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Krystal
07-14-2008, 11:23 PM
Over the past couple weeks I have noticed that my kitty (Rebel 14yr old female) has been having some minor issues landing her jumps. Later I noticed she wasn't able to make her higher jumps. It wasn't constant so I just figured it was her age starting to show and she'd learn she can't do everything she used to.

She's a very energetic, and lively kitty. Extremely affectionate. People never believe me when I tell them she is 14, she is so small and active you'd think she's still only a year or three.

Today however when I came home from work, I noticed she wasn't walking quite right. She kept stumbling and swaying to the side, her right leg wasn't quite right. After some googling I realized she has a drunken gait with lame right hind leg. This is a symptom for any number of things, most leading to very severe problems. However this is the ONLY symptom she has. She still jumps and plays and begs for treats and eats and poops. She's still herself, she just keeps stumbling and falling everywhere.

I called the vet and they wanted me to bring her in right away, I don't drive and couldn't get a ride until tomorrow, they said ok but if she showed any other symptoms or her current symptoms worsened or if she showed signs of pain, to bring her in right away. (24 hour clinic)

So far she is still being her happy self, presently snuggled up in DH's lap like she always is at this time of night.

I am still worried though, as any furrmom would be. She's the oldest of all my cats and I have been so incredibly fortunate with all of them, this is the first time ever bringing a cat to the vet for anything potentially serious.

We are not very well off financially, so the idea that we may have to put her down because we can not afford treatment is a very real option, if whatever is wrong is especially bad, or painful. I pray this is not the case. She may be 14, but she still has so much zip in her, and I know she could easily have several great years ahead of her.

Please pray for our little girl, for good news tomorrow, and many years to come.

:hug::heart:

Rebel aka Pretty aka Peanut
http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee268/krystal_pare/rebel.jpg

saracidaltendencies
07-14-2008, 11:26 PM
Hoping for the best, she's a beautiful baby! :hug:

auntcrafty
07-14-2008, 11:29 PM
I hope everything works out -- she is a beautiful furbaby!

knitgal
07-14-2008, 11:32 PM
I'm so sorry- what a hard thing to deal with. It sounds like she may have had a stroke, but I'm clearly not a vet so I couldn't be sure.
If your vet suggests you have to put her down because you cannot afford it right away, ask about possibly paying it in portions or try a different vet. I don't think many vets would put down a cat if you cannot pay unless it's the last possible option and she doesn't have a good outlook.
I'm sending good thoughts your way and I'll be thinking of you guys tomorrow!

Krystal
07-14-2008, 11:41 PM
I'm so sorry- what a hard thing to deal with. It sounds like she may have had a stroke, but I'm clearly not a vet so I couldn't be sure.
If your vet suggests you have to put her down because you cannot afford it right away, ask about possibly paying it in portions or try a different vet. I don't think many vets would put down a cat if you cannot pay unless it's the last possible option and she doesn't have a good outlook.
I'm sending good thoughts your way and I'll be thinking of you guys tomorrow!


My mom thought the same thing about the stroke too. We will find out tomorrow.

This is the best vet in the city, and they worked a great deal for my mother when her cat Missy found a way into her sewing box and consumed thread which then became badly tangled in her intestines. I don't think they do time installments though, which is unfortunate. I don't trust the other vets in town, as they are either more expensive, or very sketchy.


Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts. They mean alot to me. :hug::heart:

mks22300
07-15-2008, 12:00 AM
I hope your kitty will be okay! :hug:

Spikey
07-15-2008, 12:21 AM
Wishing only the best for you and your beautiful Rebel! :hug:

auburnchick
07-15-2008, 12:24 AM
:hug:

Jan in CA
07-15-2008, 12:59 AM
I hope she's okay. My cat is 17 so I know how hard it is when they get older and sick. :hug:

susi
07-15-2008, 03:35 AM
I don't think they do time installments though, which is unfortunate.
most vet will do this i have found, but they dont advertise it as they want you to pay straight away. im doing it right now with a rather large horse bill. i was a bit naughty i didnt say before hand just waited to get the bill and said i would pay over the next 3 months (it was thousands though). i never asked just told my vet, but i have a strange arrangment with my vet.
most vets will do this if they have your cats best intesest at heart, and if they dont i would find another vet as they are there for the money not your pussy cat.

it could be a list of things wrong with your cat, anything from she has hip issues to a stroke. either way there is lots that can be done now a days.
it could be something as silly as arthritus as she is getting an older lady. if its this its easily treatable.

:hug: to you and your kitty cat and hope shes feeling better soon

Dangles
07-15-2008, 04:04 AM
:hug:

NC Girl
07-15-2008, 06:48 AM
:hug: Positive thoughts and prayers for your sweet kitty!

