Wednesday, December 30, 2015

health updates

Buddy and Marvin both visited the vet on Tuesday.

I wanted to follow-up with Buddy since he was looking so miserable on Sunday. The vet said it could be a lot of things and gave me a few options of things to try. I was grateful to have somethings to try, as just seeing him look miserable and feeling helpless is hard. She thinks it could be the higher felimazole (thyroid) medication dose could be upsetting his tummy. We've been giving him Pepcid in the evenings, but will now split that dose between morning and evening. The vet didn't think Buddy was suffering from a tummy rub deficiency, so that's good.

Buddy still wanted cuddles on Sunday night even when he was feeling miserable
Buddy's been feeling better these past few days. He's eaten more than he usually does. We let him eat whenever he wants - the more he wants to eat the better. We can't free feed due to Theo, so Buddy lets us know when he wants some food and we give him a private dining experience. (Private in that no other cats are invited, he likes human company when he dines, but gets really annoyed fast if a feline tries to share his meal.)

I know his feeling better is only the upswing of the roller coster, the down swing won't be far behind. I'm enjoying the feeling better part though for as long as it lasts. He's such a delightful cat.

Marvin was one ounce shy of 8 pounds! When I rescued him, I think he was only 5 pounds. He's a little chubby at 8 pounds, but then he fits in with everyone else who lives here! And he had that long stretch of not wanting to eat, I kind of don't mind if he packs on a little excess in case he decides to go back to not eating.

Marvin went to the vet to get his chronic cough looked at. Some of you thought it might be asthma. 

Marvin's innards
Well if you said asthma, you were right! Asthma is exactly what the diagnosis is. So, some meds and hopefully it clears it up. Because of his dental problems he doesn't like his mouth being touched, so pilling is not really an option. I usually just crush the pills and put into his food and he eats them up. But, if he doesn't, I'll need to get him an inhaler - that'll be fun.

Poor Marvin, his medical problems keep pilling up - he's got chronic kidney failure, rotten teeth, and now asthma. He also has an awesome personality, is a complete cuddle-bug, and can't get enough playing fetch with his sparkle ball! He's still available for adoption, but it's going to take a very special human to want to take on a cat with so many problems. And it would be really, really hard giving him up.

Meanwhile, look at who got some inside time!  

Oliver, claiming his spot on the couch!
Mr. Gotcha Day-Theo didn't take kindly to Oliver being inside on his special day, but I made him cope, as poor Oliver rarely gets inside time. I've been giving Oliver a little more inside time lately, usually in the form of holding him, while walking around the house. I so wish he didn't urine mark, then maybe he could become an official inside kitty. I've tried lots of things to get him to stop spraying, but he's so territorial. And of course, if Oliver came inside, then Pierre would need to come inside too. Theo doesn't like having Oliver inside, I can't imagine he would like Oliver's son being inside too!


  1. Good update. Charlie has to take some thyroid meds so I'll be starting that today.

  2. I never thought of the felimazole (is it the same as methimazole??) for hyper-t; yes, it can upset tummies. And yes, the meds should be given 12 hours apart, not just once a day. Often, too, vets start at far too high a dose. Annie was on the transdermal gel, just because no one could pill her.

    What's the med for Marvin, Pred? A bronchodilator? Bronchodilators do not stop the progression of asthma are not recommended for every day ongoing treatment. Even my vet knew this. They're for emerg/rescue use and can be used in conjunction with Pred or Flovent, though. They CAN make the cat spacey or nervous/hyper, however. Please note that the only thing to control asthma properly is a steroid, preferably inhaled. It's just going to depend on how far the asthma has progressed with Marvin.

    Dr. Padrid's article still is widely considered to be the go-to for info:

    It's older, though, 2004.

    I've learned a lot from the Feline Asthma Inhaled Medication group on Yahoo (FAIM), though a caution with regard to all advice: do your own research! The main person in that group, whose been around a long time, is very quick to tell people that their cats should be given a treatment or two of antibiotics for every little thing, with the statement that they won't hurt. I have a personal problem with that, with overuse of ABs.

    Another note: With Marvin's health issues, I don't know what his life expectancy is -- it might not be worth going the route of Flovent via the Aerokat, primarily because of the cost involved. If Nicki had been an elderly cat, I likely would have stuck with Prednisolone and not fussed so much about getting him off it.

    Whatever you decide is best for Marvin, I know he's in the very best of hands!

    Anyway, you know how to reach me if you have any questions about my own experience with the Aerokat and Nicki, and of course Google is handy. Very handy.

