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View Full Version : taking Kira to the vet - a couple questions


February 9th 06, 07:25 AM
I'm taking Kira to the vet in the morning. Hopefully, a few people on
the east coast will see this before I go.

It may be nothing at all, but am concerned. She's a couple times where
she was either constipated, blocked, or having a stomach ache. The
first time was a mild version of what happened a few years ago. That
time, the vet did a hands on exam and didn't find anything, but she
felt better, so it seemed like the massage had done the trick. So, I
did a massage and she stopped grubling, purred, and ate about half an
hour later.

Then, yesterday, it happened again. This time, when I massaged her, she
didn't feel full, but I felt something that might have been normal,
might have been a mass. Shortly after that, she barfed up a hairball
and some kibble. Today, she puked again, a good size amount of kibble,
just eaten. She has been having more hiarballs than normal lately.

She seems to be eating and going to the bathroom fine most of the time,
and she acts normal. But all of this together has me worried that she
has a partial blockage, or that she's getting impacted or something.

I was already planning to get the senior bloodwork panel at her next
exam, so I will definitely get that done. I will also get an x-ray.

My questions:

Any other ideas of what these symptoms might be?

Are there any other tests I should ask for or expect before we get
blood test results?

Will an x-ray show a tumor if she has one?

If she has some kind of cancer, what tests will show it? Is that
something that will show up in the bloodwork?

Kira is 11 1/2 years old. Balinese. Small frame, light weight. Appetite
is normal, Bathroom habits seem normal, and her activity seems normal.
No previous health problems other than the one time 3 or 4 years ago.

Hopefully, it is nothing big. I just hate going to the vet with no idea
what to ask, and worrying about the worst possibilities (cancer, organ
failure).

-L.
February 9th 06, 10:50 AM
wrote:
> I'm taking Kira to the vet in the morning. Hopefully, a few people on
> the east coast will see this before I go.
>
> It may be nothing at all, but am concerned. She's a couple times where
> she was either constipated, blocked, or having a stomach ache. The
> first time was a mild version of what happened a few years ago. That
> time, the vet did a hands on exam and didn't find anything, but she
> felt better, so it seemed like the massage had done the trick. So, I
> did a massage and she stopped grubling, purred, and ate about half an
> hour later.
>
> Then, yesterday, it happened again. This time, when I massaged her, she
> didn't feel full, but I felt something that might have been normal,
> might have been a mass. Shortly after that, she barfed up a hairball
> and some kibble. Today, she puked again, a good size amount of kibble,
> just eaten. She has been having more hiarballs than normal lately.
>
> She seems to be eating and going to the bathroom fine most of the time,
> and she acts normal. But all of this together has me worried that she
> has a partial blockage, or that she's getting impacted or something.
>
> I was already planning to get the senior bloodwork panel at her next
> exam, so I will definitely get that done. I will also get an x-ray.
>
> My questions:
>
> Any other ideas of what these symptoms might be?

Sounds like possible partial soft blockage from hair - I went through
that with my Peewee a couple years ago.

>
> Are there any other tests I should ask for or expect before we get
> blood test results?
>
> Will an x-ray show a tumor if she has one?

More than likely. There are some intestinal tumors which require
contrast media to show well.

>
> If she has some kind of cancer, what tests will show it? Is that
> something that will show up in the bloodwork?

If you are concerned about intestinal cancer, the most common is
lymphoma and that can only be diagnosed by biopsy. Usually lymphoma
will present as diarrhea off and on, sometimes coupled with intermitent
constipation. Doesn't sound like she's having those symptoms. A
geriatric blood panel will check organ function, if you are worried
about things like liver cancer.

>
> Kira is 11 1/2 years old. Balinese. Small frame, light weight. Appetite
> is normal, Bathroom habits seem normal, and her activity seems normal.
> No previous health problems other than the one time 3 or 4 years ago.

She may just have some loss of tone in her intestines and colon (due to
age) and so food isn't moving through as rapidly as it used to - this
can be a problem if it gets trapped with hair.

>
> Hopefully, it is nothing big. I just hate going to the vet with no idea
> what to ask, and worrying about the worst possibilities (cancer, organ
> failure).

