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Discussion Starter #1
My older pal is an inside cat and was a rescue from the shelter when he was 2 years old.
This past year he was rapidly loosing weight (12lbs to 6 lbs) so I took him to the vet and she did blood work and said he is having a thyroid malfunction so today he is on methimazole 5mg daily. Been on it for 5 months. It has had no effect on his weight or coat. He is long hair and there is a lot of matting which I comb out for him. Durring his vet visit she tested the urine and said there was some blood in it but was not alarmed due to his age. Today I watched him urinate into the litter box and he did fine with no strain, but it looked like there was more blood but it absorbed rather quickly and it was gone. At the least it was rather dark.
He likes to sleep on the kitchen counter near his food and water but will patrol the house from time to time. I even caught him running so he does not look like he is in pain. He likes to paw at the family members to get them to pet him and scratch his neck.
He is on an all wet food diet and eats and drinks regularly.
Is there anything else I should look for?
Thanks
 

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If his urine is visibly red he needs to go to the vet.
 

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Red urine screams urinary tract infection to me... I'd definitely take him to the vet (possibly to a different one for a second opinion, as your current vet hasn't been able to find the problem yet).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think that because of his age she expects some blood in the urine or some loss of kidney function. She also has said it might be cancer (his whole condition) to which she has replied there is no cure.
 

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There might be traces of blood in his urine that you don't need to worry about, but urine that is visibly red indicates a problem that needs to be addressed (or diagnosed and acknowledged that there is nothing to be done).
 

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Weight - When was the last time a thyroid test was run, and what were the results? If he's not picking up weight, I would suspect that his hyperthyroidism is not yet properly controlled and that he needs an increase in his methimazole dose. BUT, you must NOT increase his methimazole without first having his Total T4 checked to make sure a med increase is appropriate.

Blood in urine - As others have mentioned, blood in urine is NOT normal, even for an elderly cat in renal failure. In fact, if he were in renal failure, his urine would typically look like water with very little yellow tint, and certainly not any sort of pinkish or red tint. You need to take your cat to a vet who demonstrates more interest in proactively treating your cat's conditions rather than just giving you the "he's an old cat" line and ignoring his ailments.

If you have copies of his most recent lab results, please post them here so that we can take a look and offer you relevant observations and suggestions. If you don't have his labs, go to your vet and get them. You should ALWAYS obtain copies of ALL labs run on your animals.

As hoofmaiden recommended, you should have a full blood chemistry, CBC, and Total T4 run on your cat if they haven't all be done within the last month. You should also have a urine CULTURE (not just a urinalysis) run to identify any bacterial infection that may be present in his urinary tract. If you do have any type of urine test run, make sure the urine is collected by cystocentesis, because that is the ONLY way to insure accurate results.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Vet visit this morning and the cat is very active and alert.
Vet took urine and showed me the collection and said it is a substantial ammount of blood and decided to spin out the urine and look for ?? (wbc's crystals??). She returned in a few minutes and said that all she really found was a lot of blood cells but felt that a dosage of Clavamox 62.5MG for 10 days should clear it up but mean while she would do a culture to make sure the antibiotic was correct for the infection. After 10 days she said she would do the urine check again but it might also be bladder cancer.
Sound right?

As to the check for thyroid. It was done twice 5 months ago and found to be the problem so he was put on the meds. No change in 2 months so I asked if we could increase the dose
and vet said yes so we doubled the dose. The cat mostly slept during the increase and after 3-5 days I stopped the double dose. He was rechecked 1-2 months ago and his blood level was found to be "in the normal range." He is not loosing weight anymore but holding steady at about 6 lbs.

Thanks for any comments. He is a good boy and a deserves to be comfortable into his golden years.

I dont have the test results but I will ask for them and try to post the results with relevant dates.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I agree re: urine culture. Best way to be sure you're using the right abio and not wasting time.

What does your kitty (name??) eat? Canned or dry? Brand?
Kittys name is Dommie. He eats a wide variety of food as I try to provide him because of his low weight whatever tempts him. Canned food Friskies because he likes it and will eat it and EVO both canned and dry but he doesn't not like it very much. Iams dry for sensitive stomach (that is what the female in the house needs) He rarely eats that. Tuna, sardines, macheral, deli ham (he loves this) no salt, baby food meat. Ground into a paste chicken or turkey then frozen into cubes. He likes this and likes to lick the frozen cube. Clam juice. I add water or the clam juice to his wet food to make it wetter so he gets in a lot of liquid. I concentrate on no added salt or super low sodium and I increase the liquid. I also supplement a powdered protein by Halo called "dinner party" Its 75% protein
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's true that with older cats sometimes you have to give them anything they'll eat. But try to avoid fish and fish-based food, as well as dry food. Both can contribute to urinary tract problems.

