mystery sickness, headed to the vet...

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by hailey & oscar, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2020
    first of all i hope everybody is doing well here throughout these trying times... it has certainly been an unforeseen hit after having feline diabetes enter our lives.
    anyway, to the point- dealing with a sick kitty. going to the vet as soon as they open in 1/2 an hour. no food since yesterday evening, after a massive watery vomit when i walked in from the grocery store. traces of hairball but lots and lots of clear liquid. i suspect he hadn’t eaten much during the day but did wake me up in the morning as per usual for breakfast (yesterday) which he was interested in and i didn’t think too much about it. seemed dehydrated last night and i was concerned to get some liquids/food into him. he did drink water on his own but since about 10/11pm has been more or less in one place oscillating between a huddle and a lay down, suggesting discomfort, but maybe not too much? too much for me to know he’s ok anyway.
    unsure if he is dealing with a pancreatitis flare, urinary blockage, dka poss?
    he seems to want to be normal but had behaved more or less lethargically since last night. i syringe fed him a little watered food just to get something in him. i was trying to gauge if i should bring him to the er, a really impacting decision at a time when i have no income due to our global crisis. but i’ve barely slept and am counting the minutes until my regular vet opens... i believe he’s not moving due to pain from pancreas or either a distended bladder (only other things we’ve dealt with) , but he won’t stretch his body out straight and only taking a few steps at a time before crouching down again. i have been testing his levels (haven’t updated a few since otj) but he’s been in BEAUTIFUL numbers until this am when he tested 153. so now i’m bringing him back to vet with highs enough to require insulin, having not given it to him in almost two months, trying to stay calm about the possibility of any of the above mentioned conditions, wondering how to move forward with possibly resuming insulin :(and hope that we can sail through whatever this has brought us. he was due to go back for his 3 month update this month and since he was in such great shape thus far in otj journey i thought we could hold off on account of the pandemic and maybe wait until things are more calmed to take him for a check up, but now we are so swiftly back in crisis mode, during another crisis altogether.

    any insights are welcome or even just support, i know it’s a vague description in a panicked haze but i thought i should reach out to this community that has been so supportive already. lots of love from me and oscar
     
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  2. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Sending good vetty visit vines. Hoping Oscar is ok.:bighug::bighug::bighug:
    Keep us posted.
     
  3. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hoping it is something easily treatable.
     
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  4. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I echo the others. Sigh, I wish I had the words you need to hear. But my prayers and positives follow you!:bighug:
     
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  5. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    well the vet wouldn’t admit us right now based on my description of what was going on, because of their limitations in seeing patients due to the pandemic and quarantine efforts. they first advised me to go to an er clinic but i persisted on the phone to try and be seen today, and after speaking with the tech he asked me to monitor and call back at 2pm wherein he may be admitted.
    so, begins the 4 hours i am a wreck waiting around to see if he eats which i don’t think he will, etc etc,
    this vet i go to regularly is typically pretty good but i know they are probably trying to keep things limited in there right now, i do believe that they’ve been a little more lax with some regard to the diabetes things and wasn’t too concerned about his higher reading this morning. this is the vet who told me to shoot a regular insulin dose when oscar read at 74 amps newly into our shoot cycles. he also just mentioned that a cat not eating for 24 hours wouldn’t be such a huge cause for alarm. i don’t know, i can only try to challenge those comments so much when i’m also basically begging to have my cat seen. will update around then once i call back or if any other developments occur...
     
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  6. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    :eek: well thats scary...I dont know Oscars history but thats plain scary. smh
    Again, my prayers are with you.
     
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  7. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    yes it is scary. may i correct it has been the tech at the office who gave me both of those tidbits, the doctor i typically see there when we go for appts is not who i spoke with either of these times. i have interacted with this tech in person and everyone at this office has shown us better care than the last vet despite this kind of wack feedback. i don’t think finding a new vet is an option at this point based on the lockdown status of many places throughout the country and nyc especially right now.... anyway fingers are crossed.

    does anyone think i ought to try syringe feeding again? or let him be until i check back with the vets office. he tolerated it last night but was not thrilled by any means.
     
  8. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Many vet offices/clinics are meeting their clients in the parking lot/space/sidewalk. Someone in the clinic comes out to meet you, taking the carrier from the caregiver, vet or vet tech talking to clients via phone call as they do the exam.

    Could be pancreatitis. If so, then Oscar needs meds for anti-nausea, pain, perhaps an appetite stimulant (given only after the anti-nausea has taken effect), subq fluids if he is dehydrated.

    Did you test for dehydration? Pull up a little tent of skin. If it stays up, then dehydrated. If the skin tent goes right back into place, not dehydrated.