CBH

Wanda Witch
07-15-2008, 09:50 AM
Sending lots of positive thoughts and love to that beautiful kitty of yours. I agree with 'Susi' in case there is a large vet bill. Most veterinarians we've had over the years have been very understanding and compassionate. Your sweet little one comes first. :muah: :hug:

jdee
07-15-2008, 01:07 PM
:grphug: Sending hugs and prayers from me and my kitties.

bailsmom
07-15-2008, 04:25 PM
Oh I hope your kitty is okay today. Sending huge :hug: and prayers your way. Please let us know how it goes at the vet.

Mulderknitter
07-15-2008, 05:09 PM
:heart: hugs dear! Mulder is 13 this year, and I keep eyeing him looking for old kitty stuff. I can't imagine how you feel! Hopfully good news!

The.Knitter
07-15-2008, 05:30 PM
Oh she is a pretty lady! Positive prayers and thoughts coming her way!

Krystal
07-15-2008, 05:59 PM
Update


So the vet visit was quick and simple. Rebel was already much better today, still stumbling but nothing like yesterday. The vet checked her out and said that she has a Heart Murmer, which most likely caused a small blood clot to form where the blood vessel splits to go to either hind leg. Thankfully this was mild and it broke up on it's own and she's doing ok. It CAN be a very serious and painful situation if the clot were to be bigger, and there are risks of the clots going to her brain or lungs.

He gave her a shot to help break up clots for the next few weeks or so, and prescribed half a baby aspirin every 3 days from now on.

So far everthing is great, now we know about her condition, and can be more aware for any symptoms.

She was a GREAT road cat. I had to take the bus to get there, and she loved it. She sat in her cage and chilled out and just loved looking around. On the bus she rolled around upside down, playing and being cute. She meowed once or twice, but it was more conversational than the usual OMG IM IN A BOX WTF IS GOING ON! I AM SCARRRRED yowling that I get from my two boy cats. She was perfectly quiet in my mom's car on the way home too. Such a sweety.

DH is VERY relieved, this cat means the world to him, (She's been his cat since he was 10, I've only had her 2 and half years when he moved in.) He had a very rough childhood, and often went through bad depressions, she was the only constant loving thing through all that for him. I love her too, so much, my only girl baby, but the real heartbreak was seeing how bad it was for DH. So it was awesome to bring him some good news today.

I think she knew we were worried about her last night, she spent half the night curled up in my arms, and half the night curled up in DH's arms.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts, it seems like someone, anyone, whoever is up there and out there listened.

:heart::heart::heart:

Dangles
07-15-2008, 06:02 PM
Oh that's good news :hug:

Mulderknitter
07-15-2008, 06:30 PM
:woohoo: Yay!:woot: Thanks for the update! I thought of your kitty the whole day!
Even though you'll have to watch out for the kitty, it's so nice to know it was caught and not so serious. Mulder has diabetes which could have gotten really bad if I hadn't been a mother hawk to him and took him in right away. Good for you guys keeping a close eye on your babies!
If your kitty is anything like Mulder, the additional meds or such won't be a bother (from the sounds of the bus ride-kitty is pretty laid back!). Mulder gets his shot and only doesn't like it in the morning. He's not a morning cat.:roflhard:

Krystal
07-15-2008, 07:28 PM
Mulder thank you. :D

The vet told me to give her the half pill after a meal, so I figure I will crush it up into her wet food. She INHALES that spoonfull of food so quickly, hopefully she won't even notice. lol.

At first I was trying to think how to get a pill in a cat. She's laid back, but I couldn't imagine her taking a pill without incident. haha. So hopefully the wetfood trick will work. It did NOT work with my other cat Batman, when he had worm pills. But he doesn't like the wetfood as much as the other two. He much prefers pounce treats.

Jan in CA
07-15-2008, 07:46 PM
I hope the wet food works, too. Our elderly cat can sense and taste anything I put in that's not cat food. It's crazy.

I'm glad she's doing better. It's hard when our furry babies get sick and can't tell us what hurts. :hug:

Krystal
07-15-2008, 07:51 PM
I hope the wet food works, too. Our elderly cat can sense and taste anything I put in that's not cat food. It's crazy.

I'm glad she's doing better. It's hard when our furry babies get sick and can't tell us what hurts. :hug:

Thanks Jan, I hope so too. She inhales it so quickly so she can move on and steal the other two cats share of food, so maybe she won't notice. Maybe.


