Introducing Jasper & Jane
- Hello all, new to this group. My 6 yo orange and white tabby male cat Jasper started vomiting much more than usual around the holidays 2012. I have had several IBD cats and was reluctant to take him in and get the "it could be this, it could be that" runaround from the vets. Jasper is very high strung and he is the low status cat in my household. My other cat is a bully, bigger and stronger. Jasper grooms compulsively out of nervousness at times so I thought the problem could be hairballs. He's always been a vomiter, and always been a finicky eater. They are both shelter cats, rescues, and I've always considered Jasper semi-feral, almost special needs since he has a congenital disorder - patellar luxation and he had cage atrophy when I adopted him at 6 months. Overall, he's done well in my care, but he is not hardy.
Long story longer, I went to a new VCA vet and I was not very pleased. Seemed like they were mostly money motivated and I did labs which were mostly normal. Vet indicated heart murmur. I had to beg for a diagnosis, she gave me a number of possible conditions which I anticipated. We decided to treat him initially for possible IBD with novel protein diet (Royal Canin duck & pea). I did this for 2 weeks and no improvement. Did lots of research on IBD and I requested a trial of metronidazole and prednisolone.
My little Jasper was a better patient than I expected. It was not easy to pill him but the pill syringe and the liquid pred helped. I am very cautious with meds, people and pets.
And sure enough, after two weeks on this trial, the vomiting did stop and his appetite improved BUT he was having respiratory distress - fast breathing and sort of a "catch" in his throat which I could hear at midnight on my bed on a rainy Friday night.
He stabilized fortunately but I did have him checked out a few days later at the VCA clinic. He is absolutely traumatized by vet visits. This time I saw the medical director who took vitals and xrays. Said there appeared to be fluid in his lungs, and also that he heard a galloping heart rhythm.
Being unsure about heart disease at that time, he agreed that we should stop the IBD meds (which I already had done) and start him on doxycycline for a possible secondary bacterial infection. Vet's theory was that the prednisolone being an immunosuppresant could have let the probably herpes virus recur and Jasper may have had just an upper respiratory infection, instead of congestive heart failure.
I still wonder about this, since URIs are so common in shelter cats, and both of them seem to have had low grade URIs since I adopted them 6 years ago.
So we are off all meds now, still no vomiting, good appetite. I do note some congestion which seems to be more in his nose, but no respiratory difficulty. Vet wants to give him a trial of LASIX then another xray. I'm undecided, due to my suspicions about vets in general trying to generate fees. I also am minimizing anything invasive or disruptive to Jasper due to his hyper personality. Trying to watch him closely, upgrade his diet including some home cooked food which amazingly he is eating, and hope he stabilizes.
I read an article online that Dandelion leaf is an option (a diuretic) to LASIX. I ordered some on amazon, along with L-Carnitine and CoQ10.
Well, that's my story. Grateful for this time of stability. Last couple of months were very rough on Jasper and on me. I am a member of another cat list and I am amazed the lengths some people go to with vet visits, meds, treatments. My personal beliefs are a bit more conservative in this regard (for people too...just my opinion). I work with seniors and have quality of life in the front of my mind.
Looking forward to learning more about feline heart issues. best to all, Jane in San Diego