Older cat question

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by visionary, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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    Massachusetts
    I have an 18-year-old spayed female, in pretty good shape except for a couple of things. She as bad breath, which could be caused by a bad tooth, etc., and she sometimes wails after moving her bowels. I'm thinking I could put some sort of oil in her food for the latter, but I want to take her for a complete checkup. I can't hold her mouth open to see what's going on.

    The question is that a few years ago, I was going to put her in a kennel for a couple of days, but they wouldn't take her without proof of shots. She was my son's cat, and he did get them all, but I don't have the proof. She has been indoors for years, so I really don't worry about it.

    I was going to go to the docs at PetSmart, but I'm afraid they'll want me to duplicate the shots, which I really can't afford right now. Has anyone else had this happen?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SunsetSonata

    SunsetSonata Broken Dreamer Supporter

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    Maybe she does have an infected tooth. Is she eating well? Does she tend to drool while she eats?

    However, as she is 18 - does she drink a lot of water? Does she pee a lot? The kidneys are quite often the first to go on an old cat - and bad breath often signals significant renal failure in such cats. I'd ask if she's been losing weight except most cats are going to lose muscle tone by that age, obviously.

    On the other hand, if she is wailing while moving her bowels, I wonder if she is also trying to pee and is somewhat obstructed. Would be more likely to occur in a male cat though it's still possible for a female cat as well.

    If you take her for a check up and she's ill, the vets probably won't give her shots, though any lab work is bound to cost something anyway. If they decide that she's healthy enough and want to give her shots, be honest and tell them she was vaccinated at PetSmart but that you don't have the records.

    I don't know if PetSmart operates differently than veterinary hospitals, but they should still have the cat's records even if it's been a few years. Call them up and ask - they might be able to mail them to you or to the new hospital. Also, if they do still have the records, the new hospital might be able to call them and at least get the vaccine dates. I would call PetSmart myself though as a courtesy.
     

  3. Rowenna7

    Rowenna7 Looking for my place...

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    I also have an older cat, mine is around 20. Mittens (the cat) has never been outside in her life, except for when she was carried to and from a vehicle for the occasional vet visit or when we moved. She's terrified every time. My vet and I have an understanding, that due to her age, the stress in bringing her, and the fact that she is strictly indoors, she does not get any shots. I would guess that in your case, with your cat being elderly as well, that they won't push getting the shots. Especially if the cat is already ill, it could cause way too many complications. Even if they push for the shots, I wouldn't allow it.
     
  4. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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    I took her today. She has bad tartar buildup. The vet said they would treat her and give her just a rabies shot. I have to take her back for blood work, urine test, and if she checks out, they will put her under and do all the dental work. They said she looks pretty fine for her age otherwise. I said we are both aging gracefully, then asked for the senior discount.

    The vet charged me $10 for 2 oz. of Lactulose (Stool softener), and it is online at PetMeds for $12 for 16 oz. Read that it is also really cheap as a generic, over-the-counter. I'll check on that, but there can be side effects with this stuff, like gas and cramping.

    So.... I checked a couple of alternative health forums for pets, and it seems that just as good, and with no side effects, is psyllium husks, which is the main ingredient in Metamucil. The cat gets an 1/8 tsp. in a little warm water till it gels, then added to food. The other thing that works is pumpkin from a can. The receptionist at the vet mentioned this, but I guess there isn't a lot of profit in prescribing pumpkin. The forum people recommended raw carrot, prunes, garlic, all kinds of stuff. I picture my cat's face if I tried to substitute her Friskies. I'll use up the Lactulose, but will probably switch to the psyllium. We're aging together.