Organ failure will be caught with blood screen. You might want to add
some lubrication to her diet to keep the hair moving through her. I
took Peewee OFF of hairball control food and that solved his problems
completely - it seems the fiber was too much for him, and he wasn't
getting enough water for the food to do what it is designed to do. I
switched him to a "complete care" chow made by Nutro (always has had 3
oz canned food twice daily) and now he hasn't had any problems for the
last 6 mos or so.

Good luck and let us know what you find out.
-L.

February 9th 06, 12:55 PM
I don't think 11 1/2 is that old, but as they age, the hairballs don't
pass through as easily as they did before. Perhaps some hairball
control food would help. I once had a cat that eliminated 13 hairballs
- one after another for 13 days. Incredible.

February 9th 06, 01:34 PM
-L. wrote:

>
> Sounds like possible partial soft blockage from hair - I went through
> that with my Peewee a couple years ago.
>

What did you have to do to solve it? I have tried hairball remedies a
couple times, but Kira hates them. I have to force it down her, and I
don't know if even helped. She used to pass the hair in her stool. She
didn't used to have hairballs, except once every couple months or so.
Now it is every week or so.



> She may just have some loss of tone in her intestines and colon (due to
> age) and so food isn't moving through as rapidly as it used to - this
> can be a problem if it gets trapped with hair.
>
> Organ failure will be caught with blood screen. You might want to add
> some lubrication to her diet to keep the hair moving through her.

I have a friend who has to give her cat a lubricant that keeps her from
getting impacted. I can't remember the name. I did a search on the
newsgroup a few weeks ago to learn about it. She was upset about the
cost and wanted a cheaper alternative. But from the posts here, it
sounded like it was ideal for her cat;s problem and highly recommended.
She felt much better about it when I gave her the information. She
didn't feel the vet was pushing something expensive after seeing it
confirmed by non-biased people.

If it is something like that, I will count myself lucky. That would be
much better than finding something like cancer.

I
> took Peewee OFF of hairball control food and that solved his problems
> completely - it seems the fiber was too much for him, and he wasn't
> getting enough water for the food to do what it is designed to do.

Hmm. I did change her main food several months ago. She still has
access to several other foods, but she eats mostly the new food. I'll
see what comes up at the vet. If it might be food related, I may try a
different kind. Currently, she is on the mature formula, though she
helps herself to the maine coon food too.

>
> Good luck and let us know what you find out.
> -L.

Thanks. I will.

February 9th 06, 01:37 PM
wrote:
> I don't think 11 1/2 is that old, but as they age, the hairballs don't
> pass through as easily as they did before. Perhaps some hairball
> control food would help. I once had a cat that eliminated 13 hairballs
> - one after another for 13 days. Incredible.

Yikes!

Kira used to pass it in her stool, rarely having a hairball. Then it
started getting to be once a month or so. Now it is once a week, and
she does that cough thing a couple times in a day before she actually
hacks it up.

Yesterday, it was a small hairball and a portion of food, just eaten.
Today, it was just food, no hair.

I do hope that it is something this simple. If so, a change in diet, or
supplement should be the solution.

February 10th 06, 01:14 AM
I just got back from the vet. Things look good.

The vet didn't feel anything abnormal, so he didn't think an x-ray was
necessary. Most likely, she just needs some lubricant. I got some tuna
flavored hairball medicine that she seemed more okay with than the malt
stuff I had tried before (previous cat loved the malt stuff and would
attack the container if I left it out).

They did theblood draw and the results will be back tomorrow. Her
temperature was fine, and everything else seemed fine. Her weight was
actually up from when she went to the vet about 5 months ago (she had
split a nail, so I had it checked).

Also, she may have passed the rest of a hairball last night. My dad
knew I wanted to go the vet and why, but it didn't occur to him to
mention it until we were at the vet's office. He found what looked to
him like some poop with a string in it. He does know to inspect odd
stuff, so he looked at it more closely when he cleaned it up. The
"string" came apart and wasn't really a foreign object. And he said it
was creamy colored (he's partially colorblind, so that may be the same
yellow/brown that I see in her hairballs. Anyway, it sounds like she
might have hacked up or passed another hairball. I wish he had shown it
to me. I'm familiar with her hairballs, so I would know if looked like
something from her. And while they are hacked up, they do kinda look
like pieces of poop sometimes, rather than vomit. From his description,
it sonds like a hairball.

