Worried about my Edison

Share advice for keeping your aging cat happy and healthy

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Edison The- Angel

With love from- Mommy: 1995 - 2013
Purred: Tue Mar 13, '12 7:13am PST 
Hi everyone –

Having some issues with Edison, and I wanted to ask all of you kind folks for both prayers, and also what this might sound like to you.

First, Edison’s health background so you have a bigger picture. He’s 16 & ½ years old, and I’ve had him since he was 5 mos. old. Between kittenhood and age 13, he’s had no health issues whatsoever. His vet appts were all strictly annual basics – shots, check ups, dental cleaning.

At age 13, he hit “old man-hood” and everything hit at once – elevated liver, kidney and thyroid levels. He’s on Zentonil, Azodyl, Epakitin, and Methimazole. Two summers ago, the vet also found a tumor on his liver, which he thinks is benign. They could tell from the sonogram that it wasn’t aggressive, and Edison’s never shown any discomfort or issues over it, so the vet’s assumption is that it’s benign. He said there’s no real way to know without a surgical biopsy, which at his age, would probably kill him – odds are, he wouldn’t wake up from the anesthesia. The vet said because of his age, regardless of whether the tumor was benign or malignant, the best thing to do was to keep him comfortable, keep an eye on him, spoil him even more than I normally do, make sure he’s not in any pain, continue with his meds, and deal with things when the time comes. That was two years ago, and Edison’s been holding up his end of the bargain – he’s had a good appetite, he eats, he drinks, he pees, he poops, and although he loves his little old man naps, he has enough energy to dash across the apartment like a shot when he sees a bird on the windowsill. In the meantime, he has bloodwork twice a year to make sure the meds are still working, and the vet is very pleased with the liver, kidney and thyroid levels.

He’s had his little moments, as all elderly cats do. This past Christmas, I was concerned that his kidneys might be going, or that he might be diabetic because he was peeing like a racehorse. I took him into the vet on new years eve, they ran bloodwork, and said that he’s fine – he’s not diabetic, and the kidneys aren’t crashing, which was a relief – the vet said, he’s just drinking a lot, which is fine. So, he’s chugging along so far. The only real issue is that the methimazole seems to be just holding the thyroid issue at bay – he’s not gaining any weight back. He’s dropped, but I think the methimazole is keeping his weight from dropping any worse.

That brings us to this week. He seems very lethargic, and he’s not eating as much as he should. He’s eating some, but he’s not the President of The Clean Plate Club the way he normally is. You can feel every single bone in his body. Today’s Tuesday, and he really hasn’t eaten a ton since Friday. Again, he’s eating somewhat, but not enough to keep me from worrying. Last night, I got scared enough that I took his food, took him into the bathroom, closed the door, and hand fed him bits of food off the tip of my finger by smooshing little bits of it onto his tongue. He wasn’t thrilled, but with a little time and patience, I did get an entire bowl of food into his belly (his last decent size poop was the night before last, although he’s been drinking and peeing normally). He *is* a picky eater, but it’s not that – I feed him different brands and flavors every night (holistic brands only), because I know he gets bored fast.

The other thing that’s kind of making me crazy is – I keep thinking I see the underside of his jaw as swollen. He looks like he has a “Jay Leno chin”, if you know what I mean – the underside of his lower jaw looks swollen at certain angles, so I wondered if the swollen appearance and his lack of appetite are because his teeth are hurting. But if I touch the lower jaw and sides of his mouth, he doesn’t seem to be in any pain. He likes to rub his jaw and teeth against furniture and hard surfaces (he always has, even when he was a baby, so that’s nothing new), and that doesn’t seem to hurt him either. The thing that’s making me feel like I’m going crazy is that if I touch it, it doesn’t feel swollen, and when I smooth down his fur around the mouth, jaw and chin, his face looks normal again. Then I look at him at a different angle or light, and it looks swollen again. I don’t know if it’s my eyesight or if it’s his jaw.

The other issue that I noticed this morning, is that there is a little spot on the underside of his chin that looks a little worn raw – not sure if that’s something that has to do with the possible swelling, or if he just scratched himself there with his back foot (he often scratches his chin with those giant feet of his).

After the hand feeding last night, I came out of the bathroom, and called the vet to see if he might have some kind of flu-bug, a tooth problem, or if worse, if we’re at the end, which I hope to God isn’t the case. Does any of this sound familiar to any of you? I’m trying to see if I can get the vet appt. sooner, and if so, if I can call out from work to take him, but at least we have it for Saturday morning. If I have to hand feed him every night till then, I’m willing to do so, but I’m pretty worried to say the least.

Thanks for listening, I know that was long!

Buddy Bolden

Happy Cat
Purred: Tue Mar 13, '12 8:14am PST 
Sorry we do not have enough experience to tell you what might be wrong with Edison, but we can and do send MASSIVE amounts of purrs and prayers for him. There are so many others on CATSTER who are very well informed about cat health, and have experience with older cats and could give some advice, suggestions.

