Ear Polyps, Arthritis, and 19 Pounds

What does ear polyps, arthritis, and 19 pounds have in common? If you guessed Chris then you would be right.

Chris has been shaking his head a lot lately indicating the problem with his ears has become bad again. We had to clean and medicate his ears last time he had that problem and he did not make that easy for us. I even brought him to the vet a month ago so they could clean his ears. I heard him in the other room screaming like he was being tortured. The first (or second) time I brought him in for that problem was when they discovered he needed some teeth extracted. I asked if they could start me off by cleaning his ears but Chris gave them such a hard time that they decided to wait until he was under anesthesia for his teeth.

The other issue with Chris started about a month ago. He stopped jumping on my lap while I was sitting at my desk. Instead he would claw at my legs and I would have to pick him up. After that I noticed him limping slightly. It was time to make an appointment for him at the vet.

I brought him in on Friday. The vet tech brought us into an exam room where she tried to get Chris out of his carrier so she could weigh him but Chris was not budging. I tried to help by tipping the carrier at an angle but he managed to hold on. She suggested taking the top off but the carrier I used had about fifteen screws and I said it was too much work to take it apart and put it back together. I asked if she could weigh him in the carrier and then weigh the carrier later and subtract. She thought that was a good idea and put him on the scale, carrier and all. I don’t remember the total weight but I do remember saying, “I sure hope this carrier weighs more than ten pounds.”

She left us in the room and I put Chris up on the table and opened the carrier door. He just stayed there. I tried to coax him out but he was staying put.

This is unusual behavior for Chris. In the past, he loved to get out and explore the exam room. A stubborn stationary cat was not his style. As recently as last December he was exploring the vet’s exam room.

After a while the tech came back in and we decided to remove the top of the carrier. She started removing screws on one side and I did the other. When we had him out I gave her the carrier to weigh. She came back with a weight of 19.6 pounds for Chris. Holy crap. The last time he was weighed he was 17.9 pounds and I thought that was bad.

I have been trying to get Chris’s weight down for a while now but it keeps going up. For years I have been gradually reducing the amount of dry food he is allowed to eat. I make a homemade food for them that consists mostly of organic chicken along with a high quality supplement blend. I want Chris to eat more of that but he rarely eats more than a few bites before walking away. Sometimes I find myself hand feeding it to him just to get him to eat some of it. Frankie and Floki have no trouble finishing their plates.

Because he doesn’t eat enough homemade food I do supplement with dry food. I have tried not giving him anything else but that does not get him to eat more of the good food, he just annoys everyone with his pathetic crying. I believe the dry food is largely responsible for his weight gain and these last couple of days I have restricted the dry food even more. Now, whenever he is not sleeping, he holds a vigil at the food bowl, talking to anyone that will listen to his sad story.

Anyway, getting back to the story, The vet examined his ears and talked about the polyps that we already knew about. He said they were bad and restricted airflow which promoted bacteria growth and infection. He said he was going to give me more ear cleaner and medicine. The ear cleaner needed to be used every other day and the medicine every day.

He also recommended that they surgically remove the polyps. I asked if they might return after the surgery and he said that they could. I asked how much the surgery would cost and he didn’t know. They would have to get back to me on that.

He then checked his paws and legs for any sign of injury but could find none. I told them he had a slight limp but didn’t know what foot seemed to be the problem. We put him down to watch him walk but he didn’t show a sign of limping at that time. I wished I had thought of videoing him walking at home but I didn’t.

The vet said that he could have some arthritis. He said it was even more likely because Chris was overweight. He recommended I buy Cosequin for him but they didn’t have any in stock. The vet tech gave me a card and said I could order it from their online store but I had no desire to pay double retail because it was coming from the vet so when I got home I looked on Amazon instead. I found Cosequin capsules and Cosequin chews. I wasn’t sure which would be better or easier. The chews seemed easier but if he didn’t like them they would be worthless. The capsules sprinkle on their food but since I have three cats it’s hard to know who is getting how much. I decided to by both and see which I like better.

Back at the vet we waited for quite a while.

Cat Chris at Vet

Finally the vet tech came back with the medicine but they still did not have a surgery estimate so I paid the $150 bill and went home.

