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Thread: Dusty is aging not so gracefully **UPDATE**

  1. #1
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    Dusty is aging not so gracefully **UPDATE**

    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.
    Last edited by Catlady711; 02-09-2007 at 09:18 PM.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  2. #2
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    Poor Dusty!!! Oh no, I can sympathize, as I just learned why I have such horrid pain in both knees - no more cartilage!

    I hope you can find some things that will help her feel comfortable. Those heating pads you mentioned sound good. Give her a nice rub from me, OK?

  3. #3
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    HUGS! poor Dusty...

    I hope this doesn't sound stupid...but you know those wheeled things made for dogs who can't use their back legs? I wonder about one for Dusty.

    Though...if she has any muscles left, she maybe should use them as much as she can?

    I just thought the wheely thing might take a lot of pressure off her back legs, and help her feel more comfy.

    Give that darling girl a kiss and hug for me, ok?
    "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don't need to escape from." -- Seth Godin

  4. #4
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    Freedom- my mom has the same problem in one of her knees, and she said it's very painful. I will be sure to give Dusty a cheek scratching for you.

    Catty1 - I thought about a wheeled cart, however there are a few problems with that..
    1) we have an upstairs which Dusty loves to spend alot of time up there.
    2) Dusty won't walk at all with anything around her body, we can't even use a harness on her because she'll just lay and not move at all.
    3) a few of the other cats stalk and pounce her, and a cart would make it much harder for her to hide from them. Dusty has limited eyesight in dim lighting, no pariphial vision, and her hearing is going. I have often thought that the other cats know she's getting older and more feeble and that's why they hound her so.

    It was a great idea about the cart though.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I'm sorry to hear about Dusty. I hope that you can find something that will make her more comfortable.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
    RB Pepper 3/17/97- 2/3/03 RIP Sweet Pepper
    RB Starr 3/22/05- 7/1/09 RIP Sweet Starr
    RB Sunny 8/25/00- 2/28/10 RIP Sweet Sunny
    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

  6. #6
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    Oh poor sweet Dusty. It's so hard to tell if they're in pain isn't it. I'm afraid I don't have any advice, but you should let her be where she wants to be, even if you have to carry her upstairs. Glad to hear she's eating and wants to play, if only for a short time. I think the heated cat bed is a very good idea, that might help ease the pain. You're such a good kitty mom, and I do hope you'll find a medicine that helps her.

    Lots of kisses to Dusty, and hugs to you.
    Randi



    "I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.


  7. #7
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    If Theres A Cost In Being A Pet Guardian Is Not The Food Or Vet Bills , Its The Knowledge That We Will Outlive Our Furry Little Friends.
    And We Will Have To Live With The Agony Of Watching Our Once Vibrant Companions Get Old And Frail.and The Agony Of Having To Decide On The Time When Its Time For Them To Be Angels.
    We Are Praying As Hard As We Can For Our Friend Dusty , That Shes Not In Pain And Still Has Year S Ahead Of Her To Be Your Dear Little Pal.
    THE RAINBOW BRIDGE FOUND HOTEL ANGELS HAVE A NEW FRIEND IN CORINNA.


    ALMOND ROCCA BATON AND ELLIE ANGELS ARE GUARDIANS TO ETERNAL KITTENS ROCC-EL AND T TEEN ANGEL, ALMOND ROCA , VLAD , PAWLEE , SPRITE. LITTLE HEX, OSIRIS AND ANNIE ANGELS.
    EBONY BEAU TUBSTER AND PEACHES BW SPIKE & SMOKEY


    NOW PRECIOUS AND SAM ARE TOGETHER WITH ETERNAL KITTENS SAMMY ,PRESLEY, SYLVESTER AND SCRATCHY JR , MIGHTY MARINA, COSMIC CARMEN, SAMSON ,UNDER KITTY AND SUNKIST AUTUMN & PUMPKIN.
    MIA AND ORANGE BLOSSOM ANGELS HAVE ADOPTED TUXIE , TROOPER , SONGBIRD AND LITTLE BITTY KITTIES MIA-MI BLOSSOMER, TUXEDO AND DASH AS THIER ETERNAL KITTENS.
    PRINCESS JOSEPH AND MICHAEL ARE CELEBRATING 19 YEARS AS LUCKY FOUND CATS

  8. #8
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    Prayers for dear Dusty. Growing old is no fun...but Dusty is lucky to have you looking out for her well being...
    Sixx is Bliss

  9. #9
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    I'm so sorry to hear of Dusty's pain. My vet did give my dear Tucker Metacam to bring home, but I guess that is because she knew he was terminal anyway. (FIP) I just brought him home to spend the last bit of time I could with him.

    I hope you can find ways to make your Dusty comfortable. The heated bed sounds like a good idea!

    Hugs,
    Kim
    Kim Loves Cats and Doggies Too!

  10. #10
    Fingers and paws crossed for Dusty that she gets some relief.

    Blessings,
    Mary

  11. #11
    Give Dusty some extra love from us.

    Know when the right time for the last time is so hard. I wish they would tell us when they hurt. I just went through saying goodbye to my boy cat Lamoni. Fifi went to the RB just over a year ago. I still miss them both an likely always will. I know what you are going through right now. You hurt just as bad as she does, but on the inside.

    There are some signs that you can use to guage when the time has come. Right now be with her every miunute that she will let you.
    ATB

    Charles Kincaid

  12. #12
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    That Metacam 1/2 dose injection seems to be helping. While Dusty still limps (and probably always will because of the damage to her joints), she does seem to be moving around more easily, and has not been going off alone to sleep as much, she's been staying in the livingroom area more. Seems like she takes the stairs a little easier too. She's always had her good days, but since the injection seems most everyday is a good day, and she still plays some, although for a very short period of time and not using her back legs though. Her appetite is good, and she's not been doing any vomiting (last time she got a full dose injection she vomited for 3 days straight!).

    While I can't say it's dramatic improvement, it does seem to be better. It's so hard to tell because cats are not only very good at hiding pain, but since the muscles in her back legs have atrophied (sp?) and she has the joint damage, it's kinda difficult to tell the difference. Her mood seems good.

    I told the vet about it, and he said that we'll wait until it seems to be wearing off and repeat the 1/2 dose injection. We really don't want to rush into a LOT of pain meds because of liver/kidney damage side effects, however I don't want my baby in pain either. It's a fine line to balance.

    Here's a pix of Dusty taken a few weeks ago.


  13. #13
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    I'm glad to hear Dusty is feeling a little better. Its so hard when our kitties aren't feeling well.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby)

  14. #14
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    Have you thought of finding a vet that does acupuncture?

    My Cleo had acupuncture yesterday from her vet to assist her back end (just some mild uncoordination now and again) and her kidney energy meridians.

    I had some for my poor aching back with my own acupuncturist too and it feels much better!

    I find it highly effective.
    There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. (Albert Schweitzer)

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