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Any vets on here Advice re: Gabapentin

(16 Posts)
Canshopwillshop Tue 19-Jun-18 16:06:09

I am feeling a bit shell shocked over the events of the last few days and wonder if anyone can advise? On Friday I took my seemingly healthy cat to the specialist vet for a heart scan to investigate a murmur. He was sedated with gabapentin. Heart scan showed only minor problem to be monitored.

Over the weekend he developed hind leg weakness and on Monday was admitted back to vet. After lots of investigations they’ve now found that his kidneys are abnormal and he has v low levels of potassium. He’s on a potassium drip, theyve taken a biopsy and waiting for results. They are now looking for kidney infection, chronic kidney disease or lymphoma.

Whilst I accept the vets explanation that the kidney problem has been developing for some time (but not giving any obvious symptoms), I can’t shake the feeling that the sedation on Friday has triggered something catastrophic, It’s just such a coincidence! Could this be possible (obviously not if it’s lymphoma). I am beating myself up so much 😢

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PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 19-Jun-18 16:10:45

I'm not a vet but I wanted to offer a hand hold. I remember your posts about the heart scan.

If they say he has kidney disease it can't be cured but it be managed. Harry has it and, with medication, his readings returned to normal after a while. Did they say when you can expect to get the results of the biopsy?

Harry and I are sending you and your boy hugs and purrs

Canshopwillshop Tue 19-Jun-18 16:26:42

Thank you pinksparkly. The results should be back tomorrow lunchtime. The vet said his kidneys are structurally abnormal and if it is kidney disease then medication might help to improve his condition but won’t restore kidney function fully. I am hoping and praying that it will be possible for him to be treated and he can enjoy a good standard of life.

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Lonecatwithkitten Tue 19-Jun-18 18:48:53

There is no evidence of a link between using gabapentin for sedation and the development of kidney signs, in fact it is the sedation of choice in elderly cats.
Cats have to lose more than 75% of their nephrons to exhibit signs of chronic renal failure and with low potassium chronic renal failure is the most likely diagnosis. Hopefully they have submitted urine for a urine protein creatinine ratio and microscopy as this is a really important prognostic indicator. But the vast majority of cats with CRF live good quality lives for a significant period of time.

Canshopwillshop Tue 19-Jun-18 19:36:09

Lonecat - Thank you so much. I was driving myself insane thinking I’d deliberately put him through an unnecessary procedure which had caused harm (daft I know but just couldn’t stop blaming myself).
I’ll ask about the urine analysis tomorrow. The hospital he’s in is a bit like supervet so I’m hoping that they’ve thought of everything!

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Canshopwillshop Tue 19-Jun-18 19:40:11

Lonecat - one more question. Have you known cats with abnormal kidney structure and hind leg weakness to respond well to treatment. Just worried it’s gone too far but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. It’s weird as he showed v few signs of anything being wrong 😔

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Toddlerteaplease Tue 19-Jun-18 20:38:55

You needed to rule out the heart issue though. So don't beat yourself up about that. It could just be coincidence. No advice, but handhold from me and the girls. Xx

Canshopwillshop Tue 19-Jun-18 20:41:08

Thanks toddlertea x

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Canshopwillshop Wed 20-Jun-18 16:44:43

UPDATE - vet phoned this afternoon and said my cat has improved significantly. He is much more steady on his back legs and the potassium supplementation seems to have worked. There’s no sign of cancer but there are signs of inflammation in the liver and possibly kidneys too so he’s on antibiotics.

He does have CKD but we can manage that at home with special diet etc. It’s possible he could also have a rare hormone disorder (Conn’s syndrome) which has caused the low potassium levels. Bloods have been sent for hormone testing but we won’t get results for another week or so. Even if he does have it, we can manage it at home. I am sooooo happy and relieved 😀

Thanks so much for all your support.

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PinkSparklyPussyCat Wed 20-Jun-18 22:13:29

That's good news, I'm so pleased he has improved and there's no sign of cancer. We were told Harry may have cancer when he fractured his jaw and the waiting for the results was horrible.

Harry wouldn't eat the renal diet (I wasn't surprised, he's a fussy bugger!) but he has Ipakitine added to his normal wet food morning and evening. We tried him on another couple of treatments but he wouldn't take them.

Do you know when he's coming home?

Canshopwillshop Wed 20-Jun-18 22:26:10

Thanks Pinksparkly. I guess it will be trial and error to sort out my cat’s diet but it’s good to know that we can supplement his normal wet food. Fingers and everything crossed we can get him tomorrow afternoon (once we’ve re-mortgaged the house to pay the vet bill 😱).

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Canshopwillshop Thu 21-Jun-18 19:36:58

He’s home 😀

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PinkSparklyPussyCat Thu 21-Jun-18 22:11:15

That's great news, you must be so pleased to have him back. Please keep us updated on his progress

Canshopwillshop Thu 21-Jun-18 22:29:26

I will pink. I’m going to try him on the renal food but it might be tricky because we have another cat. The supplement your cat is on might be the better option.

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PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 22-Jun-18 06:56:59

The other option could be a microchip feeder, although it depends if your cat would use it.

When Harry was first diagnosed and we realised the food was a no no the vet prescribed him Pronefra, which is a liquid you can either syringe into his mouth or add to his food. We tried it in the food and he ate it for a few days and then started ignoring his food. We couldn't syringe it in as he's got an unstable jaw after fracturing it a couple of years ago. I also didn't want to be forcing something in his mouth twice a day for the rest of his days! The vet suggested having a operation so his jaw was stronger but that seemed a bit OTT!

After that they tried something else that they've never known a cat refuse. Until Harry tried it. Someone on here recommended Ipakitine but the vet didn't want to prescribe it as it's an old medication and there are more effective things on the market. I pointed out that they are only effective if he takes them so she gave in and ordered a jar and, touching wood, we haven't had a problem and his kidneys improve.

We get the Ipakitine from Fetch and it's around £30 for a 3 month supply as opposed to £70 from the vet. He is insured but the excess is too high to make it worthwhile.

Canshopwillshop Fri 22-Jun-18 08:03:43

Thanks again pink - that’s rrally helpful. I’m going to look at all the options you’ve mentioned. The vet said there is no panic to get him on a renal diet but I would feel better getting him on something asap.

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