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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Update - mostly "Good Noos!"

Mommeh here, kitties!  Hopefully for the last time - looks like I may soon be able to turn the blog back over to its rightful writers.

As those of you who have been checking in are aware, Audrey has been over the fighting and anxiety for quite a while.  It was only Attie who was still stuck in the mindset.  It had become a learned behavior, that every time she laid eyes on her sister she would hiss and yowl and lash out and a fight would ensue.  Just the sight of her was a trigger.

So the buspirone we started with did nooooooothing.  Really nothing.  Even double doses did nothing.  Moving on, my surgery was coming up so on the morning of the operation we tried what they call ACE.  (Unfortunately the full name of it isn't coming to me but I remember it had been recommended in a few comments and emails in response to previous posts.)  The vet said it was supposed to be a heavy tranquilizer, which I felt guilty about giving her, but it was necessary due to her behavior while I needed all the rest I could get for my recovery.  Well guess what, that did nothing as well.  Again, even doubled doses did nothing.  Made her back legs a little wobbly at most, which just ticked her off and caused her to yowl anyway.  So that was fun to come home to and suffer through til we gave up and just realized it wasn't going to work.  Next we tried cat valium, which was the worst of all.  Not only did it not relax her, she had what they called a paradoxical reaction, which meant she spent nearly 24 hours running around like crazy and screaming.  Okay, note to self for future - Attie does not tolerate valium...   

Fast forward a couple weeks, and back to the vet for a new prescription.  Now we have cat prozac and cat xanax.  She gets the xanax twice a day and the prozac once a day... and it's WORKING!  Every so often a little spat still breaks out, but nobody ends up injured and it stops just as quickly as it starts.  Audrey has learned that when she overstimulates Attie now she should just walk away and go amuse herself.  They're able to be out of separation all the time, they walk around the house together as they used to, and the bedroom has gone back to being nice clean cat-free zone.  They are back to sharing bowls, toys, and litter.  Yesterday when I came out to get ready for work I even found them sleeping in the same bed!  Yay!  I will say that everything is not as it was.  It's not super peaceful and they don't play together, only separately.  And Attie on these meds isnt her old self.  (Athough she wasn't herself the last few months either so at least this is some improvement.)  She loses her balance and falls off things or misjudges jumps, and she never ever makes happy biscuits anymore, which bothers me because she was such a biscuit fiend...  But I can tell she does feel a lot better than she has for the last few months.  It's only been a week and a half or so on this new med combo, so hopefully things will continue to improve as rapidly as they have been so far.  After several months to a year I'm hoping she will be able to be weaned off the medications, but that's a while away.  For now I'm just happy things have calmed down.

She's acting a little funky, very floppy and her third eyelid shows a lot because sometimes she will start to fall asleep with her eyes open - that must be the xanax - and she's totally INSANE about food...  like attack cat crazy, even when it's something she never would eat, she is jumping all over you for it anyway and meowing her face off.  She's gotten completely obsessed with food, which is an issue she didn't really have before so I'm like wondering if she's high and this is what they call the munchies?  Haha.  Not sure, but it's odd.  Mostly when I'm home she just wants to sit with me and get skritches, which is normal for her, but it makes me sad to see her sweet happy self receded so much.  I can't complain because this really was necessary to help her, but I always feel like I'm lying to my little friend when I give her the pill pockets with the hidden medicines in them.  I'm a guilty catmommy.  But I'm doing it so she can feel better and get back to having a good life.  Does anyone else feel guilty for medicating their cat, even if it's for their betterment?









Thankfully she doesn't look like this all the time, just every so often.  She still runs around and plays like a maniac, especially if you give her a straw - oh how she adores straws!  And a few days ago while I was taking my shower she jumped into the tub (even if somewhat accidentally) and played with the water.  So Attie is still in there, she's just getting the help she needs to get better, and hopefully down the road I will have her totally back.


22 comments:

  1. Poor Attie. We understand and know you're doing what's in her best interest. We wonder if the new natural product, Zylkene, would help. The mom uses it for Derry, though frankly, the effects do seem to be short-lived. (It's a lactose-free milk-based product out of the UK and now available in North America, supposed to be calming, but don't think its intent is for long term needs.)

    Paws crossed and purrs for you all.

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  2. We're glad to hear that things are a little more peaceful. We hope the medication can be reduced soon.

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  3. Oh I am so grateful that the awful fighting has stopped for the most part and I can feel complete empathy about her being medicated. I haven't had this in my experience, no, but your description of it just makes me teary as you all three are really REALLY going through such awful times.