    1. Thanks for the info Kim!

      Felimazole - yes, it's the same as methimazole, it's the brand name and methimazole is the generic. The difference is that the pills are coated, so the cat doesn't taste the medication bitterness. Since insurance covers this, it doesn't cost us any more for the fancy version, so we get that. Theo gets the methimazole.

      Our vets always retest T4 with every dosage adjustment for thyroid. We just increased Buddy's dose slightly and will recheck T4 30-days after the increase to see how it's doing.

      As for the asthma, pred and terbutaline (Brethine) are the two meds. These are the same two Willow was on way back when we got her. The instruction is like for Willow, start with a moderate dose and dial it back every two weeks in hopes it can all be not necessary. That worked for Willow, after about 6 months or so, she was asthma free and hasn't had the meds since. Not sure how Marvin will respond as he's older than Willow was when she was diagnosed.

      We worried about giving Willow a daily steroid because she was so young and long term steroid is not good. But Marvin is a different case, with kidney failure going, his time with us will be sadly shortened. Will see how the meds help, he needs something cuz his coughing spells are pretty nasty.

    2. I didn't see this, sent a couple of emails...then saw your forwarded reply. I had forgotten you'd been through this with Willow, though you've mentioned it before. You're an "old hand" at this! Good luck; purrs from the boys.

  3. Purrs to Buddy and Marvin from all of us. We hope all goes well with the meds!

  4. we sending healing purrs to Buddy and Marvin....

  5. I concur with Kim about Vets giving too high a dose of methimazole (felimazole) for hyper-T. It can cause all kinds of problems. A Very low dose is recommended by those who have had cats with hyper-t 1.25mg to start twice a day. Dear Marvin he cannot catch a break. It is good he has gained the weight. I hope he continues to feel better.

    1. our vets always recheck T4 30days after dose adjustment. The idea being to get the lowest dose possible that keeps the T4 where it needs to be. Then we check again through out the year. I think it's every 6-months, but that probably depends on the age of the cat. This is another area where I'm grateful for cat insurance for our resident kitties, but sadly Marvin's not insured :(

  6. I am glad everyone is doing a little better, I will be praying for them. I am sorry poor Marvin has so many problems.

  7. This was just the way I like to start another day...hearing about everyone. And I have been concerned kinda sorta that Oliver hasn't been mentioned. I am so glad to read about him. I know from my Admiral that awful "I don't feel well, Mommy" look. It is heart rending as you are helpless. Here is to a good New Year for you and the family. Fur family and human.

  8. Aww, hi Oliver!!!! Seems like it's been a while since I've seen you, and it is so nice to see you :) It is so nice of your human to bring you inside for a little while. I know he makes sure you have a nice warm outside house, too. You are one lucky kitty!

    Poor Marvin - he sounds a bit like Carmine with all his medical problems. It sounds like he has a wonderful and loving personality like Carmine, too. :) Sorry to hear about the asthma. Did they give him Prednisolone? If so, you can have it compounded into medi-melts. I know he doesn't like having his mouth touched, but the medi-melts might taste better crushed up than the normal pills. They are available in lots of flavors - Carmine and Milita (who also has asthma) get the chicken liver flavored ones. Just email me if you'd like the compounding pharmacy info. You can also get Pred in a transdermal gel. Unfortunately it is not as effective as the pills or the medi-melts, but some vets raise the dose on the gel a bit to compensate for that.

    Poor Buddy. We hope he continues to eat well. If the Pepcid doesn't work, you could try slippery elm bark for nausea (ask your vet first, of course). You just can't give it within two hours of any other meds as the other meds won't absorb if you do. We used that for Jewel a lot because she was *so hard* to pill. The slippery elm is a powder that can be mixed into wet food.

    Hugs and purrs to you all!

  9. all wayz manee blessings St Francis haz ta offer R bee in sended yur way ~~~~~~

    az well az a most happee healthee new yeer two ewe all, heerz two an emperor bream......hillstreet loach.....kinda week oh end !!! ♥♥♥

  10. We are sendin' lots and lots of purrayers fur all. We purray da New Year bwings blessings and health.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  11. Hopefully both Buddy and Marvin will benefit from this vet visit; sounds like the human needed the info too! Nice to see Oliver too...and Happy New Year!

  12. Oh dear, you have your hands full! I am in the midst of meds with Skootch - now I have to resume giving him prozac, plus another oral med. He hates getting meds.
    Nice to see Mister Oliver!


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