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Cat behaviour ‘not right’ after vet visit

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Gemma8140, Dec 25, 2020.


  1. Gemma8140

    Gemma8140 PetForums Newbie

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    Our cat has a lump half way down her back and to the left of her spine. I noticed this last week after cuddling. It doesn’t bother her when I touch it. She’s been on steroids for 6 weeks previous to this observation for scratching her neck constantly, and her behaviour has been affectionate, lively, eating constantly, drinking, playing, so normal. After her visit regarding the lump last week, the vet suggested it could be an osteosarcoma and suggested biopsy, x Ray etc. She also observed a decrease in weight of 800g in 6 weeks (despite eating WAY more than normal). I decided to think about our options vs cost and brought her home. She hasn’t been the same since. Lethargic, barely eating - just a few nibbles of kibble, licks gravy off wet food, no more treats- and just generally not herself.

    We took her back in to get a steroid injection since she has stopped taking her tablet steroids and the vet thought her stomach was a bit distended and could have cystitis (something she’s always suffered from) but no treatment offered, just to keep an eye on her. But she’s just not her usual self at all. She’s not peeing more than normal but is drinking more often (steroid side effect?).

    I just have no idea why there is such a sudden change in her behaviour. Any suggestions? She’s a fussy eater at best of times so we keep to the same food with hair ball control. Felix gravy wet food as a treat.

    Is it coincidence she became this way after her first vet visit? We couldn’t go in to vets with her because of Covid so no idea what happened in there. She’s usually fine about going to the vets. But her whole behaviour changed since the first visit. I’m worried about her so any advice would be hugely appreciated!

    Vets is closed until 29th December and her condition doesn’t appear life threatening.
     
  2. Could well be something to do with the stress of an unaccompanied vet visit. Not all vets are operating closed door policies and if you can maybe take her to a vet which will allow you in subject to masking etc. Alternatively get an online vet consult with one of the online providers (I use justanswer but you have to make sure you get the right vet, but there are others) to avoid another unaccompanied vet visit in the first instance. Maybe your own vet is offering online consults?
     
  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    How worried you must be! We could use some more information such as how old your cat is. And what has the blood work shown? Steroids come with some potentially serious side effects, such as diabetes.
     
  4. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    I recall one of mine had a much increased appetite with steroids - though no weight loss that I can recall. As @lorilu says, some cats do suffer side effects with steroids. Lethargy, I think is one which should wear off once they are out of the system and also increased thirst/drinking (polydipsia). The thing with an injection, once it's in, it's in . . . and I do recall that the ones my guy lasted (supposedly) a month (though I thought slightly less). So any side effects your cat is having which may be down to the steroids won't disappear quickly, if that makes sense. How old is she?
     
  5. Gemma8140

    Gemma8140 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello all and thank you for your feedback We took her back to the vets and she has chronic kidney failure. She’s 9 years old so is common. She’s back into the vets later for a few days to flush her system to hopefully remove the high levels of creatine and urea that have gone through the roof. If this works she should start eating again.

    The reason why it’s chronic is that the steroids have possibly masked all symptoms until she visited the vet. She’s an anxious cat and the sudden increase in cortisol from her visit could have caused a sudden spike in creatine/urea thus causing chronic kidney failure. But the vet has been amazing (and it very much depends which vet you see....), and he will do everything he possibly can to get her through to the other side. A kidney disease diet for life but a small price to pay if she can get through the next few days
     
  6. I’m sorry to hear that and yes a visit to a vet can be very stressful. I would ask your vet to prescribe gabapentin (if her kidneys can take it) to give her 2 hours or so before the visit. It can really reduce levels of anxiety.

    Alternatively Zyklene, Kalm Aid gel for cats or Hemp oil for pets are natural calming supplements which also work.
     
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  7. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    @Gemma8140 I rather thought that chronic kidney disease was gradual and was used to describe kidney failure which had been happening for more than three months (or constantly recurring); and that acute kidney failure was sudden (say from eating something toxic, antifreeze, pollen etc). I also understood that the acute form is potentially possibly reversible, whereas chronic can be controlled and slowed down up to a point with diet but is in fact generally a degenerative disease. As you say, it is common in older cats. I have been feeding one for a friend for four years who will not eat a renal diet but has a phosphate binder in her food. If they won't look at a renal diet, you are advised to try the senior pouches (and see if they will deign to eat those). I wish her well.
     
