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Nicola O

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  1. Thanks. The new vet is amazing, he has just called again and has given me so much detail and information I can't remember some of it now . There is a problem with her pancreas but fortunately it's not major pancreas 'failure' (I can't remember the proper term he used) as she is not showing any of the outward symptems - diarhea, vomiting or abdominal pain - so he feels it is chronic pancreatitis, where it's just there in the background so to speak. It can get worse or can suddenly develop into the serious one so I have to change her diet and get her on the lowest fat one there is, which I was very suprised to hear is tinned Chappie !! I always thought of Chappie as full of rubbish as it's such a cheap food, but the vet said that it is the best food for low fat as it is full of fish oils, other food content - calories, meat, cereal etc is not a concern for her now, just LOW fat. He also said do not give any treats unless they are under 5% in fat and on no account give her Dentastix. I had to laugh as I have just come back from shopping with a big box of them - I'll take them back and swap them for some chappie instead . He doesn't feel that the pancreas is related to her 'stroke' last week, and is a completely separate condition, so perhaps the 'stoke' has in a way been a good thing as it has helped us discover what could have developed into something serious.
  2. Hi all. I warn you now - this is long - but wanted to update you as we have seen the new vet tonight and I have to say that he is FANTASTIC !! He was SO thorough and asked so many questions about what happened - what legs seemed most affected, how did she stand, walk, how did she act when going in circles, the exact angle of her head tilt, and loads more that I can't remember now, and he concluded that she has not had a Vestibular attack (which happens further back in the brain) but a Cerebral Vascular attack (I think that was what he called it) which happens at the front of the brain. There was two other possibilities but he said they were highly unlikely as they would not allow for much, if any, recovery. He then examined her over really thoroughly and checked all her reactions and said that she was neorologically (spl?) sound and that if I hadn't said what had happened he would never be able to tell as there was no evidence of it now. I had taken in a urine sample that he tested and it showed that the 'specific gravity' (?) was low so he was worried about her kidneys, so took bloods for further tests. Whilst typing this (sorry it's so long) the vet has just phoned to say that her kidney results were perfect but she had elevated Lipaze (spl?). Lipaze can come from the bowel or the pancreas, if it's from the bowel there is no problem but if it's from the pancreas that would indicate pancreatitus - but my answers to his questions about vomiting and bowel motions would not indicate a problem with the pancreas so he admitted being a little confused by the results at the moment. They will run a further test on the bloods specifically for pancreatic lipaze and I should get the results on Monday. He has prescribed a drug called Aktivait which should help her brain and reduce the risk of this happening again. So on one hand - excellent news on her recovery as she really seems back to normal now, but a little worry about the pancreas. I had to tell my tale of the previous vet to about four members of staff and all were horrified by his attitude, but have to say these guys seem lovely. Sorry if this was all too much information , but wanted to share the news.
  3. Hi. Both my doggies have a magnetic collar and they are brilliant. Millie is 17 yrs old and Freda is 15 yrs old. I got Millie's earlier this year as she was showing signs of really stiffening up on her back legs and it has made such a difference to her, she runs around like a 2 yr old (well, she did until her mini-stoke on Friday but she is recovering really well from that now). I then got Freda one 2 or 3 months ago as she was also starting to look 'uncomfortable' and again - brilliant results !! They also have a Glucosamine tablet and a cod liver oil tablet everyday as well. Mine are from 'www.magnets4health.co.uk' Nicola
  4. Freda, my small ginger terrierist, loves to greet me by gently nibbling the tip of my nose
  5. As I've told the receptionist what happened I'm sure the new vet will be primed, so knows how NOT to greet us
  6. I AM SO HAPPY Millie has improved so much, when I came in from work she tried jumping up at me. She is still swaying as she walks and stumbles as she turns round (and is still having moments when she seems quite bad again) but generally she is so much better than a couple of days ago. She even tried to play with Freda for a minute but stopped as her legs were all over the place . I've also done the 'toe test' again on her left foot and five times out of six she corrected it herself . I have been thinking about the vets attitude all weekend and have decided to change surgeries. I phoned the other one in town and explained why I wanted to register with them and the receptionist was shocked when I told her what happened on Saturday. We have an appointment for Friday night as Millie will be almost out of meds then so we can get more if the new vet thinks she still needs them. Here is my lovely, brave old girl (not a very good picture I'm afraid) Nicola
