Well Smudge was back at the vets this morning, the good news is that the blood tests came back clear - nothing seriously wrong. She has arthrititis but that is hardly suprising at 15. I'm going to be a little more dedicated now in giving her glucosomine.
The bad back, weight loss and muscle wastage in her legs is a worry though and the vet gave her a steroid injection today which made her vomit quite violently not long after. He tells me this should increase her appetite and generally make her feel more well. Doesn't really seem to be much of an answer. He wants to see her again in two weeks and says these injections may be the way forward but I have done a search online and there are lots of negatives to this kind of blanket administering.
Does anyone have any more information on arthritis, caring for elderly cats or side affects of steroid meds? There is so much information available it is hard to sort it all out. I have always been very happy with this vet in the past and continue to be so but I just don't feel that I got a full answer on how to best care for Smudge.