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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I just typed this out then the page closed! We took our

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Hi, I just typed this out then the page closed!
We took our male cat, aged 12 months to the vet yesterday because in the morning he was very lethargic and wouldn't eat. The vet checked him over and said all his vital signs were fine - pink gums, lungs sounded clear, heart sounded fine, temperature was within normal range, lymphs didn't seem up, bladder felt like a normal size (and he'd been to the toilet in his carrier too so she said he is still going ok).
The only thing she was concerned with was his tail, she said it was really down and when he walked he didn't raise it at all. She came to the conclusion that he must have had a fall or twisted his tail/back and it was hurting him. She said she could see/feel the muscles spasming. She gave him two injections, and anti inflammatory and a painkiller.
She warned us the painkiller could last for 24-72 hours, and would make him very spaced out, even like he was 'stoned'. So not to worry if he didn't seem like hi normal self.
He ate a pouch of food last night and a large bowl of cat milk. He has been to the toilet a couple of times (urine only), today he has eaten one and a half pouches roughly, a few duck meat treats and a small bowl of proper turkey.
My concern is that he just wants to lay by the fire. He has been there all afternoon - he does come to his bowl if I shake his treats or tempt him so he is responsive. He is intermittently cleaning himself, rolling over and stretching out in front of the fire. If I go to stroke him he sometimes lets me and sometimes playfights back. So it's not like hi is unresponsive.
This morning we thought he was more 'with it' and moving around more, he even went tot he back door to go outside but then has been really sleepy this afternoon. His breathing is about 1 breath per minute, not laboured. No panting or very slow, deep breaths, and his breathing is silent.
Am I over reacting? Is it just the painkillers wearing off? Would appreciate some advice!!
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today. It sounds as if Merlin is showing signs of improvement if he's now eating where before he wasn't. Obviously a good thing.Respiratory rate in cats is typically about 20-30 per minute so if he's actually taking one per minute, that's a little high. I'd retake it by counting the number of breaths while he's at rest in 15 minutes and then multiply it by 4. This will be more accurate. I suspect his "lethargy" (if we can even call it that) is secondary to the painkiller which he received. If he was given a sustained release drug such as Buprenex (a commonly used medication in these sorts of situations), then he could experience side effects for a full 72 hours. Other than his respiratory rate perhaps being high, there's nothing about his behavior that would cause me undue alarm at this point.If he continues to be sluggish one more day, then a recheck visit might be prudent. I hope this helps to at least provide a measure of reassurance. Deb
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One breath per second not minute my mistake!
Thank you - it was his breathing that I am the most concerned about. Like you said it should be upto 30 breaths per minute and his is one per second
You're more than welcome....although I think I was mistakenly typing minutes when I meant seconds. Although that respiratory rate is still higher than it should be, about double. An elevated respiratory rate hasn't been reported as a side effect of Buprenex (although I don't know for sure that this is the drug he was given). Rather, a depressed rate can be seen. If you know the drugs he was given, let me know and I can research expected side effects....although an elevated respiratory rate isn't typically seen with anti-inflammatory medication either. If his respiratory rate is 60 breaths per minute, then that's higher than normal. Causes might be a fever or if he's overly warm (laying in front of the fire) or pain/discomfort. Deb
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Perfect thank you! We will keep an eye on him and see how he is tomorrow. He just wolfed down a second bowl of turkey! He has been in front of the fire all day so maybe it is that. Many thanks.
Glad I could help and thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.It certainly doesn't sound as if there's anything wrong with his appetite, does there?? If he were running a fever or really seriously ill, I wouldn't expect him to be eating so well so perhaps he's just gotten overly warm. Please continue to keep me posted about him if you have a chance. Even though you've rated, we can continue to communicate about this issue at no additional charge to you. Best of luck with him. Kind regards, Deb