Morganís story:   

Let me tell you of our little red tabby named Morgan.  At the time he was a strong, energetic, and extremely intelligent 11 year old male cat that suffered all his life from bad teeth.   In June 2006 we took him in to get a couple teeth pulled because he had abscesses.  Before the surgery he had slightly elevated potassium which was normal for him.   After the surgery, the Veterinarian prescribed Metacam for pain.  The box said, ďfor oral use in dogs only".  You know what?  You better listen to the drug manufacturer's warning because this is what happened to Morgan.  After the teeth were pulled he was given Metacam (meloxicam)  .6 cc once daily for 3 days then .3 cc every other day.  We didnít finish the doses but gave him the drug for 3 days.   He was still acting very sickly and not eating so we took him back to the Veterinarian.  The Veterinarian had managed to miss a broken root still left in the gum.  They put him under again and took out the missed root and gave him a shot of antibiotics because he was still infected from the missed root.  We took him home and for the next 3 or 4 days he didn't eat, stopped drinking water, got weaker and lost over one pound of weight.  Alarmed, my wife returned with him to the vet.  They did a blood test and discovered that Morgan was in severe renal failure.  After that we gave him at least 60cc to 100cc a day of injected saline solution subcutaneous.  This wasnít enjoyable for Morgan as it put a big bubble of water under the skin of his neck which he didnít like.  The plan at the time was if he didnít show significant improvement in one week then we would have to put him to sleep.  His condition was expected to get worse.  We didnít want to have to put him down because he was still there mentally and still looked healthy because of his daily hydration shots.  We continued with the course of water every day for about 6 months and then about every other day after that for another 6 months.  During this time of giving him water he also started having problems with his rear left leg.  It was like it was constantly cramping and useless for him to walk on.  After another month his left front leg also started doing the same thing.  He became virtually bed ridden for 2 months severally limping and I thought this was it for him.  I was wondering if it was the near daily shots that we were giving him and if it was affecting his spine in some manner.  We took him into the Doctor.  The Veterinarian gave him and injection of Dexamethasone and oral Prednisolone for him which perked him up literally over night.  He went from 2 months of bed to chasing after a squirrel even at a stiffened run.  But the limp stayed for several more months and so we continued with oral Prednisolone sometimes up to 1.5 tablets a day along with the water injections.  This kept his leg better and allowed him somewhat perkier.  My wife also gave him Omega 3 fish oil every day orally by dropper which the Veterinarian heard might help his kidneys.  We took him into the Veterinarian a little over a year after the teeth extractions for a check up and his blood kidney levels looked good again.  So she said we could stop giving him the water.  He continued drinking water on his own.  After we stopped the subcutaneous water and continued with the Prednisolone the limping stopped but Morgan stayed in a much weakened state.  I would describe it as being akin to becoming an instant ďold manĒ.    Morgan managed to eat and drink water on for another year but getting slightly weaker every day and looking off into space.  He continued to go outside and we were glad to see him make it through the winter and into the spring.  He was withering away and his bones were no longer covered with muscle like they used to be and his fur was thin and matted.  It was very sad indeed to see such a smart and healthy cat look like a victim of a concentration camp.  When summer came, he got to enjoy the warmth of the sun again.   We knew he didnít have much time left as he was so weak but he had the will to live and would come to the door wanting outside to get his fresh air and we wanted him to enjoy every day that he could as they were his last days.  Morgan suddenly became ill and with his already weakened state it was too much for him.  His sinuses became plugged and his breathing became heavy and labored.  He quit eating and stopped drinking water.  We gave him subcutaneous water and force fed him blended liquid cat food with a small syringe hoping he might pull through the illness but it would not be.  After a week of hoping, it was time for him to go.  We took him to the Veterinarian and had him put to sleep after one last lay in the grass.  I know that the Prednisolone was what kept him going.  If anyone has a sickened cat, please ask the Doctor to give this drug a chance to help. It is inexpensive and easy to give.  We gave 2.5 mg once to 3 times a day depending on how he responded, (towards the end 3X daily).  It certainly wonít hurt as your cat is in a very bad way and I believe we added 2 years to his life.  He died on August 31st 2008 at 3 PM after a 2 year long fight thanks to Metacam.  He was 14 years old.