|Purred: Mon Mar 19, '12 11:35am PST |
|I don't log in much anymore, but I still love this site...
Just looking for some opinions today.
I posted some time ago about my Bengal with an inappropriate urination problem. Long story short, he had started urinating outside of the litter box. Not all the time, as he still continued to use the box regularly, but the problem had escalated to the point that he was urinating on laundry, bed linens, towels, random places on the carpet throughout the house, and even on tables. He'd been seen by our vet and issued a clean bill of health, and I'd tried every "trick" in the book to no avail. We have three litter boxes (the golden rule of one for each cat plus one). We have two cats, both male Bengals, almost the same age, came home from the breeder together and have always been together with no issues between the two of them, and both are neutered -- early neuter at that. There are no other pets in the home. Aside from keeping the boxes as squeaky-clean as humanly possible, I keep two Feliway plug-ins in my house -- one upstairs and one down -- and I also use a bit of Dr. Elsey's cat attract litter sprinkled on top of their regular litter. Nothing helped, and I was at my wit's end when I wrote my last post.
After I read through the forum posts -- and was both surprised and pleased that everyone was so kind and understanding of how utterly frustrated that I was and the fact that I was considering re-homing, I decided that I really wasn't willing to re-home him and decided that another trip to the vet's office was in order. The second time around, the vet determined that there "might" in fact be a problem based on the urinanalysis and bloodwork. He was given a round of Panacur (to rule out a parasitic-related infection, which was also given to the other cat as a precautionary measure) and a round of anti-biotics. It seemed to do the trick and my house was pee-free for about six or seven months or so.
When he started urinating outside of the litter box again, I immediately assumed that there was a problem and made an appointment with the vet. The vet ran a urinanalysis and informed me that there were a few crystals in his urine and recommended a prescription diet (Science Diet c/d). I gradually changed their food, but even after about a three week period, I saw no change whatsoever. If anything, it was worse. I called the vet back and together we decided that a round of antibiotics couldn't hurt anything and seemed to do the trick the last time, so I picked up the meds the next day and started the cat on them right away. In the meantime, I noticed that at least one of the cats was vomitting up the food and they were both bouncing off the walls. So, after some research on my own part, I determined that maybe the Science Diet c/d was just a little too high protein for my already high-energy cats and maybe even too "rich" for their stomachs, so I called the vet's office and left a message for the vet to call me in her free time. Not once, not twice, but three times. I never did get a return call. The vet had told me that I probably wouldn't need to use the prescription diet long-term and that I could wean them back on to their regular food or experiment with a good quality food designed for urine health after about a month or so, so since no one bothered to call me back, I weaned them back onto their regular food. On a side note, the cat and/or cats stopped vomitting once they returned to their regular food.
We went through the round of antibiotics as prescribed with no change. And, at this point, I'm again reaching the end of my rope. So, I called the vet's office again to talk to the vet about a recommendation she had made about Amitriptyline. At the time that she recommended it, I wasn't really keen on the idea of medicating for an inappropriate urination problem. But, when nothing else worked, I was willing to give it a try.
I called my vet's office early last week and spoke to the receptionist. Again, I asked to speak to the vet because I wanted to talk to her about the medication, but the vet wasn't available so the receptionist took a note and said she'd talk to the vet and someone would get back in touch with me. Well, it was the receptionist who ended up calling me back -- which kind of annoyed me -- to tell me that the vet said that the meds (i.e. Amitriptyline) would be fine and to come pick them up at my earliest convenience. I stopped in the following morning to pick up the prescription -- I had some questions, but the only person I got a chance to talk to was the receptionist (different receptionist than I talked to on the phone the previous day). I asked about the dosage, which was prescribed as 1/2 - 1 pill (they were 10mg pills) twice daily. Of course, I asked if I should start at 1/2 a pill and she determined that maybe I should (yes, I'm kind of annoyed at this point regarding the lack of information that I am being offered) but she was trying to be nice and helpful and offered to cut some of the pills in half for me. I also asked about side effects and was told that the pills were completely safe, that they had lots of cats that they treat that are currently on Amitriptyline -- some for quite long periods of time, and that I shouldn't expect any side effects other than I might notice that he's more calm. Ok, I think, what could this hurt.
We started the Amitriptyline last Tuesday evening. So, at this point, we've had almost a full weeks worth of medication at 1/2 pill twice a day. I was told not to expect any changes for several weeks or up to a month while the medication builds up in his system, but as of the day before yesterday, I noticed that he's very lethargic. Of course, that's quite out of character for my rather high-energy get-into-everything Bengal. Secondly, it's like his coordination is off. He was walking "oddly," as though he was specifically thinking about exactly where to place each paw as he walks. And, last night, he was getting down off the table (yes, my cats get on the table) and was apparently trying to step down or jump down on the chair. He missed completely, though, and fell flat on his face.
I skipped this mornings dose on purpose and called the vet this morning at about 8:30am. I talked to someone in the office who I don't think I've ever spoken with before, and (surprise, surprise) she said she'd take a note and have someone get back to me as soon as they could. Well, here it is 2:30 in the afternoon. No phone call from the vet. And, my mood at this point is beyond annoyed. I thought that I had communicated effectively that I was concerned about his behavior and that I felt it was important that I talk to someone (in case it is a reaction to the medication or in case there is a serious problem that needs to be treated asap). Nevertheless, no one has found it important enough to call me back. As an afterthought, I googled Amitriptyline and.... *gasp* There are some really nasty side effects associated with it's use in cats!!! Why didn't someone tell me this beforehand???
In short, I'm not trying to be a cranky client because I know that vet offices get busy and the staff, especially the doctors, are often overwhelmed... but, this isn't the first time that no one has bothered to return my calls. And, why wasn't I given all of the information on the medication?
So, I'm just looking for opinions. Mostly on whether or not this is acceptable behavior out of a veterinary office. But, any info on Amitriptyline or personal experiences with it would be greatly appreciated!
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