  7. Thank you everyone for you kind words. I think Millie is a little better today (I hope I'm not just seeing what I want to see). she has been able to walk in a straight line, all be it a bit wobbly, without falling over, but she does still struggle with turning round or going round corners, and she is still leaning against the furniture to steady herself. She couldn't poo yesterday (sorry to be talking poo) as her back legs couldn't hold her in the required position, but today she has managed two quick poos . She ate well last night when I sat next to her and held her bowl at head height as I noticed that when she bent down to the floor she toppled to the left. She def. is not in pain or distress, and this episode does not seem to have affected her brain at all as she honestly is her normal happy self and her tail is constantly wagging as it always does, I think that she is just confused as her back end won't co-operate at the moment. It is def. more her rear left leg than the right as when she is standing still her right leg is more central underneath to support and steady her and her left leg is more out to the side. I've also tried the 'toe test', I dont know what it's proper term would be, when they are standing and you turn their toes upside down and see if they realise and correct their foot, and Millie is fine on the right side but not correcting on the left (yet ) I think I will cancel tomorrow nights vet visit (unless she deteriorates of course) as I think there is some improvement and there is nothing the vet can do tomorrow apart from going on about her being PTS - and I am NOT having that conversation yet - she needs more time for recovery and at least complete the course of meds the vet has given her. Apoligies for the long post again but it does help to be able to talk to people. Nicola
  8. Thanks for that info on Vestibular Syndrome Chucky Mama, the article was very interesting. Millie doesn't have all the symptoms it mentions, her eyes are not flickering and she has not actually been sick, but has made a gagging noise a couple of times today. I have not been making her move about, just letting her potter about when she wants to, and she does seem to have the 'head tilt' as she does keep leaning to the left. She's due her dinner soon so we'll see if she still has her apetite. I understand what you are saying about further tests perhaps not being worth it, but I think what upset me most what the vet's attitude of 'as she is an old dog I won't be bothering to do anything for her', he didn't explain that the test might not really help so it gave me the opinion that because Millie is old he felt she was not worth bothering with. Again, thanks for the info.
  9. Me again I've just been googling the tablets the vet perscribed and they seem quite good :- "Vivitonin is a drug used to improve some of the signs of old age. It acts to increase blood flow to the heart, brain and muscle. It is used in dogs which are lacking in energy or seem vacant and unwilling to exercise or show interest in their surroundings. Although you cannot necessarily teach an old dog new tricks, many old dogs do show a distinct improvement in demeanour and activity levels. The effects of Vivitonin (which contains the drug propentofylline) include opening up airways and blood vessels, providing more oxygen to the brain, heart and muscles. Vivitonin is a safe drug which is very rarely associated with any side effects, and you can often help an old dog which seemed just to be "getting old". If they help blood flow to the brain then that's what she needs after a stroke, isn't it ?? Millie knows something is wrong with her left hind leg, she lays on the floor and nudges it. But she has just got herself out the backdoor, up and down a couple of steps, managed a very wobbly curcuit of the garden, had a wee and got herself back in again Nicola
  10. I know she is old and that her time is limited now, but as she has been as fit as a flea until this happened last night, I felt she would go on forever (silly I know). I think some of the problem is that english is his second language (I think he is Dutch or something) and he was the same with Norman but as he got Norm through his crisis I 'forgave' the vet his attitde, and I know these subjects have to be broached but there are ways to say these things. Unfortunately, there is only this one vet at the surgery at the moment (there is normally two) so if a decide I need a second opinion I will take her to the other vets that the chooks go to (there is an avian specialist there and my local surgery won't see chooks). I will take her back Monday but unless she deteriorates we will NOT put her to sleep. I will, of course, not let her suffer but I believe that any animal deserves treatment and time to recover.