Have you tried Nutrical? It's a high fat calorie supplement which most cats will just lick off your finger or off a plate. If not, you can syringe feed it. A few tablespoons a day provides a significant calorie boost.
The dry food is offered because it is super high in protein unlike any wet based foods, But he rarely if ever eats it. Lately the fish is not a draw. But in an effort to get him to eat something I will offer anything. He loves CORN, and tomatoes. Basically if its good high quality food he is not real excited. He also loves Whisker Likins from Purina. I think that must be Kitty Crack.

I have tried raw diet with raw poultry, pork and beef and he is not interested at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I forgot to add I have used Tomlyn's laxatone but not the Nutri-cal. The cats hate it and usually run when they see the tube.
 

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I completely understand feeding anything that he will eat, BUT, if you want to reduce sodium, you should not be feeding any salt-cured meats like ham or bacon (plain pork is fine) OR canned fish. Canned fish, as far as I know, is always processed and preserved in brine. If you need to offer your cat some fish to keep him eating, offer him only fresh fish, NOT canned.

In order to understand exactly what's been going on with your cat's thyroid management, please provide the following:

Date, type (Total T4, Free T4, Free T4 by Equilibrium Dialysis, Total T3, Free T3, or T3 Suppression) and result (including the lab's normal reference range) of his first thyroid test before you started him on methimazole.

Dates, type(s), and result(s) of any subsequent thyroid tests.

Date of start of methimazole, and starting dose.

Date of methimazole dose doubling

Date of returning to original methimazole dose.

On each occasion when you had blood drawn for any type of testing, was food withheld from Dommie for at least 8 hrs prior to the blood draw?

On each occasion when Dommie's blood was drawn for a thyroid test, was the blood drawn between 3-8 hrs after a methimazole dose?

If your answer to either of the last two questions is no, then you may not have accurate lab results. Dommie should always fast for at least 8 hrs prior to a blood draw in order to avoid fat in the blood from skewing the test results. Also, when running a thyroid test, you should always test within the 3-8 hr post-dose time frame, preferably as close to the same time as possible. For instance, if one test is run 4 hrs after a methimazole dose, then you should try to schedule all subsequent thyroid tests for as close to 4 hrs post-dose as possible. That will allow you to most accurately compare one test result to the next.

It's very important to know when the thyroid tests were run in relation to any med dose changes. If any thyroid test was run less than 3 weeks after a dose change, that result may not be accurate.

A word of caution about Clavamox ... Clavamox frequently causes digestive upset, diarrhea, and inappetance in cats. If this occurs with Dommie, tell your vet and ask about switching him to a different antibiotic. Also, it'll help if you give Dommie a probiotic every day during and for about a week after antibiotic treatment. The probiotic will help repopulate the beneficial gut bacteria that the antibiotic kilsl off. This will help reduce the likelihood of him developing diarrhea while on antibiotics. I buy powdered acidophilus at a health food store, but you can also buy probiotics at any pet store.

Laurie
 

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You can dissolve (or at least soften) Nutrical in a little hot water and mix it into his canned food. Just don't let him see the tube!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not true! It APPEARS that way b/c the dry food is dry. But it you calculate out the dry matter analysis of the canned food, most are at least as high in protein as any dry food. You can't compare dry/canned to each other w/out calculating the dry matter analysis.
I had only considered what I was reading on the label with some of the "good" drys coming in at 50% and the wet coming in at 12%. I shopped the local feed store and they carry probally 40 different brands (not flavors) and this was the highest I could find. I go back and get the names for reference for those who are interested. I compared ALL of the varieties they had on hand.:-(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I completely understand feeding anything that he will eat, BUT, if you want to reduce sodium, you should not be feeding any salt-cured meats like ham or bacon (plain pork is fine) OR canned fish. Canned fish, as far as I know, is always processed and preserved in brine. If you need to offer your cat some fish to keep him eating, offer him only fresh fish, NOT canned.

In order to understand exactly what's been going on with your cat's thyroid management, please provide the following:

Date, type (Total T4, Free T4, Free T4 by Equilibrium Dialysis, Total T3, Free T3, or T3 Suppression) and result (including the lab's normal reference range) of his first thyroid test before you started him on methimazole.

Dates, type(s), and result(s) of any subsequent thyroid tests.

Date of start of methimazole, and starting dose.

