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Old 08-10-2008, 06:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My kitty doesn't feel good but we don't know why. ;_;

My cat's name is Jerry. He is an indoor Seal-pointed ragdoll. Up until a few weeks ago, he was the friendliest, happiest cat ever. Several weeks ago though he started getting knots in his fur and acting strangely. We thought maybe it was the knots that bothered him and made him act weird, so we took him to the vet and they gave him a lion cut. On the way to and from the vet, he didn't meow like he usually does. He just stared straight out from his carrier. When we got home he was still acting strangely and went to hide. We thought he was embarassed by his haircut, since we have another slightly older cat. (They're best friends though.) However, weeks passed and even though his fur began to grow back, he was still acting funny... but even moreso than before. He stopped taking baths and started spending all day hiding. He used to purr almost every minute he was awake but he stopped doing that too. We knew something was wrong so we took him to the vet again. They did a blood test but everything was normal except that he had a high sodium level in his bloodstream. X-rays also showed nothing abnormal. They gave him an IV which made him feel a little better, but when it wore off he went back to hiding. After more trips to the vet and more tests for every possible problem (all coming back negative) the vet taught us how to give Jerry an IV at home, which we were supposed to do every day. They did make him feel better, but he was still not his old self. Eventually the vet had us stop giving them because it is stressful for us and for Jerry. We try and leave bowls of water around near his hiding spots, but we never see him drinking them. We know he does drink water though because we've seen him go to the bathroom. But my question is... what's wrong with Jerry? The vet has no idea and neither do we. It makes me want to cry sometimes. I want Jerry to feel better again and be happy. If anyone knows what's happening, please help. I've been looking all over the internet for answers but haven't found any yet.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sorry that Jerry has been going through so much, it must be so hard for all of you.

If he were my cat I would try a different vet just to get a second opinion about what is going on. Good luck to all of you.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is Jerry eating wet food or dry food? If it's dry, try adding some wet, that way he'll be getting some of the water that he needs that way. You probably shouldn't totally change food while he's going through something, but adding wet may help him out. Just a thought....

Maybe others could chime in as to whether this would be a good idea.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Did the vet do a urinalysis?
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds like Jerry has been through quite a bit as far as testing, shaving his fur off (which had to feel very weird to him), etc. I would bet that he's just plain stressed out and isn't sure if he can trust you right now. If all of the bloodwork has come back within normal ranges, I would let him be for a while and let him approach you on his terms.

I'm curious to know the reasoning behind giving Jerry an IV? I'm guessing you're not giving him an IV, but rather subcutaneous fluids (fluids under the skin rather than directly in a vein)? Typically this is done for cats with kidney problems....

I have been lucky enough to have three Ragdolls in my lifetime, and they are the most mellow, laid-back cats ever, HOWEVER they can get stressed out just like any other cat. Jerry has probably just had enough and is withdrawing from all of the activity for the time being.

Good luck with your sweet boy! Please let us know if he starts to come around. I'm sorry that you're going through this.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What about mental issues? I have heard that cats can get depression just like humans.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think were going to look into a second vet's opinion. Our vet is good but she is young and may not have experience with this type of thing...

We let him try some wet food and he liked it, but I'm not entirely sure why we stopped giving it to him. We bought some more today as well as some sodium flushing yogurt (he loves yogurt.) I'll see if I can get him some of the wet food. Edit: He tried the sodium flushing yogurt and is loving it.

I'm not sure if the Vet did a Urinalysis, but I recall having heard the word tossed around. I'll ask my mom.

Oh yes we gave Jerry Subcutaneous fluids. I'm not sure what he'd be stressed out about though, since he was acting like this before his haircut. (Although it did get worse after the haircut.)

I'm not sure about depression. He has always been very happy.

He does have stiff back legs because he is starting to get arthritis. We have medicine but I don't know if he's been given it. I'll have to ask.

Today, just a few hours after my first post my mom had a talk with me about possibly putting Jerry down. It was the first time I've cried in almost five years. She's had many pets throughout her life and has had to go through this many times, but I think that because of that she accepts it as inevitable and thinks this is it. My dad seems to agree (and has convinced my mom) that Jerry still has a chance though.

Thank you for your help, all of you. It's made me feel alot better and I know Jerry appreciates it. ^^
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How old is Jerry? And do you have any pictures we can see?

I love Ragdolls.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jerry is ten. I'll see if I can get a picture for everyone to see. ^^

He has been getting his arthritis medicine and we are now feeding him wet food.

My dad sent me links about a condition called Hypernatremia. It says it can be caused by decreased water intake and causes lethargy, which sounds similar to what is happening. Does anyone know how to deal with this?
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The best way to increase water intake is to feed only canned food. cats in general do not drink enough water to compensate for how dehydrating dry food can be. This is one of the reasons why canned food should be part of a cat's diet. Most people well versed on cat nutrition will recommend to feed no less than 50% canned food, but the more the better. This is especially important for prevention of urinary tract diseases, kidney failure and diabetes.

For cats that need extra water intake, it is a good idea to add a little water to their canned food to make a sort of cat food soup.

I'd also recommend checking out the sticky topics in the health and nutrition forum for advice on choosing a high quality food.

As for his arthritis,
a very common treatment for arthritis in both animals and humans is the nutritional supplement glucosamine/chondratin. It helps to repair and strengthen joints, and it has no nasty side effects like other arthritis medications. If you're not giving a glucosamine supplement, you'll want to ask your vet about it. I suggest using the kind sold for humans (higher grade & cheaper too) and just dividing the dose to cat size.
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