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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Thirty years experience in small animal medicine and surgery.
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Barbara. In October you helped Ohli, and I'd love your help

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Hi Barbara. In October you helped Ohli, and I'd love your help again please....
We still don't know what made him so desperately ill. He nearly died. but after a week on an IV he recovered and has been fine since. On Friday we got a new kitten. We plugged felliway in before to help them prepare. He's been a bit strange but nothing you wouldn't expect. But today he's taking a few steps then lying down in the house. Eating fine. Still going outside and running around. Is it just stress?
Hi again!
Thanks for requesting me, and hopefully I'll be able to help you out again.
It's Ohli that is doing this behavior. . .right?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. The kitten's a bit hissy because she doesn't trust him yet but he's like the UN envoy of the cat world so he's being really patient. That's not to say he's not stressed. He scooches through the house if he's not sure where she is, and wants to be outside much more. My hubby said when he got home tonight Ohli moved out of the way of the door and then just lay in front of him. He snuggled him, he took 5 more steps, then lay down again. He's had his food, and wanted to go back outside. I got him in after an hour and he walked in and lay down by the stairs. Often he sits and makes me carry him. It's kind of our game. But he never lies down there. And then upstairs he was the same... Couple of paces, lie down. He's gone to bed now. He's cleaning himself in his bed and is responsive but not Purdy when I stroke him. It's just such unusual and obvious behaviour I feel worried. Especially after last time.
Thanks Beth for your reply. . .Ohli is stressed both by the new kitten's just being there and then by his desire to be a friendly (and maybe loving) big brother.
It is always recommended that when introducing a new cat to a household that you confine the new kitty to her separate room with her litter and water and food (a plenty of visits by you). Through the door Ohli and his sister will be curious about the other and may even play under the door. You should take a towel and rub Ohli with it and then rub your new kitty with it. Do the opposite with another towel.
Ultimately, you will be able to open the door with you present and let them get to know each other face to face. I doubt there will be any actual fighting, but you might want to have a squirt gun or water spray bottle to break up any actual fights. I imagine they will be quickly integrated. . .they already are tolerating each other some.
This separation will allow them to become comfortable with each other with much less stress!
It is always recommeded that you have 1 more litter box in the household than you have cats (in your case 3 litter boxes), and place them in private but easily accessible places. It is also recommended to decrease stress by feeding the cats in separate rooms and when they are finished pick up the food until the other end of the day. Ohli and his sister will soon learn that food will be available again, but will not have the territorial stress of protecting their food.
Does this all sound feasible to you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Barbara. We've been keeping them separated during the day but let her out in the evenings when we're home. He seems a bit wobbly on his legs this morning so I'm going to just run him to the vet to get some bloods done to make sure there's nothing else. And we'll take it slower with the kitten for him for the next couple of weeks. Thank you so much for your help again. You've been great as always :)
Hi Beth,
It's morning for me here. What did your vet find today?
I'll be away from my computer for about 3 hours, but will check right away after that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She found a heart murmur. Which is definitely new. But no other symptoms. So we're waiting for basic and heart specific blood test results. Maybe it's nothing. But I'm a bit worried his illness last year has done some kind of damage that's just surfacing due to the stress. He's getting a lot of cuddles whilst we wait for the results anyway, so he's not complaining :)
Heart murmurs can be intermittent, but it is definitely important to determine what is going on. A cardiac ultrasound performed by an experienced cardiac ultrasonographer is the best way to get the most information.
Thanks so much for letting me know, and hope to hear the results of his tests.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Basic blood results in and they're clear. Still waiting for the results of the test to look at his heart. We've unplugged the feliway just in case. He's prone to serious reactions (he pulls his fur out if he eats anything other than a particular type of a particular brand as just one example of his over-reactions to stuff) so it's possible the feliway is just too strong for him and it's knocking him sideways. We shall see. Poor wobbly furbeast :(
Hi Beth,
Thanks so much for the update! So glad all results are normal at this point!
The serum test you are waiting on is the NT-proBNP, I imagine. There can be false positives and false negatives (I've been perusing our Veterinary Information Network). Your doctor may also go ahead and recommend a cardiac ultrasound for Ohli. We'll see what she feels with all the information she has gathered (including the all important "hands on" exam).
Will Ohli's test be back today?
Dr. Barbara and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Barbara, just to say thank you for your help again. The Feliway has been unplugged since Thursday and Ohli's now back to about 90%. His heart test was clear, and there's been nothing we've found that suggests any other reason why he lost the use of his legs. Perhaps it's just a massive coincidence. But in my personal opinion, it was the Feliway. Who knows. He's pretty much fine now, and it's nice to have had him MOT'd whilst we were worried about him (he disagrees, obviously!)
Beth x
Great news, Beth! :-) I've never heard of problems with Feliway, but will check online and at our Veterinary Network to see what others have found. I'll do this later as this AM I swim, and then I have baby shower to attend.Have a great weekend!Barbara