Sassy cats – Mollie, part 2

Mollie (on seat) and Morgan enjoying a gorgeous day on the porch. Mollie was just waking up from a nap!

After Mollie’s victory lap last week, we had a little setback. She received a steroid to help with her itching and it did help. Then I noticed that she had a gaggy thing going on. I didn’t know if it was breathing or swallowing although I though the latter. I also wasn’t sure if it was a drug reaction. It wasn’t. I hadn’t noticed it before but I was focused on her scratching.

My cats only have a health crises on weekends and holidays. I talked to my vet’s office Saturday morning but I didn’t have enough information. I needed to know if she eating and peeing.

I quarantined her from the other cats for 24 hours and she did eat a little, peed a lot in big balls so there was no bladder issue. Her weight dropped a half pound. I wasn’t sure if that was a normal fluctuation or a signal. By now it’s Sunday so it’s off to the emergency vet.

My vet had recommended a new one that just opened near us. I liked the vet I had and the place was new and clean. It wasn’t busy but there was that awful wait.

They were worried about a cardiac issue so they took an x-ray. The x-ray showed a normal heart (yay) but her esophagus was open. It should be closed except when food goes down, then it closes again. She also had gas pockets all over her GI system. She could be gulping air with the open esophagus. She could have reflux. Or it could be something else serious.

This is about the time where I got woozy. Words like biopsy and chemo were mentioned. Mollie is 15 and I have no intention of putting her through painful treatments. She’s had a great life and when it’s her time, I want her to go peacefully (which is what we all want).

At the end of the scary conversation, the vet gave me an antibiotic that will soothe her GI tract and help with the gas. I’ll go back to my vet if it doesn’t work. An ultrasound would be the next non-invasive test. We’ll see.

She’s been much more social and has been on the porch enjoying the weather. I’m taking this as a good sign. I am cranky when I have gas so maybe that’s been making her uncomfortable.

This was a wake-up call that my little Mollie is now an old cat. I don’t know how that happened. Incidents like this are nature’s way of sending me a message to prepare.

I’ve been nostalgic this past week but I’m looking forward to enjoying whatever time she has left whether it’s months or years.

If anyone has had any experience with pet ultrasounds, I’d sure like to hear.

75 thoughts on “Sassy cats – Mollie, part 2

  1. My son and family are visiting from Northern California and their 12-year old dog, Obi, ended up having his spleen removed a couple of days ago. It’s been insane, and with what they paid, they may be! They did go through almost a whole day of testing, including an ultrasound, but they’re still waiting to hear of possible malignancy. I do hope that Mollie does well and you have lots of time to enjoy her company!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh no! He got sick on vacation? That’s the worst! I hope it works out for Obi. I got the price for the ultrasound and it’s high but her blood work and x-ray show that except for this issue she is a very healthy cat. She’s not liking the pills she has to take though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, I’ve never heard about cat gas being a problem and you’re the second one this year. Do you follow FloppyCats? Here is her post and what her emergency vet said. My cat(s) don’t always wait for holiday but they seem to wait until 5:01 right after my vet closes.

    https://www.floppycats.com/ragdoll-cat-charlie-mission-veterinary-emergency-and-specialty-visit-july-25-2019.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+floppycats%2FmheS+%28Floppycats+Blog%29

