My 18 year-old cat has cancer and had surgery a few weeks ago to remove some tuomors in his throat. Unfortunately one of the tumors has already grown back and my vet has given my cat a matter of weeks to live. He had stopped eating, but he is now on a steroid and has been doing much better since this past Monday (now Saturday night). He is also on a medication for hypothyroidism which he has been on for years.
Tonight I came home late from work, he had done well with his food, he came down the staors to see me, everything seemed fine. I put new food down for him but he turned right around and just kind of watched me. The next time I turned around he had his right paw lifted in the air and seemed to paw the air a little and his paw was just sort of hanging limp. I went to move closer to him and he started to walk away but was limping quite badly on that paw. He went under a chair, limping the whole way. I pulled him out from under the chair and felt his paw pad to make sure nothing was stuck on it. There wasn't so I gave him both his medications and took him to the couch. He laid there with me for a few minutes, shaking like a leaf. For a breif minute I thought he couldn't see, but I realized quickly I was wrong when I waved my hand in front of his face. After a few minutes he got up and jumped down off the couch and no longer seemed to be limping. He sort of stopped in the middle of the floor and acted like he was going to lay down, got about halfway into the lay down position and just stopped there mid-way. Then he got up and went up the stairs by himself and didn't seem to be limping then either.
So, I know that as time goes on there will be more and more bad bouts of some sort but I'm wondering if this was a moment of arthritis? (He had been sleeping before this... I wonder if he moved to quickly and then felt it.) A blood clot? A heart attack? A stroke? I'd like to have some kind of idea of what to do if it happens again. Any advice would be appreciated.
Oh Jamie, what a hard ordeal to watch...I praise you for your patience and being such a good mommy. If only our kitties could talk and tell us whats wrong. I cannot answer your questions and will only give you my thoughts with the experiences I've had.
I urge you to discuss these issues more thoroughly with your Vet, mine will take many phone calls at no charge aftr a diagnosis(and b4 too)...and I assume most Vets will.
You can also post on the ASK A VET FORUM here on MH. although I've had some problems with that lately, maybe someone else on here can direct you better.
try this website too, the Vets there have a section on diseases and treatments.
IMO...kitty is becoming weaker and perhaps some of his organs are starting to fail, this will happen the same in people.
Perhaps by the sound of your description of the pawing at the air and the limp d/t lack of oxygen to the limbs? tagain just a guess.
You are right it could also be a heart problem....my older kitty Opus died at 17 with a heart condition, he ate right up to the last day, than last day he had trouble walking and refused his favorite food (shrimp)..than I knew it was time....he too showed signs of gasping that day.
he was cold for weeks before and shivered alot, since he always slept with me I felt it was safe to put a heated pad on the bed beside me, he rarely left that spot..he loved the heat.
you can buy these heated pads for pets, at a petstore even walmart I think had some....all I had was a people heat pad..set it on low and wrapped it in his favorite blanket..so it was VERY LOW HEAT..care must be taken if you choose this..our heat pads can become TOO WARM....for him this shivering was due to congestive heart failure...as in us humans.
kitties who feel they are dying will tend to go into hiding...mine didn't.
Yours is 18, he has llived a wonderful long life due to your good care. He knows he is loved...soon it will come time to make a very hard decision for his best interests.
another note, steroids can lead to diabetes in cats.....perhaps his blood sugar is low, is he drinking more?....this will cause him to become confused...and lethargic too.....I reallly don't think its arthritis!!
IMO I would take him to his Vet if this should happen again.
I wish you both the best of luck in future days my heart goes out to you both.
Hey Opus, thanks for all your kind words. My cat seemed to be doing fine yesterday and mostly today. But I did speak to the vet and he said that most likely he had a small seizure. It could be that it was random or due to his recent surgery and medication and it won't ever happen again. But it is also possible that the cancer has spread to his brain and that this will begin to happen more frequently. He said there is really nothing I can do but wait and see.
yes that does sound very possible, poor baby...its so hard to watch these proud little guys becoming weaker and loosing all their dignity. I hope he has many good days with you yet.
Do take care of him and yourself.
Hi! From what you described, it doesn't sound like a seizure to me. I've had cats for many years, and I've seen the weird symptoms you've described-the occasional shaking, the sitting in strange positions, etc. To me, this doesn't show a seizure-it shows that your baby is uncomfortable, and could possibly be in pain. Why not try putting your kitty on a pain med and see if this helps? There's a drug called Metacam that's worth a try!
Best wishes to you and your baby! I know exactly how rough and stressful this is! = (
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