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Thread: Questions about Epogen

  1. #1
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    Questions about Epogen

    I know that several of the Cat Talkers have used Epogen on their cats in the past. Our 17 yr old, Norton, has anemia. For about a year, he has been getttin Pet Tabs Vitamins with Iron 2.5cc twice a day. That has been holding him. However, he had blood work done in March, which showed a slight decrease in his values. BUT, on Monday, his bloodwork came back and it is AWFUL. His Hbg is 7.6, Hct 22.1, and RBC's 5.34. His appetite is EXCELLENT (despite recent dental work where he lost alot of teeth). He is a kidney and thyroid boy, and those values were perfect. Our vet started Norton on Prednisone 5 mg. once a day. Next week, Norton will have a CBC drawn again. If there is no improvement, Epogen may be started. My questions are many, side effects, how quickly does it work, and have you had success with it. You may find this a bit funny, but as a RN, really have never had exposure to this medication. But will learn quickly.....Please keep Norton in your prayers...
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  2. #2
    My RB Puddy was on Epogen but Dr. Lee told me that it would take several weeks, possibly months, before it began to work and she had so many other problems and went to the Bridge before I could give a definite opinion one way or the other. I will say, though, that injecting the B vitamins into her subQ fluid bag was the best thing ever to bring improvement. Her dementia left immediately and she got her appetite back, too. She only lived for two days afterwards, though, so I wish I could tell you that Epogen was worth it but she just didn't have enough time on it. Good luck w/Norton and please know that you both are in my prayers. I hope that the Epogen works for your sweet boy.
    Blessings,
    Mary



    "Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

  3. #3
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    Thank you Mary!!! Norton is eating well, so that is good! I spoke with my friend who is a dietician. She suggested giving Norton B 12, folic acid, and Vit. C. So I found the lowest doses and spilt the pills into quarters, and Norton started on them this morning. Since these are all water soluble vitamins, the excess will all go into the litter box. We keep him warm and LOTS of LOVE!!! THANKS AGAIN!!! Sandra and Norton
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  4. #4
    Here's an article on anemia in cats with a substantial section on the use of Epogen:

    http://www.felinecrf.org/anaemia.htm

  5. #5
    Here is a link on Epogen that Lara emailed me when Puddy was anemic. Hope it helps.

    http://www.marvistavet.com/html/erythropoietin.html
    Blessings,
    Mary



    "Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

  6. #6
    kb2yjx, Norton is in our prayers. As a 2 yr old Kami, an Egyptian Mau, got an auto immune disease where she was killing her own red blood cells. I think this came about from a premium food we fed her which was lacking an important nutritional component but in any event she has had this problem ever since, although it seems to be getting a little better on meds. But just when you think she is doing extremely well she has a relapse. If you think about it, food companies have absolutely no regard for our health - look at the crap they make and sell as human food that is slowly killing us; even the Gov't RDAs are wrong. I read a lot about cat nutrition and the 'food standards' used; they are scary and at best very primitive. She does very well on Evo Ancestral Diet but has health problems with Fromm and Felidae is what caused it. On to your questions, the Epogen has pulled her from near death several times without apparent side effects. I am sure there are though and you can find those on www. A monthly maintenance dose of .2ml holds her usually [10# cat] but when she is having severe problems I have gone to .1ml every other day for a few days till I start to see a response. Cats are extremely tough; they make it through things that would have killed a dog long ago. You can imagine not having enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to all the cells in your body really takes the sap out of them. You usually can see daily improvement from them lying on the floor like a blob of jello, at their worst, to running around the house and doing normal cat things. The best barometer of where they are hematacrit wise, without paying for blood tests, is their tongue. It is best viewed on a sunny day anywhere near a window. The sun makes the true color and purple that the tongue should be show up better. The bottom of the tongue gives a better picture as the top has the little barbs [hair combs] and saliva to disguise it. The idea here is to anticipate and see a deterioration coming and react with meds before they are really bad as it is not obvious from their behavior, otherwise you are bringing them back from near death each time [hopefully]. Prednisolone 2.5mg every other day is part of the treatment but in the emergency state I've used 5mg or more per day. This helps settle the body down and lessen the rejection. So three years later, I have learned a lot about treating this and try not to go to the vet. We have a Fabulous vet but everytime I go, with tests, med refills and all it is $500. I don't know the state of Norton but the above works for us. Kami, with the auto immune situation is also more susceptible to infections so sometimes treatment with Baytril is required to kill that off then rebuild the hematacrit level which ranged from a 7 [transfusion time] to 34. I hope this helps you and anyone else here. I know a lot more about this if you need more info.

  7. #7
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    Hello, bwit! Welcome to Pet Talk. Here on the cat side, I think we are a special group, interesting, with lots of ideas, and when needed, prayers. I was surprised to see this old thread. I am sorry to tell you, that Norton went to the Bridge May 31,2009. He developed severe respiratory distress in the middle of the night, and Barry and I made the decision that it was time to let him go. He was a very special cat, had a huge following of friends, and LOVED cheesecake!!! Thank you for your help, maybe it can help others, and I hope Kami is doing well!!! Sandra
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    Sixx is Bliss

  8. #8
    Sandra, thanks for your reply and the Welcome. Sorry to hear about Norton. He is such a beautiful cat and appears so relaxed; I'm guessing Maine Coon. I hope they have cheesecake for him at the Bridge. The best to you and yours.

    Bruce and Kami [Egyptian Mau]
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    Last edited by bwit; 05-04-2010 at 09:33 AM. Reason: additional info

  9. #9
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    Hi Bruce!! Thank you for your kind words about Norton. We are not sure what kind of cat Nortie was, he was found in a sewer, hence the name Norton(after Ed Norton from the Honeymooners!). Your girl is quite the looker!! Sandra
    Sixx is Bliss

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