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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2527
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My 18 year old cat had a funny turn today. He was fine

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Hello, my 18 year old cat had a funny turn today. He was fine all day and eatting normally. He went to sleep and when we went to wake him up for his dinner he was just sat on the bed with his head dipped. He is quite old so we left him for 10 minutes and came back and he was sat on the floor with his head dipped. We took him down stairs and led him on the sofa and he hasn't moved for hours. He is still breathing and slightly responsive but just does not seem without it. He also weed himself which is the first time he has ever done that. He can barely stand up and is very wobbly on his legs. I am wondering if he has had a stroke? He is still led down sleeping and doesn't seem to be in any sort of pain. I've read online the severe stroke systems can pass but not sure what to do with him. Will keep a close eye on him overnight and take him to the vets first thing but is there any other advice you can give me? Many thanks Hannah
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
Hello,I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Hercules. I'm so sorry you're having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. So I may know we're properly connected and that you understand how the website works (including that I'll need to earn your good rating in order to receive any compensation for helping you), please type in a short response below. You may rest assured you'll have my full attention and will receive a complete response once I know you're there. Thank you.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hello
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
My cat has had a funny turn today
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Can you give some guidance on what maybe wrong with him?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
Happy to help... yes... typing more below...
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
Please let me start by saying how sorry I am you're going through all of this. It sounds as if he's a wonderful cat and he's clearly been very well cared for to have reached this exceptional age. I know how scary it is to see him suddenly take such a turn for the worse. The first thing that comes to mind upon reading your description is that he is experiencing some kind of electrolyte disturbance. I'll explain more below...
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
This website gives a good summary on one particular type of electrolyte disturbance that is associated with these symptoms... hypokalemia...http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/hypokalemia-or-low-potassium-levels-in-cats/288
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Would that suddenly come on? Is there a cause for this?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
While I understand the inclination to wonder if he's had a stroke, I'd like to offer the information that strokes as they occur in people simply are not something we tend to see in either dogs or cats. There are other things that can cause similar symptoms, but we generally do not see strokes. Yes, hypokalemia could come on suddenly. It would be the result of him dealing with some degree of a chronic illness, but compensating for it and showing no symptoms at all until it reached this point today.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
The most common reason for hypokalemia in an older cat is kidney disease. Other things are possible, too, for creating this type of scenario...
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Is there anything I can do for him? Will he be in pain? He was out in the cold and wet yesterday evening and I wonder if that has brought on an illness.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
liver diseasean inner ear problemanemiaa problem within the brain itself, like an infection or tumor, but "strokes" are very, very rare.As you can see, these things can be pretty serious. I'm sorry. I wish I had better news for you. I'd advise getting him to a vet as quickly as possible. Some basic blood tests will give you the answers you need very quickly. The sooner you get answers, the sooner you'll know what to expect and what can be done for him.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Okay, I will take him to the vets first thing in the morning. Is there anything I can do in the meantime?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
"Is there anything I can do for him?" Please keep him warm and comfortable with food, water, and little box close at hand. Monitor all input and output, as that will be useful information for your vet."Will he be in pain?" I wish I could answer that, but it depends on what is causing this problem. I'll describe signs of pain below...
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
This article provides a great summary of what to watch for to know if your cat is in pain. At least that way you'll be able to know with confidence if he is or is not in pain. I know you've got to be terribly worried for him...http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/sick-cat-symptoms-health-care-tips-pain
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
Is there anything else I can help you with at this time?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
If it is kidney failure is there anything the vets can do?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
I'll be frank.If this is kidney failure, yes... there are a lot of things your vet can do to try to reverse the effects, but it's important to emphasize that this is temporary. Nothing is going to fix old, failing kidneys (except for a kidney transplant). That being said a lot of cats will go for years with an assortment of treatments to relieve the symptoms of chronic kidney failure. True, for some it is too late, but you never know until you find out what your situation is.
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2527
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Okay thank you for your help. I will follow up with the vet in the morning.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
Good. I'm glad to know Hercules will be able to get the help he needs. I hope the rest of the evening is quiet for him. Please remember to rate my response on your way out of the chat so I may receive credit for helping you.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 months ago.
Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss your question until you are satisfied with the answer I've provided. You may return to this page at any time to review this information and/or post more. You may do so even after you've rated my response. I'll be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help you. If you are satisfied with the information I've provided, please take a moment to rate my response. I've done my best to provide you with the most accurate, thorough and up-to-date information that is available, and your positive feedback is important to me. Without it, I receive no compensation for helping you. If you are not satisfied, please let me know how else I may be of assistance. Thank you for using our website.

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