Feline health question

Holysinner

Diabloii.Net Member
Feline health question

I have an 18 year-old female calico who suffers from chronic urinary tract infections. The three most recent infections have been multi-drug resistant E-coli bacteria (presumably originating from her own digestive tract). A previous hypothyroid condition has been successfully treated. She is also (like most cats her age) in declining kidney health, though not yet in renal failure. I treat her with subcutaneous fluids more than twice per week, yet she suffers from constipation when not on antibiotics (which cause diarrhea) – for which I give her a stool softener. I also daily clean her orifices with antibacterial wipes in the hopes of avoiding infections, but to no avail. The last three times, she has re-developed an infection within two week of the conclusion of a course of antibiotics (6-8 weeks in duration, prescribed based on sensitivity tests with cultures).

Her veterinarians have suggested the possibility of surgery to reduce the folds of skin around her vagina, to reduce the accumulation of bacterial-bearing feces, but her age and the fact that I clean her daily argues against this route, and none of the vets are actively pushing it.

I have thoroughly read feline-care forums for suggestions, but to no avail, so I post here only as a last-gasp effort in the hopes that someone has had a similar experience. Two years ago I had to have her 'brother' (unrelated, but adopted at the same time) put to sleep due to renal failure. I subsequently feel I waited too long, and don’t want Samantha to suffer, but hope that her quality of life is not too bad despite all the treatments and vet visits she has to go through.
 

Holysinner

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Feline health question

I'm too late to edit, but the above should have been a corrected hyperthyroid (excesive production) rather than hypothyroid condition.
 

Thyiad

Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian
Re: Feline health question

Oh you have my sympathy.

I had to have one of my cats put to sleep on Tuesday. Something I really didn't want to do but a combination of cancer and renal failure meant she wasn't eating and not really even moving.

I admire your dedication to trying to get your cat better and keep her comfortable. As you've already seen one cat deteriorate and undoubtedly change from a happy bouncy cat (depending on their personality), you are in the best position to know when it is right to say goodbye.

I hope someone here has better knowledge of how to help your cat, but you certainly have my sympathy and respect for trying.
 

Rocksin

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Feline health question

The main problem seems to be the multiresistant bacteria causing the external infection. Antibiotic resistance is a major issue in the United States. Over a long period of time, doctors have been handing out antibiotics like candy. What happened? They created super bacteria, resistant to most antibiotics. A self inflicted problem.
As I understand, the antibiotics do do not seem to be treating the infection, but they seem to be treating symptoms like constipation. If the antibiotics seem to be treating other symtoms as well, I suggest you keep treating her with the prescribed drugs based on sensitivity tests with cultures.
Because she has kidney problems I suggest you continue the treatment with subcutaneous fluids, mainly to make sure that waste is removed from her blood.
Moist environments are ideal conditions for most bacteria. Therefore, the infected area needs to be as dry as possible. As I understand, the antibacterial wipes do not seem to do much. I suggest washing the infected areas with strong hypertonic solutions. A hypertonic solution will most likely kill bacteria and also keep the area dry after the treatment. You can also dry rubbing some fine salt on the infected areas.
 

llad12

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Feline health question

As you said HS, it's her quality of life that should guide your steps toward whatever you decide.

Samantha has had a long run. Enjoy and treasure your pet. Most cats don't live that long.
 

Holysinner

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Feline health question

@Thyiad: Thank you for your expression of sympathy. I am sorry to hear of your recent loss, I know it is very difficult to go through.

@llad: Appreciated.

@Rocksin: Thanks for the suggestions. To be clear, her infection is internal (bladder), but the presumed course of transmission is feces getting into her urethra, which is why I have to clean her externally. The antibiotics do work, but she keeps getting new infections when the course of antibiotic is completed (and keeping her on one indefinitely could lead to resistance, as you have noted). I will look into the hypertonic solution you mentioned.

@all: I'm sure this isn't news to many around here, but Disgruntled is an awesome person. I haven't managed to talk to my vet today, but if the vets had been as attentive and helpful as Dis, we might have avoided some of the problems Samantha has had. I've thanked her in our PM correspondence but couldn't help but say it here, too.
 

disgruntled

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Feline health question

:blush:

It's all just part of my diabolical plan to have my own group of minions. One. Ah Ah Ah Ah. One minion. :laugh:
 
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