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  #1  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default Kitty Gus - July 1996 - April 1, 2011

I've been concerned about our cat Gus (the autistic one) for about a month because of a limp and his pelvis feeling bony, like he had lost muscle mass there. We gave him a week on Metacam and he seemed more or less okay. I thought maybe he injured his leg.

But last week he looked rugged. This weekend my husband and I both noted his ungroomed fur and general look of not feeling well, plus he had lost still more weight in his hips, which are extremely thin and bony now, and is still favoring the right hind leg. I learned at the vet yesterday that he lost almost a pound in four weeks.

So we had bloodwork done yesterday, which showed high levels of calcium plus calcium oxalate crystals were in his urine.

He's in today being checked stem to stern with ultrasound and x-rays - most likely candidates are a parathyroid gland tumor or lymphoma...

We are waiting for word from the tests and then will pick him up this afternoon - he had to be anesthetized for the procedures as he's not cooperative, so he has to recover from that before we can bring him home.

I'm so worried about him... He's the gray one in this picture. His sister Katie is in the middle and Winky, who passed on in 2005, is on the right.




Natalie

Last edited by k9diabetes; 05-06-2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

Natalie,

I remember Gus going in when you had to take Chris recently. Sure hope the tests say whatever's bothering him can be treated and that he will be back to 100% soon!

Get Well SOON, Gus!
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

The vet just called. They sampled some tissue from the spleen, maybe liver.... not sure where else. He says it isn't screaming lymphoma but there are some suggestions that it might be, like more lymphocytes than they would expect, and they are sending the samples to a pathologist to review. Gus should be ready to come home in about three hours.

The good news for Gus is he wants me to push calories.

Gus has been on a diet but seems not to be eating enough lately. So I'm to feed him as much as he will eat and hopefully we won't have to put in a feeding tube to get some calories back into him. He says he's seeing some fat in the liver, suggesting Gus has not eaten as much as he should.

I know Katie has been cleaning up the breakfast he leaves behind (and getting plumper) but I can let him free feed and I think he might eat more in the evening if it's available. And I'll drag out the canned food too.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

From working on the wiki, I know just a bit about fatty liver in cats--it's quite a concern for those whose cats aren't eating, possibly because of their diabetes problems. Also know that if they won't eat enough on their own, the feeding tube has to come into the picture.

Hope that Gus will find something he likes a LOT and will stuff his furry face enough so he doesn't wind up being tube-fed!

BTW--perhaps you pass by some of the "Hammy Heavens" on your way to or from picking up Gus? Not sure if this would appeal to Gus or not, but know there IS someone at home who would find it GREAT!
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

Aw Natalie - i'm sorry to hear this about Gus! Will keep good thoughts coming his way that he begins to feel better. How old is he? Our kitty Lacey is ten and in pretty good shape - other than she's on a diet - much too fat. Since Taffy is gone - we are spending quite a bit of time together and she is no longer deprived! Let us know how things go! Jody
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

Gus is home. Still pretty groggy and can't manage his back leg coordination at all yet so has a way to go on recovering from the anesthesia. They left his catheter in so if he doesn't eat they can easily give him an IV. I'll take him back in the morning to have it removed.

But he came home with some canned IVD food and ate about half a can of the lamb version. And I put some of his kibble in his kennel where he's hanging out so he can eat that at will.

The vet's current thought is parathyroid tumor. He said one of the parathyroid glands is more than twice the size of the other one.

They are running two blood tests - "hypercalcemia of malignancy" (very expensive!) and "ionized calcium," which, as I understand it can determine whether there's lymphoma, parathyroid tumor, or, heaven forbid, both. And they did needle biopsies, guided by ultrasound, of the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes that will be reviewed by a pathologist in the next day or two.

Plus his doc is going to have a UCD radiologist review his x-ray.

(I really really like this vet - very thorough)

From what I was told, it's typical for the high levels of calcium to have damaged the kidneys, which does not seem to be the case with Gus. But if that's it, I think we caught it early. One of the vet's concerns is that the calcium level isn't high enough (13.2 with a normal range that tops out at 11.8) to explain how lousy Gus seems to feel.

The vet noted bowel inflammation as well, which could be a separate issue or related to lymphoma.

So we feed him as much as he will eat, take the cath out tomorrow morning, and await the various test results.

If it's a parathyroid tumor, that can possibly be either fried or removed surgically. If lymphoma, it's chemotherapy.

Natalie
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

Good to hear that even though he's still sort of groggy from being under, he ate some of the IVD.

I can see why he'd be thinking parathyroid tumor after seeing one so much larger than the other. That poor little guy sure went through the works today!

Hope they can get to the bottom of what's bothering Gus and that it's not a malignant problem.

Am just looking at all three of them and it's amazing when you know they're siblings because you don't see any "family resemblances" at all.

Hang in there, Gus--we're all thinking of you!
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

Glad he is home and will be praying it's not lymphoma! How were his kidneys? Kidney cats get that bony rear end look and unkempt look.

I didn't know Winky was a tortie! I have 2 torties! Love them! (some call the dilute calicos?)

Fatty liver is one of my biggest fear with this many cats I figure I'll deal with it at some point.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

Hi Jody!

Gus and Katie are 12. Mostly they've been healthy, which is fortunate since they're both terrible about the vet. From looking around on the web, it looks they may be all or mostly Maine Coons. Their bodies are very similar to each other's, kind of look like a set of salt and pepper shakers when they sit side by side. But Katie has stiff guard hairs and undercoat. Gus only has undercoat fur.

I knew Gus was sick when I saw how readily he let the vet handle him yesterday.

Winky was a tortie inside and out! She came to live with us when she was about 12 I think.... She was my stepdaughter's cat and had been living with my stepdaughter's mom, who decided to rehome her so we took her in. She was 19 when she died.

We already had Gus and Katie by then and Katie and Winky HATED each other. They fought constantly... I could almost hear an audible sigh of relief from Katie when she realized Winky wasn't coming back.... that's terrible, I know, but true.

Denise, amazingly enough, his kidneys are fine. And I was relieved to see that his fasting blood glucose was perfect - 85.

He put away 3/4 of a 5oz can of Lamb IVD and a handful of Whisker Lickins' treats. He's got kibble available but isn't interested.

I hope that's enough. Will check with the vet tomorrow about whether he needs more calories than that. And he's totally ignoring his wrapped catheter so I haven't had to put the e-collar on him.

It will be an anxious couple of days waiting for the test results. I guess we are all hoping for parathyroid... I'd prefer nothing but I don't suppose that's realistic. Parathyroid is more treatable as I understand it.

Natalie
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Kitty Gus is sick

Am thinking good thoughts for you and Gus!!! How is he doing today?
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