That email with the estimate came Saturday afternoon. For $588.43 Chris can be free of polyps for an undetermined amount of time. For now, we will give him the medication. If that works, the surgery might not be necessary at this time. If it doesn’t work, we will probably have to have it done.

26 thoughts on “Ear Polyps, Arthritis, and 19 Pounds

  1. KDKH

    Poor Chris! With our cats, we discovered that liquids were the most likely to get down them as they often refused the chews and I fears them choking on the capsule. I recommend a pill shooter if you don’t have one. Perhaps with the ear infection cleared up he’ll be more active and his weight will stabilize. Poor kitty. 🐈

  2. onespoiledcat

    I used Cosequin for Sammy – I couldn’t sprinkle it on his food – he wouldn’t eat anything it was sprinkled ON so I mixed it IN his food – that was problematic when he quit eating canned food but I found I could still give him bits of chicken with the Cosequin “powder” from a crushed pill on it. It was a guessing game every time as to how much he was actually getting. Anyway, sorry poor Chris has ear polyps as I am SURE that is quite miserable especially when infection rears its’ ugly head.

    Hugs, Pam

  3. The Island Cats

    Poor Chris. Dry food has way more calories than wet. You may need to cut back on the dry so he can lose a little weight. I didn’t have much success with cosequin…couldn’t get the cats to eat it in their food. Very picky. I hope the medicine helps the polyps. That can’t feel good.

  4. The Florida Furkids

    Poor Chris…we hope the meds work. Our VET always weighs us in the carrier and subtracts the weight. They usually put the weight on the top of the carrier so we don’t forget.

    The Florida Furkids

  5. Genevieve Petrillo

    OMGoodness, C. You are catching up to me in the weight department. Mom wants me to weigh 22 pounds like I used to. Instead, I weigh 24.5. She weighs me every Monday. She says 22 is my fighting weight. But I don’t like fighting. I like eating… Hope your medicine works. Feel better soon.

    Love and licks,

  6. kittiesblue

    Well, we were delighted to only owe around $500 for Sawyer’s last seizure. When he has to go straight to the emergency vet, we never get out for less than $1000. When our pets are our family, we do what is necessary. It seems these orange tabby boys have a penchant for being on the large side. Cooper Murphy weighs 20 pounds and Teddy (Two Spoiled Cats) weighs 22 pounds. We like to think of them as big boned. Yes, we are deluding ourselves. We hope everything works out for Chris med wise so you can skip the surgery. And may we suggest getting a Smiling Paws Pets carrier like we reviewed a few weeks ago. Both the ends and top open with a zipper, and it is very easy to remove those obstinate kitties. Good luck with everything. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Thanks. I feel bad that Sawyer is having so many troubles. You ate real saints for taking care of him. I just had a comment from a cat I follow on Twitter, Teddy, who is a 19 pound ginger Tabby too. We do have a top-loading carrier that we use for Floki. Chris is a bit big for it but I think maybe next time I will use that.

  7. catladymac

    Poor Chris – and poor you ! One of my better investments was a carrier that opened in the front AND in the top.
    I hope the meds work and Chris feels better !

  8. 15andmeowing

    Poor Chris, sounds like he has a lot of troubles right now. I hope the meds help his ears so you can avoid surgery.

  9. Summer

    We all get cosequin here – my human either buys it at Petco or from Chewy. Boodie and Binga get it because they are old and my human wants them to be as mobile as possible. I get it in advance of therapy cat visits and travel because it actually helps bladder health during times of stress! I hope you are able to help Chris feel better.

  10. caren gittleman

    oh poor chris!! Before I forget, you need a carrier like I have. It opens from the TOP and the FRONT. It is sooooo much easier than the ones you have to unscrew. You just open the top (it is hard-sided like yours) and lift him out. Chris seems too young for arthritis, but yes, maybe it is that he is a little chubby? Hoping the meds help so you don’t have to have surgery for him. Do you have pet insurance?

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Thanks Karen. We do have a carrier like that. We got it for Floki because he is so hard to get into the carrier but Chris is so big that he seems to be a tight fit in that carrier. Also, getting him in and out of a carrier has never been an issue before.


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