  11. Hello all. Well after Norman the cats near death experience a couple of months ago we now have another problem. Millie, my 17 yr old Mini Poodle looks to have had a mini stroke. It happened last night and she has lost some use of her back-end. She is very wobbly and is worse on her left side, and sometimes leans on the furniture on that side to steady herself, or circles in that direction. On the plus side she still asked for, and ate, her dinner last night, has not lost control of bladder/bowels and is 'going' normally, and has even managed to jump on the sofa without help and gone up and down the stairs a couple of times (though I did have to come to her rescue on one occasion when she seemed stuck). Generally she seems her normal self, if a bit confused as to why her back end is not working properly. Just come back from the vet who agrees that it's probably an age related mini stroke. Now this vet is very good (it was him who got Norman through his total renal failure) but I think he could do with improving his bedside manner. Without even examaning her he said we should consider euthenasia because of her age - he kept telling me that she was, after all, 17 yrs old. I told him that until last night she has been as fit as a fiddle, still running about like a 2 yr old, and has NO heart murmur (apparently most toy/min poodle over 10 yrs has some degree of heart murmur), gums are still nice and pink etc. He checked her over and was forced to agree with me that she is in very good shape - but he only looked at her on the table, he didn't ask to see her walking. He has given her some tablets called VIVITONIN - 10 days worth, and we are going back on Monday night and he said if there in no improvement.......... But if it's his opinion that this decision should be made that quickly why has he perscribed 10 days worth of tablets, and I was disappointed when he said that because of Millie's age he would NOT be prepared to do any further investigations, even a simple blood test or an x ray, either she gets better now or it's curtains. Surely that decision should be MINE, not his, and providing she doesn't deteriorate I may perhaps seek a second opinion before the PTS decision is made. Sorry to ramble on, just worried about Millie and a bit annoyed with the vets attitude, I felt that because Millie is old she is not worth bothering with Nicola
  12. It is the Royal Canin Renal food the vet had given him, and it's the one that he said Norman doesn't need anymore. God, the pet food market is such a mindfield, isn't it. The vet said Norm can have 'normal food' as long as it is senior/low protein. Have done a lot of reading the back of cat food boxes to find the lowest protein content, but googling brings up sites that tell you that low protein food is simply bulked out with cereal and 'rubbish' that is not good for cats, so I didn't know what to choose. I have settled on Purina One as they have a Urinary Care food. The label says 'Helps support kidney health / Helps maintain urinary tract / Helps control urinary pH and promotes uriniary tract health'. It could all be advertising hype but I thought we would give this one a go. I gave him a big fuss and a tickle for you Nicola
  13. Hello again. Just an update. Norman has had a follow up blood test and his urine levels are so close to normal that he doesn't need the special renal diet any more. To say I am happy is an understatement . The vet said he needs a low protein (senior) diet from now on as a high protein food could affect him again. He always had a senior food before, but I think I'll try and research a better quality one as he always had Go-Cat dry food previously - I think a better food is the least he deserves. Can anyone recommend a good one ?? a very happy Nicola
  14. Someone on my local site has just asked for a VW camper van Nicola
  15. I'm pleased to report that we went back to the vet last night for his 'two days released from hospital check up' and the vet is really pleased with him. Norm seems back to his normal self, but we have to go back in four weeks for another blood test to see if his urea levels have dropped back to normal - his creatine level (I'm not sure if I'm saying/spelling that right) are already back to a normal level. He started eating again on Wednesday night. He is on Renal food until the blood test but if that shows that the urea level is OK he can go back to his normal food. They gave me (well, sold me) wet and dry food, and this cat who has always stubbornly refused every brand of wet food is scoffing it like there's no tomorrow !! To say I am happy is putting it mildly, he has gone from being nearly dead to seemingly OK in one week - amazing !!
  16. Well, Norman decided that it was time for a cuddle at 1 am !! and with all he's been through I didn't have the heart to throw him off the bed so he had a lovely fuss and a tickle for nearly an hour before he settled down again. He is not happy that he can't go out at the moment and has a litter tray on the landing which he finally used this morning. But he did have a huge poo in the night - on the sofa !!! obviously letting me know how he felt about everything, and I've just managed to get him to eat about 4 mouthfuls of wet food, hopefully now he has the taste of it he will start eating a bit better. So here is my Norman - he's nothing special (by that I mean just a moggie, not a pure breed, but he's VERY special to me) Sorry he looks a bit grumpy but I had just given him his meds and he wasn't very happy I think I may have 'a google' for supplements to support the bladder or that prevent crystals forming so hopefully this will not happen again. Nicola
  17. HE'S HOME !!!!! He has the major hump though, and keeps running away from me so even though I'm dying to give him a huge cuddle I'll have wait till he's ready. I have to keep him in for a few days so typically on the hottest days of the year I've got to keep the house closed up Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and good wishes for Norman's recovery. Once he's more settled I'll get his picture so you can see my gorgeous boy.
  18. Had a long chat with the vet today. He was explaining the urine tests they do, and all the really high levels and low temp he had (I don't think he knew that the vet nurse had told me all this on saturday)and he kept saying 'Norman is a medical miracle, he should be dead', he really seemed amazed that Norman had survived - I think he's used up several of his nine lives. They are keeping him in for one more day. As he has been so ill the vet wants to get his levels back within 'acceptable perameters' before he comes home, but at the rate he is improving that should be tomorrow.