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    • My cats are very healthy on weekdays! I read the post from FloppyCats and it’s somewhat similar. Mollie has a thickening of her intestines too but mostly we are concerned about the esophagus. She’s just finishing up her round of meds and since she still has some of the symptoms (but does feel better), she will most likely get an ultrasound.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think at this point I know the ultrasound isn’t too big a deal. Not sure if they will have to sedate her somewhat or not. She was good for the x-ray but I don’t know about shaving and gel. She’s like 7 lbs. Poor thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had an episode with a sick stray cat yesterday (next week’s post!). I found a regular vet that has later hours and better weekend hours than my vet. They were very accommodating for us last night and I wasn’t a client of theirs. It’s so good to know they are there. The cost is so much less than the emergency clinics. I’ve been “clingy” (so my cats tell me) this week after the bad news about Mollie. After all the hugging, my cats should know they are loved. I expect they would tell you that I need therapy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sure will be sending good thoughts your way for Mollie’s well being – tough when they get older and we want so badly to help. My Sammy’s last year wasn’t ideal really and I’ll always wonder if I made the right decision in hanging on and trying to make him comfortable when I think he probably just wanted to REST and go his way. You know Mollie better than ANYONE – just do your best with all the love you can give her. Sounds like the doctor is working with you to figure things out.

    Hugs, Pam and Teddy too

    Liked by 1 person

    • For Jake, I had two appointments to euthanize which he wasn’t because there was one more thing to try. I did get an extra year and most of it was good. The last six months not so much. The last time I went in my vet had another suggestion but I felt sure Jake was done with it all so he went over the bridge. I believe animals know when you are trying to help them. Mollie is impossible to pill but she has been getting pilled the past week without too much incidence (some narlyness though). I think she gets knows she feels better with the obnoxious pill jammed down her throat even if she hates the administration and taste. We have a few more days before I’ll have the next conversation about an ultrasound. People here have calmed me down about it.

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  4. Good Morning, Kate. Sorry I am late commenting. Love your cats and I had a comment and was about to hit the button and SSNS had to go to the ER with a kidney stone… at the ER from 9:30 to 4 yesterday. I am so happy that Mollie is in your heart and hands. I know you will watch over her and do what is right for her. I share your thought about not putting her through painful treatments and letting her go peacefully when it is her time… she has had a great life being one of the Sassy Cats. I didn’t let Z go soon enough and she suffered and I regret that very much but Jerry couldn’t let her go. I hope Mollie has more seasons of porch time and that she is doing better today. Hugs to you and scritches to the Sassy Cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope SSNS is ok. Those run in my family although so far I’ve been spared. We had more cat drama yesterday but it didn’t involve any of my cats thankfully and all is well. That is another post. I didn’t let Jake go soon enough either.

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  5. Kate – I just replied to you – I sent my cat friend Carol a message and got her info on ultrasounds – she has had a bounty of problems with her cats since I’ve followed her on Facebook and she will go to the ends of the earth and spare no expense to determine the problem. I will be gone until later today – if you reach out and send a message on Facebook to her, her name is Carol McCrellias. I sent her your blog post initially, then clarified some more this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That gets a “like” – I reached out to Carol, m “cat friend” as she has had cats for years and re: the ultrasound, she said:
        ALL THREE of my cats have had ultrasounds. They can’t eat the night and morning beforehand so the image is clear and unmuddled.

        It’s painless and no biggie. But they may have to put them under general anesthesia if the cat won’t sit still. Two of my three had to have anesthesia. That makes it more expensive.

        I presume it’s digestive or urinary problems. Pancreas, kidney, liver, intestines, bladder.

        Dudley barfs in sympathy. Of course on the jute dining room rug. The hardest thing ever to clean.
        All three of my cats had issues with intestines. Dudley and Smudge have a “kink” similar to what I get when I get IBS attacks. In cats it’s known as IBD. Dud and Smudge have them in exactly the same spot.

        HJ and Smudge both took/take dexamethasone or prednisolone every other day or every three days and it helps. Cerenia is often prescribed if the cat has nausea. Smudge takes that in conjunction with his dex. And Miralax (plain) sprinkled on food, about 1/8 tsp every other day can help if the cat is constipated. Constipated cats barf. Many cats barf easily when there’s the smallest thing wrong, so she should not despair. Dudley doesn’t take any meds for his digestion, though they had discussed the dexamethasone as well. He is complicated by cardiac problems and renal problems (which also cause barfing).