    Gum check is another way to check. Press a finger on the gum. Turns white and then should pink right back up. Do the gums feel tacky? That's a sign of dehydration.
     
  9. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    this is exactly what i told them i was thinking it could be, he told me that if he isn’t yelping in pain when i tried to pick him up then it’s likely not pancreatitis and i just about strangled him through the phone.
     
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  10. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    i believe he is nauseous and in pain- in the past i was given an appetite stimulant but i no longer have that. i do have buprenex on hand which i was on the fence about administering a small dose of to see if pain management would increase his interest in food... haven’t felt confident about giving him anything in terms of meds since i’m unsure of interactions with bg levels, bupe as far as i’ve read seems ok, but since i don’t have any anti nausea didn’t know if it would make a difference.
    he hasn’t vomited again since last night but definitely hasn’t eaten. i tented his scruff / gums to check for dehydration and was staying a bit before i got him to drink some water and syringe fed watery food to him, he seemed a little better but not ideal, i have been told by this vet in the past they would instruct me on home dosing sub q fluids which i will definitely be asking about today if we can get there in a little bit,
    if it comes down to an er visit i’d like to be as succinct as possible so they are vaguely testing around for things and i leave with no answers but a massive bill - stress on stress on stress but of anything i want to have oscar seen and treated as soon as possible to help mitigate any serious issues
     
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  11. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    he urinated so i know he’s not blocked,
    i tested it for ketones and it seemed to read as none, i’m still unsure of those strips in general but to my eyes the color meter read as that. i’ll try again when i see him in the box next. still just sleeping though, no food or water
     
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  12. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Most vets are only seeing sick animals at this time. This surprises me.

    Anyway, you mentioned vomiting large amount. Was it projectile vomiting? Clear fluid?

    I ask because earlier this month, we went through very similar thing. When I came home from work Saturday evening husband said someone peed a lot on floor. The only one who goes in large volume is our diabetic.

    So when feeding, Tux one of our civvies doesn't eat, licks it but not eat. Drinking huge amount of water. Figured we watch then get to vet on Monday. This was just before lockdown started.

    Sunday, he was same not eating, not his usual mischief self but drinking. Then he had projectile vomiting. All the water he drank during the day. Tux is a long hair 7 yr old. Couple times a year, he has gastritis for a few days, at least that's what they tell us then.

    So Sunday night I take him to ER, because projectile vomiting is just abnormal, just before lockdown started. Turns out he had intestinal obstruction. Within 12 hrs of taking him in, he was in surgery. It was a "petrified" their words hairball. It was stuck and no way he would have vomited it up or pooped it out.

    In his entire 7 yrs he never had this. Vomit one up rarely but he never had them. ER could not believe he never had a problem. They his "gastritis" might have been hairballs, but he was able to pass them out.

    He came home day after surgery. Now under lockdown and he just had his post up check. It was curbside service. They come to car get pet and bring him back. You never leave car.

    Something to keep in mind. Don't wait to long if he isn't eating. If this is what is wrong, syringe feeding could be detrimental.

    Good luck
     
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  13. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    oh my god.

    how is your kitty doing now?

    honestly something to this effect crossed my mind, but i didn’t think it was a realistic explanation. it was a pretty projectile vomit however. he has had normal stool over the last several days although hasn’t passed anything since he’s been feeling sick.
    oscar will have occasional hair balls, and that is what his presentation struck me as when he was making the pre vomit help cries, but only a small amount of hair accompanied this liquid, and it was very soft like not impacted into the typical hairball.

    i am currently at the vet. he vomited again, less volume this time but still with force and that was what they decided was acceptable for admittance. i am waiting in the hallway of the clinic (it is part of a larger complex) for someone to come out and speak with me...
     
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  14. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2020
    al
    so do
    do you happen to know how they determined the obstruction? i’m wondering if it’s something they are able to do at my vet if he does need surgery, i don’t believe they are keeping overnights currently.
     
  15. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    abdominal xray. Tux pooped and peed normally.
     
  16. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    well, they found an obstruction.
    my vet clinic cannot perform this procedure since they may not be able to remain open for hospitalizations, so they are referring me to an er facility and all of this timing is extremely scary with everything happening at once, no income from stopped work, a much higher cost for the procedure at an emergency clinic, i am calling around now to see where can afford me the most financial accessibility but i don’t plan on receiving too much luck. have been denied care credit and similar situations as well.
    fingers crossed that these places offer some compassion for us :/
     
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  17. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Bad timing. But it's an emergency and it needs to be done today or tomorrow.

    Have you applied for unemployment? Waiting week has been waived.
     
