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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28936
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My cat is 6 n adopted from shelter in mid July since then

Customer Question

My cat is 6 n adopted from shelter in mid July since then has been 2 vet 3 x for breathing problems he's had chest x-rays n all blood tests n has tried prednisone antibiotics vitamins etc. In addition gained more weight he was eating 1 small can n a handfull of hard n since tues. Just soft w his medo into food n now won't eat it but a couple bits med in food w b antibiotic n vitamin. He lives w my mother 87 n she's worried sick as he won't eat
Please if u can tell me anything else w b great full as she thinks he w die. N I got him 4 her as my dad died in july.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Nikki. The first thing to do is stop all medications because it's likely that Nikki can smell them in his food which will dissuade him from eating. I need to know more about what "breathing problems" implies to be more informative for you. Please tell me as much as you can about Nikki's symptoms which prompted his vet visits.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I could have figured that out myself. This is why I'm asking what else 2 do.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's asmatic so test show. N they say inhailer. The meds I just told u. N the only thing I haven't done is the inhailer. I'm at a point 2 just take him back 2 barks. But I love animals n want 2 try all I can as I got at least 450. In him at this point
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Ah! You didn't mention that he was asthmatic. That's what I needed to know from you. The treatment for asthmatic cats may involve bronchodilators in addition to the prednisone. Sustained-release theophylline, aminophylline, or terbutaline should be discussed with his vet. If you're already administering such a drug, aerosolized bronchodilator albuterol by inhaler should be considered. A metered-dose inhaled glucocorticoid such as fluticasone rather than the oral prednisolone is also a consideration. I understand that your mother may not be equipped to perform this type of therapy for Nikki, however, and perhaps he isn't the best pet for her.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I kind of figured. But this was 2 b a pet 4 my mother as my dad died when I got him 4 her. So 2 take him back after all this w b awful. Let me ask u the prednisone I beleive has helped him gain more. I got him at 13 lbs now he's 18.8 n his food has been down 2 240 calories. Since I 1st took him 2 vet 2 months ago n I can't seem 2 figure out any other reason 4 weight gain. So is there anything else ?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I thought about how distressing that would be to your mother. There's little question that chronic prednisone administration will cause polyphagia (increased hunger) and weight gain. A 13 lb 7.5 year old neutered cat needs ~300 kcal daily so if you can keep him at 250 kcal daily you're going to melt him down even if he needs to continue taking the prednisone. Another advantage to the inhaled steroid fluticasone is that it's not nearly as systemically active as the oral prednisone and so you won't see that polyphagia he currently exhibits. Also, as you understand, by adding a bronchodilator to his therapy (if he isn't already being administered one) it should reduce the dose of a steroid needed to keep him comfortable.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had not gotten him inhailer so u beleive this will help. Let me ask u about the prednisone. Can this be 4 ever as in long term ? When he was taking it was done 2 1/2 a pill a day in the am. But as of 2 was ago I stopped n he got worse this is what triggers Tuesdays visit. N they sent him home w antibodic n vitamin
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

In some cats, yes, life-long prednisone is required to keep them comfortable. In those cases, the smallest dose given as infrequently as necessary to keep him comfortable is the correct dose. You'll need to find that dose by trial and error. I don't know what "2 1/2 a pill a day" means. How many milligrams (mg) daily was that, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry a 1/2 a pill in the am. So it's possible long term ? Oh n a inhailer should help his breathing. But as of his weight gain. He actually gained weight on the 1 small can n a hand full of science diet. N u said that's not enough ?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

1/2 of a 5 mg pill? If so, that's a small dose and it were helpful I'd see if that dose were just as helpful given every other day - a common finding. If that small can + the Science Diet added up to more than 300 kcal daily, it was too much if we want to melt him down to his more normal 13 lbs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you n yes on the prednisone pill so u r saying. Go back 2 1/2 a day n get inhailer ? N this wI'll be his long term n keep at or under 300 calories?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The answer didn't come through
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Go back to 1/2 of 5 mg daily. If that's effective, see if 1/2 of 5 mg every other day is still effective.

If you want to see if you can wean him even further down from the prednisone, an inhaler is the way to go.

Yes, it would be prudent to keep his daily intake under 300 kcal and your goal is to get him back to 13 lbs.

Please let me know if you received this post.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that came thru. N thanks 4 u r input
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're quite welcome. 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.