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Thread: Feline Dementia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Feline Dementia

    Our Pichu has been quieter and quieter since August. And, although in the beginning I though he was just too hot (we had some crazy weather here this summer), it started to look strange for him.

    When I came from my trip to Moldova in October, I could clearly see that he was not OK. We took him to the vet and they could not say what was wrong with him. They checked his sight, he had been acting like he could not see things, they took a blood sample, and they found out that he was really strong, but nothing more. We wondered if he had had a stroke and the vet said it didn't look like it. They gave him a Vitamin B mix and some antibiotics, just in case it was some kind of infection. He was better for a little while, not not long.

    So, now, it goes in waves, one day he's better, next a little worse, then again worse and then really bad (his legs shake when he walks and he gets really confused), then again better. And so on. The only think that is good about this is that I get to snuggle with him like never before.

    We think he has something like feline dementia. He gets really confused, he doesn't know how the door opens, walks in circles and doesn't play (the thing that upsets me the most).

    Does anyone here have any experience with this? If so, what medication did you use and did it help? Pichu is nine and a half and he still looks physically pretty good and I hope to figure out a way to make his life better.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Alberta, Canada
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    Poor Pichu!

    I found some information on Anipryl, another human med that is used in cats and dogs also:

    http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/dise...rylseniors.htm

    This describes the symptoms and has some good info: http://www.petside.com/article/feline-dementia

    Good quality omega oils are good for the brain and nerves. Vets carry it though I switched to a high-grade wild salmon oil from a good pet shop.

    Please keep us posted on your baby boy!
    "Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get." -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Copenhagen, Denmark - GMT+1
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    I'm sorry to hear about Pichu. It seems a little early for dementia, he's not that old, but you never know. I read the links Catty posted... thanks! Some of it fits on Fister. He keeps me awake meowing half the night sometimes, but other than that, he seems to be OK - eats, drinks, pees and poops in his box and even want to go down now and again. Last week, he was meowing for me in the yard, though, which is very unusual.

    "The change seen with senior dementia is one of increased or excessive vocalizations, and not just a simple meow. Some cats appear to develop a separation anxiety at night."

    I hope you will find a diet that can slow down this and Pichu will be happy for years to come.
    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.


  4. #4
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    Sep 2002
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    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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    Gosh, Vio, I haven't seen you around here for ages. I didn't even know you had moved back to the states.

    I think it is pretty early for dementia. Could there be other things? Could it be arthritis pain, and when Pichu stands up, it hurts and it is distracting? Could it be a dental issue? Ears? I am sure you had him completely check over, just mentioning things.

    Please, keep us posted.

    Johanna

  5. #5
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    Apr 2001
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    indianapolis,indiana usa
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    Sorry to hear Pichu is not well. Could he have had a fall or injury while you were away?
    I hope you are able to find something to help him feel better soon.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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    Prayers and healing energies for dear Pichu, that this is something that can be treated or managed without too much trouble and that he is doing well again soon.

    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Santa Clara, CA
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    I'm so sorry to hear this. He does sound like he's too young for dementia unless he's older than you think he is. I know that before my RB Storm had to be put to sleep, he would also some times start howling like he was lost. It would only last a minute or so until he heard my voice and I helped to calm him down but it was scary to watch. His back legs would also give out on him and he became so bad that he could barely walk and he also had a hard time using the litter boxes. His health was deteriorating before my eyes and I knew it was time to let him go. Hopefully you'll be able to find out what's causing this. Maybe it's some kind of a neurological problem. Do you have a vet that specializes in cats near you? Maybe you should get a second opinion. Lots of prayers and positive thoughts are being sent his way.
    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
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Thank you all for your kind words.

    We are still not sure it's dementia, but everyone is suggesting that.

    Pichu doesn't seem to be in pain, even when his hind legs are shaking (and that happens rarely). The first thing that led us to think it's dementia is how he just stares into a corner or wall sometimes.

    He's had a few better days and we're just taking it one day at a time, enjoying the time we have with him. I will ask the vet about the medication and we'll give it a try.

    Johanna, unfortunately I am not posting too often here, just once in a while. If I only had the time to do everything I want, but there are not enough hours in a day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    I am so sorry to hear about your gentle giant. Even if it should not be feline dementia- that leg shaking symptom sounds like something in his brain is not ok
    I hope he will be happy for as much as possible time to come.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Los Angeles, Ca
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    Mac started acting strangely awhile back (odd and excessive vocalizations, shaking legs, staring at the wall, not playing or eating, etc...) so I took him to the vet and had bloodwork done. He suffers from hyperthyroid and was given the proper medicaton and now his is back close to 100%. Have you had Pichu tested for a thyroid condition?
    Proud to be a crazy cat lady!

  11. #11
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    Mar 2002
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    katladyd,

    That sounds a lot like Pichu. They had bloodwork done, but they didn't see anything like this. I will ask again, maybe they weren't looking for that. What is the medication Mac is taking?

    Thank you,

    Vio

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Pennsylvania
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vio&Juni View Post
    katladyd,

    They had bloodwork done, but they didn't see anything like this. I will ask again, maybe they weren't looking for that.


    Vio
    I believe a thyroid problem does not show up on a standard blood panel; it needs a separate test, called a T4. If that was not done, maybe it should be.



    Lady-in-Waiting to HRH The PrinCESS Althea

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Kansas City, Kansas
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    Update - diagnosis

    We got what we think are good news today.

    Pichu had been getting worse and worse and I was really fearing the worst this weekend. Last week we were giving him some medication for kidneys, prescribed two weeks ago and those didn't seem to help at all. Every time they ran tests, they couldn't tell what was going on, everything looked pretty good, except for Pichu. He started losing weight and he wasn't interested in eating, so I was feeding him treats and giving him water with a turkey baster. He could barely walk, could not get on or off bed or couch, and what was really weird (and kind of funny) he could not turn left. We called him Zolander.

    On Monday, we took Pichu a third time to the regular vet and the vet suspected a brain tumor. I cried my eyes out all day until I saw him in the evening, and I realized he looked good. The vet gave him a steroid shot and you could see him getting better by the minute. By Tuesday he was back to normal (well, maybe like 85%).

    We went to the specialist today and he confirmed the diagnosis, but he said since Pichu seems to respond so well to steroids, he could have a good quality life for a long time, probably not as long as I would like, but we'll take what we can.

    So, I have my fluffy boy back and I am happy. I am really happy that he can enjoy again all the things that he used to and that he can eat and get stronger.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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    That's great. Please give Pichu some skritchies and lovies from us.

    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
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    I hope that Pichu has a long and happy life with you. If the tumour is slow growing and the steroids can keep its swelling down, that's all for the good!

    Prayers and hugs to Pichu!
    "Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get." -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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