        As you age, and as cats age, too, the motility of the digestive system can get a bt lax. My cats benefit from eating grass. If she can she shold try growing it — barley or oat grass either in a sunny window or under a grow light. My cats eat it every day. Smudge improved more with regular grass eating than he did with the dex, I think. By the way if they give the cat a steroid like dexamethason or pred, his fur may change color a bit. Not to panic.

        I advise waiting to see what the vet says, try what they recommend, and see how the cat feels. If nothing at all helps and the kitty doesn’t want to play or shows other signs of constant distress, then I’d consider the final option to prevent unremitting pain and discomfort. But I don’t think she’s there yet.

        Raw food might be another option. Sometimes cats get sensitive to food they’ve eaten especially if the cat food has grain in it. Try grain free in a flavor that is not usually eaten — for example try rabbit (Instinct has this as well as venison) or if they’ve had chicken all the time try turkey or duck. Read the labels. My cats go in streaks. They’ll be crazy for the raw I make for them then won’t eat it after a month or two. Right now we’re in canned that they’re not eating but they’re picking at renal dry prescription and I’ll try the raw again.

        It’s sometimes exhausting trying to figure it out.

        Biopsy is probably because they’re trying to describe the cellular mechanism responsible and to make sure there’s no early sign of lymphoma which can appear in the chest or digestive tract. But that’s a make-sure check, not necessarily because of suspicion. They’re just being proactive.

        Dudley has lived YEARS with his digestive IBS and a coming and going renal profile. He just started on calcitriol for renal problems and HJ (his daughter) was on it for five years before she died of the unrelated parathyroid tumor.

        Ultrasounds are valuable and can often tell you a lot. Sometimes they show something that may require an exploratory laparascopic, but that’s to determine later.

        Again, not to panic. Ihave right next to me Dudley, who just barfed a half hour ago on my jute rug, who takes pills twice a day for a horribly irregular heartbeat, who takes calcitriol for slowly progressing renal failure, who has IBD, and he’s rolling around as I pet him, having jumped up here after a race around the house, purring and wiggling, and you’d never know anything was wrong with him.

        Your friend should not worry, try a few things that are indicated to try, pay attention to the cat, and not transmit a lot of anxiety to the kitty, which will make it worse. There’s a lot of things they do nowadays that they never used to. If she has any questions she can read info at Tufts or Cornell’s veterinary sites, or even get a second opinion from a gastro specialist at a large city veterinary clinic. I’ve done it all. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        • I almost missed this! This is a lot of info. Right now Mollie just finished metronidazole but she is on prednisolone for itching. I’m going to call my vet tomorrow to discuss the ultrasound and she what she says. Mollie still has the gaggy thing going on but I think she is feeling better.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Paws crossed it’s just a gassy day and things will resolve. Enjoying the weather – that’s a great pleasure for a cat of her age. Comfortable and in her place with her people. The best of life.
    It is just money- we do make a promise when we take them in – to guard and make choices. She’s trusting the right people. Paws crossed .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand your concern over Mollie and being nostalgic. Did the ER Vet say what could cause an open esophagus?

    I find myself worrying about Max when there is nothing even to worry about, because of his age. I lost Piezon at the age Max is now (11), but Max is doing fine. He has a few things going on that I give him meds for, but nothing life threatening.

    I’ll say a little prayer for Mollie’s health and for your comfort. Hopefully it’s nothing serious. 🤞

    It’s

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Funny you bring up ultrasounds. Harley has one scheduled for later this month of his heart. I asked if he would be sedated and they said it’s usually not needed. Dexter had one of his tummy a couple months ago, but he was already sedated because it was during a dental. Sending good thoughts to Mollie!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I will add Mollie to my prayer list. Many of my cats have had ultrasounds. I find them more helpful than bloodwork. The tech will shave a little fur off and then they put a gel on and rub the wand over- very non-invasive. I agree about not putting her through chemo.