Keep us posted, we all understand your concern.

The New Orleans Kittieswave

Edison The- Angel

With love from- Mommy: 1995 - 2013
Purred: Tue Mar 13, '12 9:43am PST 
Buddy and the N.O. Kitties, thank you so much, from both Edison and me! hug I'll let you know for sure once I know.


Princess Forever
Purred: Wed Mar 14, '12 2:38am PST 
With my Natasha, I didn't wait for several days to bring her in. When they get older, anything needs to be looked at today.....Please bring him in for that jaw to be looked at. It may be dental. You won't last until Saturday. Edison may be in pain so today is a good time to have someone look at him. Your gut feeling is a good one, go with it. I knew in my gut about my Natasha and Ben. Edison is not a young one so time is important.....Let us know how it goes.....

Edison The- Angel

With love from- Mommy: 1995 - 2013
Purred: Wed Mar 14, '12 3:30am PST 
Thanks very much! I had cross-posted in the "health" section with a more recent update. He looked very puffy around the face and was noticeably hurting again when I got home from work last night. I called the vet and moved his appt. to this morning - there was just no way I could leave him till Saturday like this! We had our second night of hand-feeding in the bathroom - got another bowl of food in his belly. He wasn't crying out, but you could tell he was hurting by the way he jerked his head away from me if I touched the wrong spot.

On the plus side, he does look a little more "bright eyed" and he's more alert since I managed to get food into him twice, so my guess is that this is dental, and he's not eating because of the pain. No vomiting, no other odd behavior. In the Health forum, everyone guessed it might be dental, and my mom and my boyfriend both said it sounds like an abcess. So we'll see, and I'll let you know how it goes when we get home.

Thanks again!

Edited by author Wed Mar 14, '12 3:32am PST


Edison The- Angel

With love from- Mommy: 1995 - 2013
Purred: Wed Mar 14, '12 9:28am PST 
Hi, again everyone!

Let's call this "Back from the Vet Part 1"! As everyone suspected, my poor Edison had a badly infected abscess. It wasn't able to be taken care of with just antibiotics, so he's still at the vet. They need to make an incision under his chin, drain the abcess, clean it, and then they're going to do a dental scaling just to keep it from getting any worse. He'll be on antibiotics for about a week, and barring any complications, I should be able to get him and bring him home in about four hours. The only thing that's still a scary question mark is that they have to do anesthesia for the procedure, of course - there's really no way around it, though.

The good news: the vet said that other than the abcess, he's in good shape. They ran an x-ray and blood work, and he said the meds are still working well, because all his other levels are normal. His white blood cell count was very high, but he said that's because of the infection from the abcess. He said aside from that, he's in great shape for as old as he is.

He also said his teeth were in over all good condition, believe it or not. He said there was some tartar, but not an inordinate amount.

So when I go to pick him up (again, please say purrs and prayers that the anesthesia doesn't give him any trouble!), it's a week or so of antibiotics and special food.

I'll let you know how things go after they call me, and I can hopefully bring him home. Thank you all again!

Edison The- Angel

With love from- Mommy: 1995 - 2013
Purred: Wed Mar 14, '12 12:43pm PST 
"Back From the Vet Part 2"! He was ready early, so he's already home! We have an antibiotic, we have an appetite stimulant, we have a special food (a/d critical care), we have the ever-popular head cone (a.k.a. "The Easter Bonnet") in case he scratches (first thing I did when I got him home was trim his nails), and we have a gooey, disgusting chin "wound" where it's draining, but all things considered, he's doing well. He already ate some of the a/d, and he keeps trying to decide whether to eat or nap - the eating seems to be winning out! He's a little sore still, so he's not totally chowing down on it, but he's making his best attempts and already ate a good amount.

He's had antibiotics and such, but they said he can start on the meds tonight. And of course, his sweet little face is back to normal - he no longer looks like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man with whiskers!

I'll keep you posted on his progress, but I just can't thank you all enough for your fabulous advice and your wonderful caring for my baby and me! hug

Jason Hopper

The Jas
Purred: Wed Mar 21, '12 3:10pm PST 
I think he is going to be fine. I am purreying to the Big Cat, and my success rate in 4+ years of doing that for Catster buddies and Catster buddy hoomans (two in their ninetees by the way) is about 95%! way to go

Purrs & Purrers,

Buddy-Budd- da Blue

I will have my- treats NOW!
Purred: Sun Mar 25, '12 9:09am PST 
You are one lucky cat Edison to have a Mom who loves you like that. We are sending you some purrs of health for you!

Orange Ruffy

The Baboo Kitty- has Spoken!
Purred: Sun Mar 25, '12 4:36pm PST 
Purrs to Edison!!!

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