Date of methimazole dose doubling

Date of returning to original methimazole dose.

On each occasion when you had blood drawn for any type of testing, was food withheld from Dommie for at least 8 hrs prior to the blood draw?

On each occasion when Dommie's blood was drawn for a thyroid test, was the blood drawn between 3-8 hrs after a methimazole dose?

If your answer to either of the last two questions is no, then you may not have accurate lab results. Dommie should always fast for at least 8 hrs prior to a blood draw in order to avoid fat in the blood from skewing the test results. Also, when running a thyroid test, you should always test within the 3-8 hr post-dose time frame, preferably as close to the same time as possible. For instance, if one test is run 4 hrs after a methimazole dose, then you should try to schedule all subsequent thyroid tests for as close to 4 hrs post-dose as possible. That will allow you to most accurately compare one test result to the next.

It's very important to know when the thyroid tests were run in relation to any med dose changes. If any thyroid test was run less than 3 weeks after a dose change, that result may not be accurate.

A word of caution about Clavamox ... Clavamox frequently causes digestive upset, diarrhea, and inappetance in cats. If this occurs with Dommie, tell your vet and ask about switching him to a different antibiotic. Also, it'll help if you give Dommie a probiotic every day during and for about a week after antibiotic treatment. The probiotic will help repopulate the beneficial gut bacteria that the antibiotic kilsl off. This will help reduce the likelihood of him developing diarrhea while on antibiotics. I buy powdered acidophilus at a health food store, but you can also buy probiotics at any pet store.

Laurie
Ill have that information later this afternoon and I will post that.
I understand about cured meats but he loves ham and I use low sodium ham. As far as the fish The canned fish is specially packed in water (marked no sodium) but I dont know how it might be cooked, steamed, baked or ??? It might be smoked but I check the labels for the lowest to no sodium. He will eat only what is cooked. Raw fish shrimp or any meat for that matter he will leave behind. I certainly understand your point.

I will get some probiotic, Nutri-cal and check on the foods I have used in the past with the protein levels and post the TEST results as I have them. The Office is faxing them to me later today.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just got back from the feed store. They have nothing probiotic and have no idea what it is. I suppose I will have to use human if there is a problem?
Re feed. I have used with all of my cats (3) Wilderness, Blue Buffalo,and Taste of the Wild and EVO. I have found the highest protein as:
DRY
EVO - Turkey and Chicken 50% Herring and Salmon 50%
WET
California Natural by Naturo pet products - 12% californianutralpet.com

Numbers for blood test to follow -
 

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Raw fish shrimp or any meat for that matter he will leave behind.
You don't need to feed raw if he won't eat it. You can still buy fresh fish and poach it in boiling water or unsalted broth in order to avoid the salt that is in most canned fish.

I will get some probiotic, Nutri-cal and check on the foods I have used in the past with the protein levels
You can find the dry matter analysis protein values for most canned cat foods at the following link:

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease- Canned Food Data USA

and post the TEST results as I have them. The Office is faxing them to me later today.
Very good. Make sure they fax you ALL of his labs, not just the most recent ones. You need his full lab history in order to track critical changes over time. When you get the labs, please post them, along with the lab's reference ranges, in the following format:

BUN 36 (18-36)
creatinine 1.5 (0.6-2.0)
Total T4 3.3 (1.9-4.8)
etc.

We need the reference ranges because they will vary from lab to lab, depending on the testing procedures and equipment used. We also need to see ALL lab results, even those that appear to be in normal range. This is because a lab's normal reference ranges are based on norms for a healthy, adult cat. These norms may or may not apply to a chronically ill and/or aged cat. So we need to see ALL blood values in order to identify any "normal" results that might actually raise a red flag.

Laurie
 

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You can use a human probiotic for cats. Go to a health food store (actually, any pharmacy or store with a pharmacy dept should also have it) and buy acidophilus. Buy it either as a powder or in a capsule. Either way, sprinkle just a tiny amount (about 1/10 of a capsule worth) into Dommie's canned food once daily.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Can I post the just the values that are listed as "low" or "high?" There is a lot of values. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
4/24
CBC (20 Separate tests) NORMAL
BUN 46 20-30
CA 11.3 8.6-11.0
NA 160 145-155
K 5.20 3.50-4.90
CL 125.0 117.0-124.0
CO2 25.0 14-19
LIPASE 36 40-200

THROYD
T4 8.50 1.2-5.5
FT4 4.82 .70-2.50

7/28
THYROID
T4 2.87 1.20-5.50 NORMAL

I hope this helps.
 
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