Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pavel's all bunged up again

This is likely the least likely title and blog entry ever. Pavel is my 14 year old cat and he is the love of dh's and my life. Pavel's constipation is heavy on my mind and i need to talk about it and the events surrounding it.  We've had two other Siamese's in the past; they however were allowed out whenever they wanted and neither ever was constipated (that i knew of) One lived to a ripe old 19 and the other was killed by a car at age 10. When we got Pavel we agreed that he would be strictly a house cat.

Not saying he's never been outside though.  When he was young i trained him to walk on a leash and we'd go for walks, not far, just in our own backyard. And while i worked in the greenhouse his leash would be attached to a rod in the garden which enabled him to romp freely around in a large circle.
Now, if we would have kept up his visits with nature he might not have the constipation problem that he has now developed.
Too late we learned that constipation is typical with the Siamese breed. No regrets though; we'd still have him and love him anyway.

However its a hard thing to see your precious little baby in pain and so you do whatever you can to help relieve his agony. And then when theres nothing more you can do its off to the dreaded veterinarian clinic and all its horrors dishonesties and unknown factors. This time it was a brand new clinic with a brand new vet....and no recomendations from anyone....

Our old vet had retired and i didn't like the way the place was being run without him there. Last year we took him to a new place where the vets seemed nice enough, and they managed to remove some  old feces without putting him under a general anesthetic. Then their bill came and it was four times more than we expected and all i could think was dammed vets! they always do this. They insist on shots, or boosters, blood tests and x-rays, medicine and special food.  $800. later we're walking out with our cat relieved of a turd or two,  not knowing if the constipation will continue. What if he won't eat their special diet food or their meds? One of the things they sold me was a 2 oz. bottle of lactulose for $30. I asked at the safeway pharmacy for lactulose and they offered me a full litre for $10.
If theres one thing i cant stand its getting ripped off and that was a doozy. Never going to trust that vet again.

And of course Pavel hated their stupid food and he hated the meds as well.And he hated us for trying to make him eat them and he grew suspicious of us when we went to pick him up. So we carried on by trying some home remedies like pumpkin, molasses, metamucil etc which he wouldn't swallow. I did get various oils into him but he hated them and the food and therefore was still all bunged up.

So yesterday was new vet day. Travelling day is horrid for a cat to put it lightly; lots of purple tongue, panting and crying.So we get there and the receptionist greeted us with "we never try to make you pay more that is needed; our rates are very low. We are here because we love animals and will never over charge, you can trust us completely"

I felt relieved but suspicious. You know the old "she doth protested too much"

So they needed fresh xrays which we agreed to.  Then for the anesthetic and procedure but said no to the blood tests. We bought the food they wanted to sell us and some $12. laxative in a tube which smells like pure molasses, which it probably is available for $1.  Then they sent us away for 3 hours before we could come back and get our baby.

We were shocked to find him still asleep and icey cold upon our return. They said that was normal....? We brought him home and i took him to bed immediately wrapped in his Snuggie as well as a down quilt and i held him close but he remained cold for 12 hours or more after that.  Dh was also doing relay runs to the dryer with blankets which he heated and brought up to place under Pavel, but nothing seemed to warm him up.

We all fell asleep from exhaustion and in the morning he was a little more alert and a little more warm, praise the Lord. Now tonight hes feeling 100% better but still refusing food and water.  I don't know what to do about that except force feed and water him and we very messily did.

Meanwhile i was looking over the vets bill while i had a coffee and guess what.  They overcharged us by $30. and change. So $30. isn't that much, but its a place we'll never do business with again; if they'll gyp you in money what other ways do they gyp you?

It just makes you lose faith in people when this happens and it seems to happen to us a lot. A so called "friend" installed new flooring in our basement and i just happened to check over his bill - he was $100. his favour of course.  Could have been honest mistakes but really, these are professional people. I've also noticed any mistakes are never in our favour!

