but i can't see a link attached to the email??
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

That thermometer is fine. I apologize that this link did not stick here it is again. LINK you can also go to your tube and see how some cats with diabetic neuropathy walk on their hocks almost like their ankles are too week to hold the leg in the proper position

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks I had a look but it's her front ankles that buckle not so much the back. She broke her pelvis 18 months ago so he back legs look a little dipped anyway. I'll take her temperature now. Wish me luck!!
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

Oh poor girl. Ok let me know what her temp is good luck hopefully she will be cooperative

Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

If she is having some problems with the front legs and has a history of a broken pelvis then she likely has some arthritis. What pain med is she on and has it made an difference. Also press on her abdomen and let me know if that seems painful

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I took her temperature but gee I was nervous! It was much easier than I thought and the results were good :))) 37.4C which is 99.3F. Her pain med is Temgesic .3mg. I gave it to get an hour ago along with more duphalac and she has really settled down :))
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

Ok great. I am glad the pain meds seem to be working but I want you to check that temp again in 1 hour. Anything under 100 is just as concerning as a fever as this can indicate that the body is beginning to shut down or that she is septic for some reason. It is possible that if she is constipated that you got what we call a stool temp which is why I want you to try again in an hour.

I am going to be going in to the clinic in the next hour so I will not be sitting at the computer, I will however check to make sure you have not replied back. Try getting her to eat a little more as well. You can try some boiled chicken, tuna or chicken flavored baby food ( with no onion or garlic in the ingredients)

Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

How is Nina doing?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Candy, sorry for the delay in replying. Nina was a lot better today ie. no crying etc but she was still a bit quiet. I didn't give her medication until tonight when she started the cry. The vet had said not to give her the duphalac unless she had eaten as it would cause diarrhoea, so I was mindful of that. She is eating very small amounts ie a couple of mouthfuls here and there but the vet said not to worry at this stage as she's readjusting and not a big eater anyway. I took her temp again this morning and it was 99.5 but there was faeces on the thermometer when I removed it hence the lower reading. I will monitor her closely over the next few days and if things don't improve then I will book her in for bloods.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Btw this is Nina! Taken about 3 years ago, but she's much thinner now.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.

No worries about the delay I am just glad to hear she is doing OK. She is a beautiful girl.Funny my kids have those little couch things and all of my cats love to lay on them. I am here if you need me.

Expert:  Candy R. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Nina. How is everything going?
Candy R.