    #7 Calvine, Dec 30, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  8. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Agree that the Zylkene is a great calming supplement, also palatable in that you can mix the powder with food and they seem not to notice it. Not tried the others, but heard the hemp oil is good.
     
  9. jasmine2

    jasmine2 PetForums Member

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    Sorry I didn’t quite understand did you say that the vet visit caused your cats kidney failure due to the stress? My cat had Conjunctivitis but she was fine her lively self I took her to a new vet due to lock down and when she came back she was very quiet and changed. It’s been few months and she is same and lost some weight too. In the past I’ve taken her to the vet many times but different vet and she has been fine. I don’t know what happened at the vet my uncle says m perhaps the vet gave her some injection to make her this way but why will the vet do this. I’m worried reading your post
     
  10. Gemma8140

    Gemma8140 PetForums Newbie

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    An update... Sasha probably had chronic liver disease for a while but due to a cats ability to hide symptoms and appear normal, combined with steroids for the past couple of months, her symptoms were masked. And then the sudden stressful event of going to the vets tipped it over the edge due to the sudden increase in cortisol. Stress can induce acute kidney failure. So a double whammy for her that has left her kidneys in stage 4 kidney failure.

    The vet called this morning after a better night. Sasha has eaten some food, specific to kidney disease. She’s been on a fluid drip for 48 hours now. He believes that Sasha can/should come home tonight to a more relaxed environment so that her body has a better chance of dealing with the kidney failure. He is fairly certain that she is in no pain, she doesn’t flinch or become aggressive. I don’t think she will be long for this world but at least I can give her a comfortable end.

    My advice to anyone worried about change in behaviour after a vet visit, request a blood test. Fairly inexpensive and quick but potentially a life saver. Now I know more about the causes of kidney disease, and the fact that it is so common AND easily misdiagnosed/hidden without a blood test, I am more likely to request regular blood tests in older cats.
     
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  11. Gemma8140

    Gemma8140 PetForums Newbie

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    @jasmine2 I am sorry to hear your cat has changed since a vet visit. Can you request a blood test?

    Our vets are wonderful which is why I was so confused and upset as to why Sasha suddenly changed, the difference between day and night. When they explained her diagnosis and prognosis they were very clear that cats are very unclear and complicated when it comes to figuring out the cause. It’s never simple. Unlike dogs that can’t tolerate much pain and feeling unwell, and who will let you know very early that something is wrong, cats are evolutionary designed to mask illness so that predators will not see them as weak and eat them until the very end of life.
    So perhaps a blood test will give you a few answers/rule some things out as to why your cats behaviour has changed xxx
     
    Calvine likes this.
  12. This is very true hence why vets often seek the advice of feline behavioural therapists to understand a cat’s symptoms. They are truly mysterious.
     
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  13. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    I think the vet hopefully would, or should, tell you what your cat had; I always ask for a full itemised invoice as I want to know exactly what they are getting. But admittedly, it is awkward now that you cannot go into the consulting room with the cat and ask them. When I took our Maggie recently, I actually typed out a list in advance of exactly what I wanted her to have and questions I wanted answering; I found it easier than the vet and I shouting at each other through masks. She was very grateful.
     
  14. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Tell me about it. I had one who hated the snow. If he got snow between his pads or toes he would sit down and whine and hold his foot up to be ''made better'' with a cloth I had to take with me to wipe them off. Then I saw an article about a dog that had little wellington boots when the weather was bad.
     
  15. Gemma8140

    Gemma8140 PetForums Newbie

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    @Calvine we had a husky who had booties for the snow - well technically the salt on pavements but he also hated the cold snow on his paws!

    Sasha sadly passed away last night whilst lying next to me. She came home but she was so poorly (the vet gave her a sedative to help her stay calm and see how she went) so I was grateful in a way that her suffering was brief/hopefully non existent. But I am so incredibly sad and lost without her
     

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  16. I’m so sorry to hear this. I know exactly what you’re feeling.
     
  17. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    @Gemma8140: I am so sorry to hear you have lost your beautiful girl. You did all you could and for her it was a blessing that she died at home and next to you. Take care. XX
     
  18. jasmine2

    jasmine2 PetForums Member

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    So sorry for your loss
     
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