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  10. Do you remember our cat “Hobble?” He had vomiting issues. But they often involved blood. So, we went to the Vet with him quite often. Went to VRC in Malvern. He had an ultra sound there. Showed NOTHING! Never was able to get a diagnosis but was finally chalked up to allergies! They were very nice…rather pricey, but when it comes to my fur babies is will never be an issue.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, he did tolerate it. None the less for wear. He actually had to stay overnight! they did the first one and came to us and showed up the results. It showed a kind of dog bonedish shaped figure in his stomach. They were not sure if it was undigested food, hair ball or ??? So, they wanted to do a second one the next day…it was gone! It must have been just undigested food. Neither Bruce or I felt it was overkill. And Hobble was happy and his usual pleasant self.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I had missed your earlier post about Mollie, so went back to read it and was laughing and relieved that all was well after the visit. Now I am feeling for you again. Our dogs are getting older too and yes, its hard to go there, to face the reality of them aging. Like you said, make the most of the time you have now, and I hope its years still. Hugs to you and Mollie! I hope this was just gas, not caused by anything more serious and that she can be back to feeling good!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve been feeling nostalgic too, Kate. Sometimes my mind goes to places that can be depressing if I don’t do a reset. Enjoy your time with Mollie and take it day by day. I don’t have any experience with animal ultrasounds, but I would imagine they’d be expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Expensive, yes. The x-rays were over $300. They told us a lot though. Except for this issue she’s a very healthy cat. She doesn’t have any of the “normal” diseases that old cats get. That affects the decision if it’s something that can be managed or fixed. For some unknown reason I’ve have anxiety this fall even prior to this. Can’t put my finger on a cause but a sick cat does not help it. Maybe it’s just the change of the seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My animals and my child only ever have issues after hours. The Emergency Room and the Emergency Vet are, of course, about ten times more expensive than the regular pediatrician and vet.

    Boss Cat stopped eating on July 3rd this year, and I was grateful our vet actually stayed open so we could bring her in. This is unheard of in Los Angeles, but our vet is a very dedicated Korean-American immigrant with cats of her own and a strong sense of loyalty–Boss was her very first patient. (Boss got antibiotics for a fever and an appetite stimulant that worked way too well.) The vet also did an ultrasound and found some lesions on the cat’s liver, but Boss has been fine since then and we’re hoping they are nothing.

    I am so sorry to hear about Mollie’s geriatric issues. I know she’s in good hands, though, and you will walk the difficult line between quality of life and length of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You hit the nail on the head. Walking the line. In reality, I kept Jake alive longer than I should have. Along with physical issues, he had night terrors that kept us all up every night. He was very hard to calm down. I’m not convinced his last 6 months had a lot of quality. He was 18 and he had a great life driving us all crazy.

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  14. I felt my throat close up a bit reading this since my Theo isn’t far behind Mollie in age. We’re all getting older, including the beloved fur-balls we share our lives with. I hope Mollie is improving with this new treatment. Big hugs 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So sorry Molly isn’t doing so well! We just had to have a dental on one of our cats who is 14 and a kidney patient. We tried to do the dental last year but she wasn’t in good enough shape. They did an EKG before surgery and decided it could be done, and her mouth was in awful shape, so glad it is completed. She wasn’t grooming anymore, and often not eating well, so she’s feeling better finally. But it was a touch and go surgery! As for ultrasounds, they are great tools and non-invasive which is good. They may sedate Molly – probably will need to. But they provide lots of useful information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My vet doesn’t like to do dentals on older cats unless necessary. When we adopted Gracie you couldn’t touch her mouth. She wouldn’t let the vet look inside so she had an “exploratory” dental. They remove several teeth and she was a different cat after that. So glad that you were able to do that for your cat. Toothaches are not good and change the temperament.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. we wish you a long time together…as long as possible… I have the same bunch here, they pick saturday night or a holiday for rides to the vet… at least with opening the door I know that the first 40 bucks are gone to the dogs and the bill is no longer such a big surprise

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