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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
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Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I've just inherited a cat, her owner died three weeks ago.

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I've just inherited a cat, her owner died three weeks ago. Smudge, the cat, is 17 years old, hadn't seen a vet in 16 years (verified) and is very thin, her breath smells bad and her coat is dull. Smudge doesn't live with us - she now lives alone in her own home where she'll live her life out (as promised to her owner). We go down there twice a day, feed her and spend time with her. I was concerned about the amount of food she was eating, my neighbour feeds her cat 150g of meat per day and Smudge is chomping through 200g twice a day and would eat more if I put it down.
I took her to the vet Tuesday night to have her checked out. She was diagnosed with a bad heart, hyperthyroidism and her teeth are really bad, gums swollen. Blood test confirmed the thyroid issue. She weighs 3 kg. Nothing can done about her teeth because of her heart condition. So yesterday I picked up the prescribed tablets: Vetergesic 0.2ml (1 syringe per dose) once or twice daily. I've read that the correct dose should be 0.02 - 0.04 mg per kg. Middling that dose a 3 Kg cat should have 0.03 ml x 3 kg = 0.09 ml so they've prescribed a double dose? The other medication is Vidalta 15 mg - I've been reading that the better dose, particularly to start from is 10 mg as people have found that Vidalta upsets the cats stomach quite a bit. Unfortunately I gave her the Vidalta before I read about it. I didn't give her the Vetergesic yet because I didn't want to be wondering which medication had caused an undesirable effect if there was one. i went back to see her several hours after the Vidalta and she was in a really bad mood but seems otherwise okay. What are the correct doses of these medications? Given that this cat has never had ANY medication in the past apart from the spot on treatment for fleas, I'm really worried. The trip to the vets was immensely stressful for her and I was afraid for her life, even the vet was concerned that the stress may result in a dead cat before this morning. Not encouraging. I really don't want to have to put her through that experience again unless the situation is dire. At the moment I'm concerned about whether I'm doing the right thing by Smudge, I'm concerned about the medication and the fact that I'm not there to monitor her accept twice daily visits and I'm concerned that not treating her will cause or make worse her suffering. While at home, apart from the seemingly constant hunger, she appears to be relaxed and comfortable (though with bad teeth, which does make chewing difficult for her, I worry that she's in permanent pain). I really don't know what to do for best but the medication doses are worrying me too. I have dogs so I can't bring her home and if I could she's used to her freedom and to confine her now would cause more stress. She is safe at home, is free to wonder in and out of the house and never leaves the property. I'm mainly asking about the doses of the medications but if you would like to offer your opinion of what's best for Smudge please do.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today.

I am very sorry to hear about Smudge's situation and the passing of her owner.

In regards ***** ***** question, please note that you have listed the Vetergesic dosing range in milligrams/kg not milliliters but have then calculated your dose without considering the milligrams per milliliter of the drug. As well, the dosing range you have noted is higher then what we usually use. So, it would be more appropriate to use a 0.01-0.02 mg/kg dose and considering Vetergesic is 0.3mg/ml, the dose would be 0.1-0.2 ml would be what we'd use for her and this is a good pain relief that will help with her dental pain since she cannot have those rotten teeth removed.

Otherwise, we can start cats on 10mg of Vidalta if they only have a mild thyroid elevation or we are worried that they may be sensitive. Though generally speaking, we'd use 15mg to get that thyroid level down as quickly as we can. And I suspect her vet did so because of her heart condition (since thyroid disease predisposes them to heart disease and can worsen it the longer it is unstable)and likely because her thyroid levels were high on her blood test. So, as long as she has no gut upset from this, we'd want to stick to that dose and don't have a reason to waste her time by lowering it (especially since that could mean longer to stabilize her and more blood sampling to determine that).

Overall, if she is comfortable, eating well, and doesn't seem stress then you are right to use the above as the vet dispensed. They didn't get the doses wrong but sound to be trying to manage her oral pain but also get her thyroid as stable as possible as quickly as possible to give her a chance and keep her comfortable for as long as possible.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you, that's the reassurance i needed. It's such a horrible situation to be in. She does seem quite happy at home. I'll continue with the dosing as prescribed and see how she goes. Thanks again.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

It isn't a nice one to be in but if she is happy as she is, then we can let her enjoy life as much as she can.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, please rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17074
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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