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  18. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Also check with your humane society or animal control to see if there are any low cost vets in your area. They often have grant money and donations to help cover vet costs for people who cannot afford vet costs.
     
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  19. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    @Chris & China (GA) may be able to help with finances. I’m so sorry this is happening to your kitty.
     
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  20. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    My ER has a compassionate program. Maybe ask yours if they do.
     
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  21. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    what a day. i’m decompressing a bit, thank you for all the support and well wishes. when it rains it really really pours...........!!!!!!
    so, after a lot of phone calls to some very abrasive and unhelpful er clinics, giving me no estimates without taking him in and having another exam by their doctors, then finding one that gave me some hope be it still with exorbitant costs, my regular vet called and they said that they would be willing to do the surgery tomorrow morning, calling us a part of their family- and that after keeping him until closing hours would transfer him to the other hospital for a 24 hour aftercare period. THEY came through for me as literal angels today offering this and also are able to provide the procedure at a price that is achievable for me albeit not insignificant whatsoever. the aftercare package, provided he does not need additional hospitalization time, is also within reach. basically, it’s all an upfront cost which still is a worry with no income stream at the moment (i freelance as a contractor so i’m ineligible for unemployment) but a far cry from the 5 or 6k estimate that was being vaguely pitched to me earlier today and which had me in tears - i’m not sure if this is their compassionate ‘program’ but they’re certainly doing their best and saving me and oscar in so many ways, i’m in tears of joy over this as well. despite all of the chaos happening around us right now some small miracles are still occurring.....

    so here we are starting another adventure in the morning. i’ll keep you posted -oscar is snoozing like a baby, filled with sub fluids like a little furry water balloon.
    good news is all his bloodwork came back today good, glucose elevated but likely do to this (i’m dearly hoping anyway, that is yet another bridge to cross...) kidneys good, thyroid good, they also ran a fructosamine test? for the last 30 days and that was sent out to a lab so waiting on those results but overall he seems good besides for this. this was also the briefing on my having weaned him from insulin which they seemed a bit shocked at first, but at my explanation of things and sending a copy of his SS they seemed to give me some more credit than they originally planned to.
    either way, here we are and hopefully he comes out of this even stronger. this cat, has been through some stuff for being such a spoiled house kitty.

    lots of love, will report back sometime tomorrow :bighug:
     
  22. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    I pray you find a place to have some compassion for your kitty, please keep us updated
     
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  23. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    @Olive & Paula , you were one of these small miracles today as well-if it were not for your eerily similar story shared at this moment in time to have me asking them to consider x rays we may have still been at square one, so really thank you so much
     
  24. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    Oh Hailey I'm so happy for you and Oscar, tomorrow can't come fast enough, might be a dumb question but what was the obstruction , a hairball
     
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  25. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    they have not disclosed what it is, i don’t know if the x day is discernible - i’m not sure they’ll know until the procedure tomorrow but i believe that’s likely it
     
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  26. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    I will be praying for Oscar, and you Hailey to try and stay calm, easier said then done right, he is a beautiful kitty by the way. Please keep us updated ok:bighug:
     
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  27. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    I am so glad your vet is helping you. Thank goodness! All the very best for tomorrow. Please keep us updated.
     
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  28. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    @hailey & oscar

    So glad things have fallen into place and Oscar will get the help he needs. Obstruction is really serious. My Tux was in overnight after the surgery. Came home next day. They put a pain patch on him that was good for 4 days.

    And your right it is expensive. Maybe you can start a go find me.

    Keep us updated.
     
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  29. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    So glad your vet is working with you. So many folks without income now, and so many that don't qualify for unemployment. I'll be keeping you and Oscar in my happy thoughts.
     
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  30. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    OHMAGOSH! You and Oscar really have been through the wringer. I am so sorry but as the saying goes, we never know what we can do until we have to. My prayers are following you both. sigh:bighug:
     
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  31. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    @hailey & oscar hi Hailey just checking in to see how Oscar is doing, know yo must be busy, when you get a free minute, please let us know how everything is
     
  32. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    hi!
    we’ve just gotten home a little while ago. not sure who’s more exhausted actually....
    surgery went well. they extracted what looked to me to be a very compacted clump of hair. they didn’t seem to be able to offer a full determination of what exactly it was, or why it would be stuck, but it did look like things he’s coughed up in the past and i’m wondering if it has been a long time of buildup or something simply prevented him from getting this one out, for some freak reason.
    we went after surgery to the overnight hospital where they told me he also did well, ate, was acting sweet. we’ve been sent home with gabapentin that i’ll be giving him in maybe an hour or two. he’s eaten a little bit since we got back.