I worry about her a lot, because sometimes I am not so sure she would make it known if she WAS hurting. She is just so happy all the time. She kept running and jumping yesterday even with her limping, so maybe she didn't feel any pain... but you never know, unless you speak cat. :teehee:

mks22300
07-15-2008, 07:56 PM
I'm glad she's doing better! :hug:

Spikey
07-15-2008, 09:06 PM
So glad to hear that it was something treatable and that she is getting better! Thanks for the update.

saracidaltendencies
07-15-2008, 09:37 PM
So glad to hear she's doing better!

knitgal
07-15-2008, 09:40 PM
Oh Krystal I'm so glad she's okay. It sounds like she means a lot to your DH and you. I know how upset I would be if anything was wrong with our Lucy! I'll keep sending Rebel good thoughts.

ETA: Have you tried pill pockets? They're amazing for giving pills to your animals. Your vet should have them, or maybe even the pet food store. It's just a soft treat with a hole in it and you can mush it around the pill. They never even know it's coming!

bailsmom
07-15-2008, 10:21 PM
:cheering: :woohoo: :cheering: :woohoo: :cheering: :woohoo:

Wonderful news!! Oh I'm so glad it turned to be treatable for him. Yeah!!

Krystal
07-15-2008, 11:51 PM
Oh Krystal I'm so glad she's okay. It sounds like she means a lot to your DH and you. I know how upset I would be if anything was wrong with our Lucy! I'll keep sending Rebel good thoughts.

ETA: Have you tried pill pockets? They're amazing for giving pills to your animals. Your vet should have them, or maybe even the pet food store. It's just a soft treat with a hole in it and you can mush it around the pill. They never even know it's coming!


Thank you, I haven't tried them but I was looking at them online. We can only get them at Petsmart here and it's REALLY far away. Someone on another forum suggested using regular moist treats (like pounce) and squishing it into that. Since it is only half of a baby aspirin I will probably do that, if she refuses to eat it mashed in her wet food.

She tends to eat that as fast as possible, because she is bound and determined to kick the boys from their bowls and eat theirs, (she's the total alpha of two very, very big boy cats, one with claws even) so I don't think she will notice. At least I hope not. She doesn't care for pounce treats as much, she mostly just takes them from Batman and chews them to pieces without eating them.

She just likes to take things from her brothers haha. Boots doesn't care, and Batty never seems to either, but now that I think of it, that may explain why he picks on her. haha.

gailf
07-16-2008, 12:35 PM
I'm so glad it was something treatable.
What a relief!

jdee
07-16-2008, 06:31 PM
I used to get one of mine to take his pills by pressing it into a piece of Chicken, and squshing it all together. It worked until he discovered my trickery, and started refusing anything I hand fed. :teehee:

laikabear
07-18-2008, 10:28 PM
Hi Krystal,

I saw this thread yesterday and I have been struggling with whether or not to post. I don't want to butt in, but I am worried about you. I keep thinking about you and this thread, so here goes...

Krystal, did your vet give you an idea of the prognosis for Rebel, as in how much time she has? It sounds like from your description of the visit that perhaps she/he did not.

Now I am just sitting here thousands of miles away and haven't seen Rebel, so I can't say for sure what is going on. It's possible she doesn't have heart disease which caused a clot at all. But from your description, that is what it sounds like, and it sounds like that's what your vet thinks, too. If indeed she has heart disease which caused her to throw a clot to a hindleg, that is very serious.

Cats with heart disease often do not show any outward signs until they are very sick. Even on a physical exam, they may or may not have an abnormal heart sound or rhythm that can be detected. Usually the reason a clot is formed in the heart is that one or more of the chambers is enlarged, and the blood, instead of shooting straight through, swirls around in there and hangs out longer than it should. Once a clot is formed, it may sit in the heart for a long time before being shot out to, usually, a leg. Many cats have a clot that completely occludes both femoral arteries, and they become paralyzed in the hindlegs. Usually those cats are so severely affected (painful, and often have congestive heart failure as well)that euthanasia is chosen when that happens. Less often, only one leg is affected, like with Rebel. With time, collateral circulation can take over, and the symptoms of the damage done by the clot can improve or even go away.