Anyway, the vet is confident that she is fine. Just needs hairball
stuff every day for a few days and then twice a week. If it doesn't
clear up, we can do further tests, but he doesn't think we'll need to
do that.

I also took Jay Jay and got his vaccinations done. I adopted him almost
a year ago, and I'm taking him to a show next weekend (household pet
class), so he was due. He was a good boy and everything looked good.

I am feeling much better. Piece of mind is a great thing.

February 10th 06, 01:34 AM
Peace of mind IS a great thing! Good for you! There are some hairball
remedies that are available as treats - my kitty loves them and they do
work. That way you aren't having to dose them with the laxatone -
especially if they don't like it. They really just need more fiber as
they get older and probably more grooming. Let us know how she is
doing.

February 10th 06, 03:09 AM
wrote:
> Peace of mind IS a great thing! Good for you!

Yes. I had already decided that a vet trip was in order, and Thursday
was my next day off. If it had been an emergency, I would have gone
sooner, but my favorite vet is 30-45 minutes away depending on traffic,
so a vet trip is a good 2-3 hours, not something I want to do on a work
day if I can avoid it. I am a night owl, so I typically go be bed
around 5 or 6am. And I get up for work at noon.

But I got more worried after a bad dream. I dreamed that I walked into
the laundry room and found her dead on the floor. In the dream, she
looked diry and neglected for a long time. My first reaction in the
dream was to feel horrible that I had not been there with her when she
died, and my second reaction was anger at myself for letting her get
neglected like that. When I woke up, I was relieved to find her on the
bed next to me, clean and content. But I knew that my mind was working
on this problem in my sleep, and it was telling me that the signs are
there. I don't dare ignore them. And that scared me more, wondering if
I was aware of something unconsciously, and that maybe she was worse
than I wanted to believe. So, I was working up some serious fear.

I lost Maynard last May, and he might have lived longer had I done
bloodwork twice a year and caught the spike in the liver values before
his ears turned yellow. He had a long life, but I still feel bad that I
didn't catch that. And Kira is a high stress kitty. My first two cats,
Fiona and Maynard, were both easy going cats. I think that gives them
an advantage health-wise. They both lived to be 18, while the other
cats in the household (dominant with more stress in their lives) lived
to 14-16 years. So, I feel I need to make every effort I can to pad the
odds in her favor in other areas. She's more fragile in some ways.


It was well worth the trip. The close vet (10 minutes away) is
competent, but I know they push for extra tests to bring in more money.
I have to be on my guard more with them, and I can't always trust them.
And they have multiple vets. They all seem nice, but they are always
new to me. My regular vet office has only two vets, so we know them
better.One has been there over 20 years. The second one has been there
8 or 9 years. I know I can trust them.

There are some hairball
> remedies that are available as treats - my kitty loves them and they do
> work. That way you aren't having to dose them with the laxatone -
> especially if they don't like it. They really just need more fiber as
> they get older and probably more grooming. Let us know how she is
> doing.

Kira's not much into treats. She usually sniffs them and walks away.
Both crunchy and soft. So, I gave up on those. She's a bit strange. She
comes running (and sniffing) anytime I have something with garlic or
bbq sauce. I have to defend my food from her. But she hates most other
things. She will turn away plain roast beef, but go nuts if I bring
home a package with garlic roast beef.

I forgot to ask about the teeth cleaning. Hers were pretty icky, so
when they call with the blood results, I will check into that. I know
they like to do bloodwork before that, so I want to schedule it for
fairly soon, as long as her results are good. That was the only thing
that turned up in her exam.

-L.
February 10th 06, 07:20 AM
wrote:
> I just got back from the vet. Things look good.
>
<snip>

Excellent. If it continues to be a problem, Google "Peewee" and
"hairball" and you will probably find my multiple posts about my trials
with my big guy. Like I said before, the change in food seems to be
what has cured him completely <touch wood> so you might keep your
change in food in mind if it continues to be problematic.

-L.