I suspect, but have no proof of this but i think Pavel wasn't even treated at that vets office. I think they took him to another location in a cold vehicle and he was returned via the back door just as we got there.
Maybe i'm an overbearing, suspicious, untrusting mom but i sensed something was going on at that clinic and it was more than simply their overcharging us. I'm going to confront them re our bill but can't very well ask anything about did they send Pavel out to another location because i dont know why they would do that and i can't make any sense of it. But it bothers me mightily. Your cat is like your kid - you take your kid to school and as far as you know hes safely there in that school all day.  But what if one day you found out somehow they had transported him to a different location for the day without you knowing.  Well, i'd be livid!  I am livid.

Sorry for yet another longggg post. Just had to rant. Now i'll climb in bed with the poor little bugger and croon sweet nothings in his ear and cuddle him all night.  Hopefully my loving will loosen him up!


Lalala said...

What a horror story! Is he feeling better now?

Lalala said...

Hey Lorraine, I found this chat room about Siamese.... I didn't go in because I smell too much of a dog. :-)

Hope you will get to know some new friends, and maybe they will have creative solutions for you and family. Best wishes from Lalala.

Lorraina said...

Thanks Lalala; yes, Pavel is "back to normal" which actually isn't good.
Some of his problem is because he's always only eaten a little at a time, about a tsp. or so but he eats often.
Thats why the bunny poops.
If he eats more than a little that poop is too big for his exit.
But the vet said he has to get used to eating at least 1/2 can of food at once and the thought of the size of that poop makes me shutter.
But what do i know? i guess it works differently, and so we are trying to co-operate by force feeding him that much. However its impossible; he clamps his mouth shut and won't swallow. The food ends up all over him and us. Then trying to get the laxitive into him as well.
It would be so much easier if he'd eat people food but he won't.
So now its experimenting with a variety of brands, none of which he likes and all of which makes me gag.
I don't know what else to do.Vets seem to think their instructions will be easy to follow - NOT!

Lorraina said...

Thanks for the link to the cat chat Lalala! I have contacted them to join but havent been approved yet. Looking forward to chatting with them.

Lalala said...

From a human stand of point, sounds like he needs to eat chew on vegetables.... is there any cat friendly indoor plants that you can get for him to snack on?

I don't really know what I am talking about. But I see dogs in the backyard snacking on grass all the time when they have tummy problems.

Lorraina said...

Most cats like to eat grass too, and i'm sure its good for their digestion. They sell little pots of oat grass at our Petsmart and i pretended it was a choice houseplant and didn't offer him any, sort of carefully placed it on a sunny windowsill and tried to divert him. Of course his curiosity got the better of him and soon he was sneaking his way up to it; gotta find out if he can ruin mama's prize plant....but no, he just took a sniff or two and he was outta there, the li'l monkey!

Lalala said...

haha, maybe he will eat some when he gets comfortable.

Found this link, I guess it doesn't hurt to try all kinds of things. At least he is not scared when he is at home. Be patient, hopefully you will get to chat with the siamese people soon.

Lorraina said...

Lalala came to the rescue once again! Thanks Lalala for the cat- health-behaviour link. As i said i had bought him a pot of oat grass but he didn't want to eat it. It didn't occur to me to look for other grass varieties so thanks for the suggestion. I'll go in search of wheatgrass, barleygrass, ryegrass and catnip and if i cant find them already growing i'll buy seeds and grow them myself. Who knew there was other cat grasses? I should have known but it evaded me.Hopefully he will fall in love with at least one of them! I'm sure it'll help him alot.
Still havent heard back from the administrator of the catchat group and their registration form is still disabled.

Lalala said...

I went into the Siamese chat room to look, yes you are right.... doesn't look very active.

Then I found this. Siamese Rescue, they may know a thing or two. (at very least, these people do love and care about siamese)

it's going to be work, trial, errors when it comes to finding a solution for Pavel. But we will keep trying until he gets better.

Lorraina said...

Thank you Lalala, you're such a good friend! Well, i checked the siamese rescue org and they really didn't have anything re constipation or how to handle a finicky cat.

