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Unread 08-20-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Swelling around bum etc...

Good day!
A few months ago, we brought my 10 year old Calico to the vet because she had become quite overweight in the past couple of years. She was never a big eater, but she wasn't a big mover either, so she packed on the pounds…As per the vet’s suggestions; we changed her food from Iams Indoor cat food, and Iams Light, to Hills’ Reducing cat food, dry and canned, sold at the vet's office. She did lose weight. Around the same time, we started letting outside in our completely fenced-in back yard, because she LOVES to be outside, and we thought that the more time she spends outside, the more active she would be, and that would help with the weight loss, which it did.

Very shortly after changing her food and letting her out, we noticed that she started using the litter box extremely often but only peeing a tiny bit at a time…sometimes the urine looked pinkish. Also, when she would position herself to defecate, as her stool would come out, she would squat down abruptly into her own poop, like it was hurting her (even if the stool was small and soft). Sometimes she would position herself to defecate, but nothing would come out. She also developed a lot of swelling just below her anus and the fur around her bum became chronically wet/dirty/smelly despite her constant cleaning.

We brought her to the vet again, who put her on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory, but the improvement was minimal and temporary. Her urine analysis came back normal, and her blood tests showed no kidney or liver problems and no diabetes. As relieved as I am about those results, she continues to have a filthy bottom despite constant cleaning. She emits a foul smell, which is surely unpleasant for her, as well as for us. When I gently wipe her bottom to help clean her, it seems painful for her.

She is as affectionate and playful as ever, but I really want to help her be as healthy as she was before.

Could it be allergies to the new food? Are her anal glands are backed up because her stool is too soft and small? Could it be parasites?? I brought her stool sample at the last vet visit, but the vet didn't think it was necessary. What else could it be?

Addn’l info:
We have another female cat who is 14 years old and a 9 year old female Labrador Retriever, both healthy.
The two large litter boxes are in the washroom (easy access).
I scoop out the litter box a minimum of 3 times per day, and I wash the boxes once per week.
She goes outside virtually everyday.
Photos are available, if needed.

THANK YOU!!
Chantal
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Unread 08-22-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Chantal the first thing I thought of was a urine infection but the vet put her on antibiotics. Did he test for the UTI? My second guess was the anal glands might need to be cleaned out as I know the smell from that alone is atrocious. I don't understand why the vet didn't test the stool sample. Others on here will beable to help you better but I noticed you'd posted yesterday and hadn't received any info. Keep us posted.
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Unread 08-22-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for your reply, mj...the vet did a urine test and it came back normal...I don't know if that is the same test as for UTI but that's what we did. I think I will bring a stool sample anyway and have them test it, just to rule out parasites...should have insisted last time I was there...

Thanks again,
Chantal
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Unread 08-23-2009   #4 (permalink)
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I would take her back, because you say that she is 'trying' to poop and then sitting in it, which sounds like there's something else going on there. It could be that her anal glands need to be expressed, but it's the 'straining and then sitting down' that has got me concerned, I'm not an expert, but it doesn't seem right.
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Unread 08-25-2009   #5 (permalink)
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I will bring her back to the vet soon....thanks again for the input!
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Unread 08-25-2009   #6 (permalink)
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What's your kitty's name?

She may be having trouble with constipation, or arthritis or both.

Chronic constipation can lead to megacolon and there is no cure for megacolon but surgery, so I hope you can get to the source of this problem quickly.

I mention arthritis because often if a cat starts having pain and stiffness in her spine (common area for feline arthritis) she will have pain and trouble squatting and holding the position, which can cause avoidance and constipation.

And certainly constipation can cause blocked anal glands, and they need to be expressed, by the vet. (or a vet tech)

One more thing. Is she still only peeing small amounts? She may be forming crystals in her urine, which is not the same thing as a UTI. The pain and irritation of the crystals and inflammation will make her feel like she has to pee all the time, which is why she is going so often and only getting out small amounts.

And why did the vet prescribe antibiotics if there was no sign of a UTI?

I think it's time for a second opinion with a different vet.
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Unread 08-27-2009   #7 (permalink)
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On May 12, the vet did a urine analysis and found no evidence of bladder infection. On June 7, I went to see another doctor at the same hospital, and she did a blood test. Everything came back normal, but she prescribed Clavaseptin 50 mg and Prednisone 5mg, in case it might help bring down the swelling and discomfort. I administered her medication as instructed, but it only helped a little and the improvement was only temporary.

At this point, I cannot tell if it is cystitis, stones or an obstruction, or arthritis or blocked anal glands, or, or, or... Vets don't give me the impression that they can figure this out, or maybe they want me to spend more and more money, then they might finally figure it out.

As per my research, the next step is x-ray/ultrasound and urine culture...then it is surgery if it is the kind of stone that cannot be dissolved with diet alone...I cannot afford surgery, so if I can't find another solution, I will have to say goodbye to my baby forever.
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Unread 08-28-2009   #8 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry to hear that, could you ask the vets if you could pay for the surgery in installements, or maybe if you could do some work for them, maybe cleaning? Just a suggestion.
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Unread 08-28-2009   #9 (permalink)
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I asked that question a few years ago, and they said they don't accept installments. Maybe things have changed since then, so I will ask again...thanks for the reminder.

I dropped off a stool sample today to have analyzed (another $56.00!)...I should get the result on Monday. After that, I will make an appointment to take her in again and I will keep my fingers crossed that they find out what's wrong.

Thank you all for your replies and suggestions
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Unread 08-28-2009   #10 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you are no further enlightened about your beloved kitty.

$56 for a stool check? What on earth?
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