    with food, i went and picked up some variety of what seemed to fit the bill for his low carb and low phosphorous (for urinary cautions) makeup as per the chart, just so i can be sure he’s eating since he turns his nose up at the dm more often than i’d like. he’s just a little over 11 lbs right now feeling very scrawny and weak so i want to get him back to his usual 13 hopefully soon.
    thinking ahead, i’m trying to figure out how to curb anything like this happening again, and praying that his bg levels stabilize in the next few days..... the vet had also run a fructosamine test for the last 30 days to chart his bg and told me his numbers were ‘perfect’ and to keep doing whatever i’m doing (thanks to all of you!!!)
    so, trying to stay optimistic now, focus on healing and strengthening, staying on the floor and out of high places, and honestly praying that things just go smoothly.
    if anyone has any suggestions on hairball control they are definitely welcomed, i’ll be starting some research on that today...
     
  33. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Thanks for the update on Oscar, and letting us know he came through his surgery just fine. Sending plenty of healing vines so he gets better fast!

    Brushing. Slicker brush for brushing out any loose fur.

    I'm sure @Olive & Paula have some suggestions for hairball control, since she recently went through this hairball obstruction issue with her civie Tux.

    p.s. Good news on the Fructosamine being "perfect." With Oscar being OTJ, how could you expect otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  34. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Sending many healing vines! whew
     
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  35. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    So glad the surgery went well. Agree with Deb's daily brushing for helping prevent hairballs. With a sugar cat, you can't use petromalt, but you can give a little vaseline now and again. You can also add a little psylium husk in his food, but add extra water because it gets very gummy.
     
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  36. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    How about mineral oil?
     
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  37. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    meds question in case anyone is familiar with this too-
    he has gabapentin which we’ve been given in the past as well , pre diabetes, but in a slightly different formulation. the one i have now has a very fruity smell to it almost suggesting to me that it was flavored...and so i called to ask the er doctor and make sure it wouldn’t spike glucose, they told me it does have a scent/flavor but would not interfere with bg and i guess i don’t totally trust them on that (still on edge lol) , but i’m curious if anyone has encountered this particular formulation of it before as none of the previous versions had this smell...
    i may check on that with my regular vet as well.
     
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  38. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Sorry can't answer the gaba question - only ever gave pills in pill pockets.

    For hair balls, here's an article on the FoodFurLife website. I have occasionally used a bit of unsalted butter (if kitty can handle dairy) and coconut oil. The egg yolks helped too.
     
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  39. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    From what I've read, mineral oil can be toxic to cats if they get any in their lungs. I would skip it. If you want an oil, you are better off with coconut oil I would think. Or even olive oil.
     
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  40. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    So happy to hear Oscar came through with flying colors, praying for a speedy recovery:bighug::cat:
     
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  41. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Think I'll stick with egg yolk.
     
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  42. Julie and Eleanor (GA)

    Julie and Eleanor (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2012
    This is the gabapentin solution my vet gives to my civie , it is manufactured by Amneal. Don't know if it is the same as you were given though.

    Color:
    Clear, pale-yellow to yellow
    Flavor/Scent:
    Peppermint Strawberry Anise
    Scorings:
    Unscored
    Contains Gluten?:
    Contains no ingredient made from a gluten-containing grain (wheat, barley, or rye)
    Contains Lactose?:
    No
    Latex?:
    Not made with natural rubber latex.
    Contains Sweeteners?:
    Contains Acesulfame Potassium and Magnasweet
    Contains Soy?:
    No
    Contains Gelatin?:
    No
    Allergen Info:
    Contains the artificial sweeteners Acesulfame Potassium and Magnasweet, but no Aspartame or Xylitol Contains Glycerin (a Sugar Alcohol) Contains Citric Acid and Potassium Sorbate Does not contain alcohol Does not contain mercury
    Other Product Info:
    Gabapentin Oral Solution contains the artificial sweeteners Acesulfame Potassium and Magnasweet, but no Aspartame or Xylitol.
     
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  43. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    How is Oscar doing with his recovery?

    How are YOU doing Hailey?
     
  44. hailey & oscar

    hailey & oscar Member

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    Jan 5, 2020
    oscar seems to be doing well, i think he’s found all the places on the floor to have naps by now. despite my attempts to create inviting little beds around he seems to prefer the hard wooden floor. i’ve been giving him the pain meds although it doesn’t seem to me that he’s in all that much discomfort to begin with. honestly i find it more traumatizing for the both of us giving oral meds than insulin injections...

    i am also trying to maintain a semblance of sanity and normalcy which is its own struggle living in a house of 5 while we are all trying to quarantine.... but i’d say all things considered it’s going alright.
    i hope everyone else has been staying healthy and safe and sane. lots of love coming from brooklyn
     
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