But the underlying heart disease is still there. Aspirin is an excellent therapy to try and decrease the likelihood of another clot. But I doubt from your post that a firm diagnosis of the type of heart disease has been made (ie is the heart dilated, thickened, etc). The best test to do would be a cardiac ultrasound (aka an echocardiogram), to see the thickness of the heart walls, if any chambers are dilated, if a big old clot is sitting in the heart now (that would be bad), if any of the valves are leaking, etc. This test is usually done by a specialist, and could cost around $300 to $500. It would give you more information like prognosis (time) and possibly an indication of other medications that could prolong Rebel's life. (But which medications depend on what is really wrong with the heart, so you can't just choose them randomly without having the echo results). Other tests that could be helpful would be a set of chest xrays to see if the heart is overall enlarged (although in a lot of cats with heart disease it isn't) or if there is fluid building up in the lungs (congestive heart failure). An ECG (aka EKG) could tell you if there is an abnormal heart rhythm that could be treated with medications. The xrays would be $150-200 and the ECG $100 or so (well here they would be, stuff may be cheaper in Canada). But if you could only do one thing, I would do the ultrasound.

It is possible that your vet already recommended the cardiac ultrasound, or maybe if you told them finances were an issue, she/he didn't even bring up the test for that reason. But I didn't write just to tell you about that test.

The main reason I wrote is that once a cat has heart disease severe enough to form a clot, their life expectancy is short, under 1 year and most likely under 6 months. Most of them will either have another clot, go into congestive heart failure (trouble breathing), or even die suddenly. I have seen an occasional cat live longer than that, but the majority do not. Based on what you said in your update post, I am not sure that you are aware of that. And reading everyone's replies that said "Yay, Rebel has something treatable," really made me uncomfortable. I mean, yes, you are treating her with the aspirin, but I think there is a misconception about how likely that is to be successful in the long term. And as terrible as that information is, I think you should know, so you can cherish every moment that you and Rebel have left together.

Now, none of what I have said applies if the reason for her lameness isn't heart disease.

I hope you are not angry about me putting in my 2c. I thought long and hard about whether to say anything at all. I even thought about how I would feel if one of my clients was given info by someone else on the internet. But I know that for my clients, I try to make sure that they have all the information available. I think they should know if a pet has a poor prognosis, so they can be prepared, even if the news is hard to hear. I wish you and Rebel luck.

Krystal
07-18-2008, 10:48 PM
Laikabear, from what I have read a heart murmur and hear disease are not the same thing... I don't know if you misread, or if I am mis reading you?

He gave her a very thorough exam, the lameness only lasted the day, and she is now back to being exactly the same.

He concluded she is very healthy, and it great shape for 14, but that she does have a heart murmur, and the lameness was due to a small clot that broke up on it's own. Which he gave her an injection to break up further clots, and of course prescribed the aspirin.

Thank you for your concern for Rebel. It's nice to know people care all over the world.

laikabear
07-18-2008, 11:18 PM
Krystal, you are absolutely right. Heart disease can be anything: a leaky valve, an enlarged heart, a heart that can't relax and fill properly, a heart with muscle weakness, or a heart with an arrhythmia. A heart murmur is just an abnormal sound. It doesn't necessarily mean there is heart disease. Sometimes even anemia can cause a murmur. In Rebel's case, I believe she truly has heart disease because of the clot. Cats with normal hearts do not throw clots.

A heart murmur is an abnormal sound when listening to the heart. It should sound very crisp, like lub-dub, lub-dub, as the valves close. A murmur sounds like shhhh-dub, shhhh-dub. They are graded on a scale of 1-6, with 6 being the worst. But in cats, the number, or even the presence of a murmur, does not correlate well with severity of disease.

I would say that it is good that the lameness resolved so quickly, but what I would worry about is the underlying problem. If she truly did throw a clot, then that means that severe heart disease is present, and I would expect more things to happen. If on the other hand, she has arthritis in her knee and she took a jump and landed poorly, and her knee or hip was bothering her, and now it's better, and she just happens to have a heart murmur also, then that is a different story. Some cats with murmurs have normal looking hearts on echocardiogram, and live a normal life.

susi
07-19-2008, 04:43 AM
thats absolutly brilliant thats she's on the mend. i was worried as well about her/you. i know how im feeling right now with a poorly horse and i know whats wrong with her and am dealing with treatment!!

you can get herbal supppliments for dogs and horses that have had a heart murmer to 'help' them stay away. my guess is that they are a suppliment tahts good for the heart. i dont know a lot about it tbh though tbh.

sounds like rebel is to your dh that my horse is to me. i couldnt live without my horse, and thankfully she's just 13 and can live a long time as long as i can get this darner condition under controll.

i am so glad that she's on the end though

oh, as for tablets, i usually do an omlet and shuve the pill into a bit of that as its thick and smelly so they love it and dont have a clue there eating it. if she wont eat it in her food then i wouldnt bother buying the pill poppers if you dont mind a bit of cooking. chickens great, cheeses is brilliant, even butter heavily a piece of bread and pop it in there.my older tom cat loves chocolate so he can have any pills in there as its a real treat for him.