    I wish to goodness something could be determined about what HAPPENED to start this? They went from 0-60 in a flash and never looked back.

    Glad you updated because I have been wondering every day how you and they are.

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  4. Have you looked into the side effects? TW was addicted to Xanax on at least 2 different occasions and it was hell getting off it. Have you looked into any of the essential oils that Jackson Galaxy (My Cat From Hell, Cat Daddy) uses? Here's the link. Several cats on Twitter have sworn by Peacemaker. http://www.spiritessences.com/. Best of luck.

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  5. We are happy to hear the fighting is over. That must have been so awful for you Good luck.

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  6. Poor Attie. We are glad the meds are working, but do hope and purr that you'll be able to wean Attie off of them soon (and that she can get back to being a biscuit fiend!). Hugs to you all.

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  7. We're glad that things are getting better with sweet Attie and hope they will continue to improve.

    Purrs,
    The Chans

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  8. ((((Attie)))
    We are so sorry about all of that fighting. We know it was scary for everyone. We are glad you are calm, but be careful when you get off those medications you'll have to go very slowly.
    We are purring and sending hugs.
    purrs
    >^,,^<
    ♥Abby♥Boo♥Ping♥Jinx♥Grace♥

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  9. I'm so glad you checked in - I think about all of you often and have been wondering how things were. How frustrating that it took so long to find meds that worked for Attie. I would tell you not to feel guilty about dosing her, except that I am sure you will anyway! Clearly it is the only thing that is working and you had a desperate situation on your hands. Just know that with luck and continued effort, chances are you will be able to wean her off the meds at some point in the future.

    Have you ever seen the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell? Before the humans got Direct TV, my human watched the past shows on her computer via iTunes (I think it is also on Amazon too). You might be able to get some behavior modification tips from the episodes, plus some hope that things will get better.

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  10. We are glad that there's peace again in the house! Poor Attie, we remember she came from a bad situation and perhaps she has had a regression. Mommy has to daily medicate three poodins here; they get Clomicalm for anxiety-related issues, and it appears it will be a life-long thing. But it helps so much! They are clearly happier on the meds. As time goes by we think you'll be able to ramp back the meds and your former Attie will return.
    Incidentally, Daddy had the same reaction to valium!

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  11. So glad to hear that things are improving. I know it must be so stressful on everyone!

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  12. We're glad to hear things are getting better. Zoey was on buspirone and it did nothing for her, too. She's on prozac now and it has helped, although she and Wally still don't get along.

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  13. We are happy for you all that things have gotten better between your two kitties. You did what you thought best to help both your girls. Humans have been conditioned to think of those kind of meds as "bad", but wouldn't you give them meds for pain or a UTI? It may be that as Attie's body adjusts to them, some of the side effects will pass. And, yes, when you wean her off, do it *very* slowly. Sadly, you may never know what caused the problem, but do keep alert to her physical health (even though the vet said dhe was OK) as, sorry to say, there may be something that just hasn't surfaced yet. We send many purrs that improvements will continue.

    Laura & Taffy

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  14. Hope things continue to improve.

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  15. We are glad to hear the fighting has mostly stopped and that the medication is working for Attie. Hopefully you will be able to slowly reduce it until you find a level where both you and she are happy with it.

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  16. I am glad to hear the meds are working for Attie, but also hope that she can be weaned off of them without reverting back. I am very lucky that I haven't ever had to deal with this and am very sorry you have to, so I'm sending you (((hugs))) to help you through this.
    Jan, Momma to Sabrina, Sam and Simon

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  17. I am so happy that you found something that works for Attie. I hope that you can wean her off the drugs once she unlearns the fighting behavior. As for feeling guilty, yes, I do feel a bit guilty for having to give Herman his Metro for a week every month because he hates it, but it is for his own good.

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  18. We are so glad things have improved.

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  19. Maybe reducing the amounts given over an extended period will be able to get Attie off the medicine, while keeping her better behaviour. She may get used to the latter and retian it. Good luck to you all.

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  20. Yay for improvement! Just remember, sometimes brains need meds too. So far the Teenage Mutant Ninja Kitty Horde is hanging in there with Valerian on occasion. But we always keep it in mind.

    purrs & prayers
    Kat (who takes meds for fibro/CFS/BPD) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Kitty Horde

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  21. We are happy things are going better at your place!!We know you have been worried and things must have been stressful. We send you purrs :) We know you are doing what you need for your Kitties :)

    Purrs Tillie and Georgia,
    Tiger,Treasure and JJ

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  22. Oh wow, I hopes all of u feel better very soon. Sending love! (((Attie and fambly))). :)

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