  19. The nurse let me pop in to visit Norman. He still hasn't eaten so I took in some cheese which he loves. He wouldn't touch it so I left it in the hope that he may tuck in later. I think he was playing the sympathy card, as although he didn't get up for a cuddle the nurse said he was very 'interactive' previously - perhaps he wore himself out . It sounds as though he has had a near death experience as the nurse said that after I left him friday evening his temp dropped so low that the thermometer couldn't record it (below 32 degrees ). It is now up to 37.8 so nearly normal and his wee is now clear so the nurse thinks he can come home tomorrow. Feel a lot happier now I've seen him and looking forward to him coming home.
  20. Oh, good idea CM, I hadn't thought of that. If they say in the morning that he still hasn't eaten I'll suggest it. Only problem is he doesn't have 'treats', he's a bit of a chunkie chappie so doesn't get anything other than his normal food.
  21. Had another call from the vet. He's improved a bit more, temp up a bit (though not back to normal yet), he's more 'interactive' now but he still hasn't eaten anything. If he hasn't eaten by the morning the nurse will try syringing some wet food into him. They will not let him out yet, I suppose they want a bit more improvement and to see him eat before he comes home. I've been thinking of loads of questions to ask the vet when he does come home, so I'm writing a list as I know I wont remember them all at the crucial moment. Things like: Are his kidneys permenantly damaged now? Will he be on meds from now on? Will he need special food from now on? Now it's happened once, is it more likely to happen again? and other such things
  22. Good news . Just called the vets and had a long chat. Norman is doing OK, he is up, meowing and purring at everyone. The catheter (spl) is still in but the urine is getting clearer (good sign). He hasn't eaten yet (they had only offered him wet food so I said to try dry). Apparently the readings for his Urea and something else (Creatin ?? - I can't remember what the nurse called it now) were off the scale last night. Today his urea is 40 (should be between 5 - 20) and the other thing should be between 50 -200 Norm's was over 1100 - it is now 400 so all the levels are coming down. Really pleased. His temperture is still low bit is slowly going up, but they have him on a cosy heat mat. They are not going to let him out today, hopefully tomorrow. They have told me what the bill is so far and I went - but I dont begrudge Norm a penny, it's worth it to get him well again.
  23. Thanks for the info CM. The vet did say is was good that it was crystals rather than stones, but he didn't say why. Is it just that crystals are easier to 'clear out' of the bladder/urethra? Norman doesn't have any previous kidney problems so I'm hoping for the best when they ring - though if they don't ring soon I'll have to ring them as the wait is agony. The vet also said that Norman hadn't wee'd for some time but I had no idea as I don't have a litter tray indoors, he always goes outside. He only showed signs of being a bit off colour on Wednesday morning, he was still poorly but 'not bad' on Thursday night but made an appointment for Friday night anyway and that was when he had 'collapsed'. The speed of it was really scary. Oh, and I hope I don't have to switch him over to wet food, as he has always refused to eat it in the past and will only eat dry.
  24. I looked at a load of sites too before I got them - but you know when that nagging thought pops in your head and wont go away. If Norm's kidney markers have gone down by tomorrow he can come home as it means he is on the mend - so I'm keeping everything crossed for him.
  25. Are dog rocks safe for cats?? I made enquiries before buying them for the dogs and thought they were, but now I'm not so sure..... The reason I ask - tonight I've had to rush my 10 yr old mog to the vets in a state of total collapse. Norman had been off colour for a couple of days so I had an appointment tonight anyway, but getting in from work this afternoon he couldn't even lift his head so I scooped him up and rushed him over. The vet could feel an obstruction in his abdomen and his temperature was dangerously low - 3.5 degrees lower than normal. The vet actually said 'this is the body temp of a patient who is dying' . Norm's heart was still strong so vet said blood test and x-rays, and if we can get his temp up, surgery for the obstuction. But, the x-ray showed crystals in his urine which had blocked his urethra and the 'obstruction' was his bladder that was fit to burst. Urethra cleared and a MASSIVE wee later the initial panic is over, but this has caused cronic kidney failure so now the test is to see if his kidneys can 'fix' themselves or he may need to be PTS. The vet said this would have been caused by his diet. Norman has eaten the same dry food for the last eight years, and the ONLY thing that has changed in his diet is the dog rocks I put in the dogs water bowl three weeks ago. Can these have done this to him, or is it just a coincidence ?? Sorry for the long post but I can't shake the thought that I have caused him to become seriously ill and, if he doesn't make it, I may even end up killing him (hope that doesn't sound to over dramatic). Nicola

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