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More post amp after care issues for Jerry (15 year old cat)
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13 January 2016 - 6:15 am
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Hello,

It's been a few good weeks over here with Jerry. He completed his meds for the skin yeast/bacterial infection he had at the amp site that he was constantly itching until he was a bloody mess. He still has hairless patches in places and still itches, but it looks nothing like before. I consider this a raging success.

Over the last few weeks, he has begun eating less. This is odd for Jerry because, for his entire life, he begs for food, and eats every morsel, then asks for more. We went to our pet food store over the weekend and bought him a whole new regimen and he is eating more of it then his old stuff, but still not eating all of it. Then this morning marked the third morning in a row that he has pooped somewhere other than his litter box, and this time he actually peed there too.

I have him in his enormous recovery cage that has three stories and plenty of room, but he is not happy. My vet told me to keep him in there for a week until he "relearns" that he should only use his litter box. Jerry is super pissed and meowing at me as I type this and a week sounds mighty harsh. What do you think?

I should add that he has also been wearing his NurtureCalm collar that is supposed to help with inappropriate eliminating and totally has helped until now. It is not time for a new collar, this one is only 12 days old. 

Do you think the eating less food and pooping and peeing outside the box is an indicator that he is ready to go? He is my first and only cat, I admittedly do not know much about them, but jeez, this guy fought like crazy to come back from basically the dead, the day after his amp surgery. But if he's telling me it's time, I guess it's time?

Sadly,

Hattie & Jerry

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

Virginia
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13 January 2016 - 9:31 am
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Oh gosh, I certainly dont think he's telling you it's time based on what you've said. Yes,he is elderly and old age issues do start to arise, but it doesn't mean it's theend of the road.

Kitty Mona and some others will chime in about the specific issues Jerry is having. Refusing to use a litter box seems have varying causes. Some try changing the litter, some use a box that they can "step into" easily.

If the vet hasn't already done so, a blood check, urine check, coverall check up seems in order.He coukd jave some kidney issues going on and that can mess with his appetite to.

I'm a bit of a softies, especially with seniors, but I would let him out of the "cage" and just let him be HAPPH! Jerry doesn't have need that ki d of stress at this poi t in his life! And I would feed him anything he will eat. Spoil, spoil, spoil!

Oh, and you might try pee pads. I've forgotten who did that, but at least the cat went on those. I thiink it was Progo.

Jerry is one spunky cat! Hang in there...he is!

Hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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13 January 2016 - 9:32 am
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At least Jerry isn't scratching as much! Congratulations on that bit of good news.

I have no words of wisdom around the litter box issue. Mona sometimes decides to get out of bed to go into the bathroom and pees beside the toilet then she goes back to bed. The litter box is downstairs in the garage. I wonder is she too lazy or is she trying to tell me something.

I don't think it will do any harm for Jerry to live in the cage and relearn the use of the litter box. Hopefully it works and he simmers down.

As for eating less food. Is the vet concerned? How's his weight? I find the portions recommended on the bag is too much for my cats. Mona gets a little fickle sometimes but she never says no to her dental kibble.

No, I don't think Jerry is telling you it's time. In my experience a cat ready to die is lethargic. Jerry is yelling at you to get him out of prison! He's been through a lot and now you are controlling him in a cage. Most cats want to do what they want to do. Does he still like to cuddle and play? How's his energy? Is he alert? Maybe keep a diary and discuss it with the vet.

Senior cats will never be a kitten again. They like to sleep a lot, play a little and most love to cuddle. I know this has been very challenging for you and you've done a fabulous job. Try to stick in there for another week following the vets advice. If you have a scale weigh out the food so you know how much he's eating. I find it easier by weight than a measuring cup.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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13 January 2016 - 9:41 am
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I just saw Sally's response and I agree with everything she says but am unsure about the cage. Initially I was going to say to let him out of the cage to do what he wants but then I realized that was Mona telling me to say that. I know it is a real hassle dealing with cat pee and poop everywhere and anywhere in the house. And cat urine cat damage things and sometimes it's impossible to get rid of the odor.

The one week of pain may be worth it for a longer term gain.

I hope others with cat advice will chime in.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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13 January 2016 - 1:43 pm
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Thanks for the input Sally and Kerren. Other than the sudden disinterest in finishing his food (I am not kidding, he was gulping down food the day I brought him home from the vet, before he had to be rushed back) and the poop/pee issues, he seems fine. He LOVES his food, so him not finishing and just sniffing and walking away has me alarmed. He has lost weight - used to be around 17-18 pounds and now he is 11. He looks a LOT thinner and is really light when you scoop him up now. He does cuddle and respond to petting, he grooms also. Very alert and runs up and down the steps once or twice per day. I know enough to know all of this is important, and I've heard that when a cat is ready to go, he or she goes and "hides" to do it. I am confused because that collar was really working miracles and then all this pooping and peeing has begun even when wearing it. 

