My oldest cat Dusty is 16 1/2. She's been having problems with arthritis for several years, and has been on Cosaquin and a liquid to help her out some. I've been increasing the dose, but these last couple months it seems her limiping just gets worse. Her poor legs shake when she stands or walks for more than a few minutes. Trooper that she is though, she keeps on keeping on without complaining, but I know she's in pain.
I took her to work with me today so the vet could check her over and see what else we can do for her. We took x-rays and here's the bad news...
*Dusty has NO cartlidge in her left hip or both her stifles (knees).
*The ball and socket that should be her hip, is no longer a ball but a flat spot of bone grinding on bone!
*Her stifles (knees) that should have some padding between the bones, is now just bone grinding on bone.
*The muscles in her back legs have atrophied (sp?) so badly she can hardly support her weight for any length of time.
No wonder the poor furbaby has been limping so badly and the Cosaquin isn't helping anymore no matter what the dose.
So now it's a matter of making her more comfortable for the time she has left with more risky medications. Cats do not have the many pain/anti-inflamatory meds available like dogs do. Most meds will destroy the liver and kidneys in cats, and there's been very little approved for use in cats. Last year her lab tests came back all within normal ranges, so at least we aren't starting out in the hole with the liver/kidneys.
Metacam, which is commonly used in dogs, had been approved for a one time use as an injectable in cats. Dusty already had that injection 2 years ago! However given our safe alternatives, which are few, we did a 1/2 dose injection of Metacam today to see if it helps any. If it does we'll repeat the injection in one week. If not then we'll have to resort to another pain med. Either way anything we do now is a risk just to make her be in less pain.
Dusty still has her good days when she wants to play, although it's far less often and for much shorter periods of time, and she no longer uses her back legs when wrestling with the catnip bag. She does still have an appetite She eats less at a time but wants food more frequently.
She's had a hard life with many medical problems along the way, but fighter that she is, she always seems to bounce back. I think she still has time left, maybe a year or so if we are lucky.
I'm going to look online tonight for one of those orthopedic foam heated cat beds, the ones with the sensor in them that comes on when your cat lays in them and goes off when they get up. I dunno if I can find one or not, but I think it would make Dusty's sore joints feel better.
Dusty could use all the prayers you can give her.
Thank you for letting me get this off of my chest.