I read some stuff from google and some places said that eating grass promotes vomiting in cats...i think outdoor cats gravitate to it automatically when they're having trouble with hairballs or something so its good for that.

But Pavel is already bulemic and he throws up when he eats too much and too much to him is less than a TBS of canned or pouch cat food. Hes always done that. On the carpet of course.

Then i read at another site: as a cat gets older its digestive system becomes less efficient and it requires several small meals rather than 2 main meals.
So i guess he was doing what comes naturally all along and the vet that we saw who said to make sure he eats 1/2 canful at a meal was wrong. As well of course he still eats dry cat food whenever he wants some; his dish is kept always full.

So, i think his eating is fine, its just that he gets constipated on the only stuff that he'll eat. Now that we're forcing the laxative into him he has had a softer poop. But i don't think laxatives are very healthy to have to have all the time and he hates getting it.

So i'm going to try him again on different brands and also look and see if theres some baby food chicken and veggies that he might like.

This latest episode has made him lose so much weight and Siamese are naturally skinny to begin with. Poor baby; gotta get some nourishment into him that'll stick and not cause the dreaded constipation.

Lorraina said...

Hey Lalala, i forgot to say thanks for that site because i saw a type of Siamese that i've never heard of before. They call it an "apple head" and it was sooooo adorable and cute. Pavel is of the old style called a wedge head, except Pavel isn't a pure bred by any standards.
Apple heads have a fatter face and i think they must look like a fat cuddly kitten all their life.
It was real cool to see how the breeders have popularised this style. I like it better than wedgeheads but unfortunately i won't be able to get one.

Lalala said...

I thought maybe you can send an email to the rescue group about Pavel's condition?

Pavel is really cute. He is lucky to be with you who cares about him so much.

Lorraina said...

Thanks Lalala, Pavel really is a cute,sweet, cuddly wuddly and its hard to see him when hes down. He's a very vocal cat, you can have long conversations with him; ask him anything and he'll answer....long answers like his mom.
I wrote to the siamese rescue group but havent heard from them or the siamese chat group yet either.

Lorraina said...

Lalala i heard from the siamese rescue lady and she gave me so many ideas and what to do for Pavel. She explained the way dif types of laxatives work and i was shocked cuz i didn't know 'bout that. So now we're back to using lactulose every day; chucked the tonic-lax and while he is now eating a fibre type of dry food, she suggested even a different better type that should be available at Petsmart. Also a good canned food that i never heard of before but am going to go to great lengths to get him some.She said the cold he suffered after being given anesthesia as well as how long it took him to warm up and come out of the sleep was totally wrong. I'm never taking him to that vet again! Pavel is drinking alot of water and seems to be much happier now
So everthnings good, knock on wood> and praise the Lord!

Lalala said...

Lorraina, Sounds like you got some really wonder suggestions for Pavel baby. I can't wait to hear how he gets better! I am glad that he is happier now.... yay!

Bunnym said...

Thanks for visiting me on my blog. Your smelling info is very interesting, I'm gonna have to check into that all's not so intense as your thing. I grew up with Siamese cats and they are very strong cats..I'm sure your little Pavel will be just fine. Vet offices are hard to trust..It's the only Dr. office I can negotiate with...Imagine...Dr: He needs blood work, x-rays, this shot and that shot and it'll come out to about $150. Me: I can't afford that, we're on a tight budget can you bring that down a little? Dr.: How does $100 sound? Me: great, but how does $50 grad ya?
Dr.: $55.95. Me: Great...let's do it, and by the way, while checking things out, can you check my hubbies prostate?....HA!


Lorraina said...

Wowsers thats one fine vet you have there Bunny ~ i hope he never moves or retires. Well, hey what am i sayin'?!! I hope he moves to the lower mainland of B.C. A vet like that would be worth his weight in gold and i'm not kiddin' Vets around here are sooo expensive. I think its because we have people all covered for medical so vets have seen the opportunity to cash in on the one family member who isn't covered.
Hope your smell issue never gets worse!