I did notice he peed inside his litterbox about an hour ago and I praised the crap out of him. I'm going to leave him in there (it's so hard) for another few hours and then take him out to sleep with me in bed tonight. I am supposed to work tomorrow and Friday, but I am coming down with something and probably won't go in. So I'll be able to keep an eye on him, especially if the vet thinks he needs to come in before the weekend.

He has never peed outside the box, just poop, so I am not happy, although trying to be understanding. He did it on our brand new couches - right where he sleeps all day!!!! I don't get it!! He was eating a little bit of food this morning, then went back to the couch to pee and poop where he'd been sleeping all night?! Why in the world would he eliminate where he loves to lay???!!!

Thanks,

Hattie & Jerry

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

The Rainbow Bridge

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13 January 2016 - 1:54 pm
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Boy that's a tough one, I wish I knew more about cats to help. I would agree that he's mad he's in prison but the weight loss concerns me. Did your vet do a workup to make sure nothing else is going on? That's a lot of weight to lose for a cat. But no, I don't believe he's checking out either, I think he's just having a slower recovery and maybe just not feeling the best, he's been through a lot. Poor Jerry!

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14 January 2016 - 11:18 am
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Vet didn't seem too concerned about the weight loss, although the tech did. I thought it was quite a bit too. Jerry has been out of his kitty condo since late yesterday afternoon with no other incidents. He peed and pooped in two different litter boxes today and I was right there praising him for it!

My Pug needs to go in to the vet in the next week or so for her annual exam, etc...so I'll ask if I can bring Jerry in too for a post surgery check up. They are always happy to see him at the office, so I'll have him look Jerry over thoroughly and run tests to check for UTI or kidney issues.

Thanks,

Hattie & Jerry

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

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15 January 2016 - 9:08 am
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Thinking of you! The peeing and pooping outside the litterbox rollercoaster has been mighty stressful in our house. What SEEMED to work for us was a combination of Feliway diffuser and pee pads. The diffuser (I think) got him back into the bathroom, where he was used to peeing before surgery. The pee pads meant that if he peed outside the litterbox at least it was easier to clean up. We're using an orange cat urine spray cleaner to try to keep the room from seeming like it's a giant litterbox to him. The vet had also given us calming treats, but he doesn't want to take those anymore. And the other thing that might have helped was she put him back on pain meds. 0.1 ml buprenex a day. She thought it might be hurting him to squat to pee, like maybe it's arthritis. So I don't know exactly what helped, and he's only peed in the litterbox three times in the past 4 days (the rest on the pee pads), but it still feels like progress. Our cat did the same as you -- peed where he liked to lie. Once in my son's bed. Several times on beloved cardboard scratching boxes that had catnip on them.

I've been babying my old guy, too -- letting him out of the cone and leaving the shirt off as much as I can. I'd try giving him some time out of the cage, if it didn't feel too risky, since stress can also affect toilet behavior, but that's just me.. You'll make the right decision for your cat.

I'm glad Jerry's had more luck with his litterboxes today!

I am in the same boat of tending to my first elderly cat, and I, too, don't know how to tell when "it's time." But I would think listlessness might be part of it. His overall affect, as you describe it, sounds good.

Hoping for continued improvement!

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16 January 2016 - 6:38 am
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Thanks, Neuromancer. Lots of good insight from you. Here's an update of what I've been doing:

Jerry is very regular and predictable when it comes to going to the bathroom. He seriously goes twice per day. Right after eating in the morning, and in the evening, several hours after dinner. So, since I posted the update, I have been feeding him inside the kitty condo, locking the doors so he can't jump out. When he's done with breakfast, he'll look at me to come out, I tell him several times to "go pee/go poop in your litter box" and he has actually gone into the box to do his business. I praise him like crazy then let him out right away. I think it's about three mornings now that he's done this. In the afternoon, I have just kept a really close eye on him and put him in the cage for a bit with the door closed so he is forced to use it. There have been zero accidents since my post. I am not foolish enough to think he won't have another - still can't comprehend why he would go where he lays around - but it's an improvement. I've been home sick so I've also been able to watch him like a hawk. 

I am still going to take him in when I take my Pug to the vet. He's still itchy even though his scabs are no where near what they used to be. It will be the first time I see my vet after the second vet diagnosed his itching due to a bad bacterial infection - something I feel my regular vet should have definitely ruled out. BUT, I am forever indebted to him for rushing to his practice on his morning off and saving Jerry's life when he was basically on death's door, so I can't say much!!! winker

Thanks for the input - hope Progo continues to get better and better!

Hattie & Jerry

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

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