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How to Wean off Meds

 
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nanci2539
King Cat


Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2575
Location: The Villges, FL

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:32 am    Post subject: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

Missy and Molly have been on 2mg of prozac for a few years now. I give them one pill in the early evening. Missy is really easy to pill; I need to use a pill plunger for Molly but we always get it in her.

My dilemna is this....

We want to travel back to IL for the holidays. Last year, I had a friend come in and it was a diaster. She assured me that pilling the cats were easy for her. Missy hid most of the time and Molly woudn't take the pill in a treat (I stopped the treat thing months ago - plunger is easier). So as a result, I had one nervous wreck friend and two unhappy cats who told me they were unhappy by peeing in the corner of the foyer. The reason they are both on prozac; they inappropriately urniate.

For the past few weeks; I've gone to every other day. Not only is it expensive, the chore of giving them pills every night is so inconvenient especially if we're out. I try to stay on a 24 hr cycle.

So far, all has been calm. No accidents or deliberate defiance as I call it. I thought I would start with Missy and wean her off. Does anyone know the proper way to wean a cat off meds? I want to be medically safe. The vet told me that they would probably need this for the rest of their lfie and if I try to wean them off, they will go back to peeing around the house.

I know with Molly it's territorial but don't they get use to the other cats after time.? I've had Missy for four years now and there are no stray cats around my house as they were in IL. For Missy, it was her fear of Ben and he's no longer with us.

What do you all think? It's so hard to travel when a cat needs meds. I looked into boarding and for five days, four cats, it will cost $400+. And I don't really want to board them. That will really upset the apple cart.

My friends and neighbors are more than willing to come in and feed them and do litter patril but they can't pill a cat. Of course, I rather have people I know taking care of them instead of a pet sitter. It just makes life simplier!

So, what's the correct way to wean a cat off meds. I'm doing every other day now and it's been two weeks. I'm going to start with Missy and if successful, try it with Molly.
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Gaia33
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:23 pm    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

Hmmm...I think I'd ask the vet...

But if you have to put them back on prozac, have you considered this:
Quote:
if you know that you're going to be out of town a couple weeks ahead of time, you can have your vet write a prescription for Prozac to be compounded into a trans-dermal gel. The medication will be mixed into a cream. Then the cream is loaded into measured syringes, and you'll be given instructions on how much of the cream to rub onto the inner tip of her ear each day. The medicine will be absorbed through her thin skin, and she feels like she's just getting a little massage. Trans-dermal gels are a little more expensive than the pill form, but it could save you money over hiring a pet sitter.


With that paste, your neighbors would only have to rub Missy and Molly's ears--not pill them.

The usual dose of prozac is 10mg, so they are already at a very low dose. I'd think I 'd go to 3 days and then 4, then stop and see how Missy does.

Does Missy seem less threatened and more outgoing since Ben has passed? I thought Merlyn would be delighted that Indy was gone, but he seems rather upset and is spraying like crazy--as if maybe if he sprays enough Indy will get mad enough to come out of hiding. I don't think Merlyn realizes Indy is gone for good. He obviously still remembers him.
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nanci2539
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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
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Location: The Villges, FL

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

I tried the gel stuff a long time ago - it drove them nuts! The pills are easier .

I spoke to the vet. The correct way to wean a cat off any meds is:

every other day for two weeks
every third day for two weeks
every fourth day for two weeks
then once a week for two weeks
then stop

The usual dose of prozac is 10mg, so they are already at a very low dose. I'd think I 'd go to 3 days and then 4, then stop and see how Missy does.

The dose is pretty low but he still wants me to wean them off. He doesn't feel it will work because bad habits die hard. But I'm going to try it with Missy first keeping Molly on every other day until I wean Missy off.

Does Missy seem less threatened and more outgoing since Ben has passed?

It's hard to tell - she is more vocal than usual. I saw her and Millie going at each other this morning - hissing and just being nasty. She's not as fearful as before but still shys away from Jake. If you recall, Jake bit her on the back quiite a few times when I took her in; a few times it caused an infection. So, she remembers but Jake is one big teddy bear and never gives her a hard time

I thought Merlyn would be delighted that Indy was gone, but he seems rather upset and is spraying like crazy--as if maybe if he sprays enough Indy will get mad enough to come out of hiding. I don't think Merlyn realizes Indy is gone for good. He obviously still remembers him.

I tend to agree on this - but I wonder if Indy is spraying more out of habit than missing Merlyn. Sometimes for no reason, one of them will pee in a corner. It seems to happen every month or so. Even on prozac. I have the new shark steam cleaner for my tile and it's a gem. Love it and I recommend it to anyone with pets. It has an attachment that will sanatize carpets or rugs. It doesn't clean them but will freshen the carpets. I have all tile now except for area rugs and carpeting in the bedrooms and the shark steamer is a great tool. I use it after I clean up any pee mishaps. But I'm getting off topic here.

It's hard to tell if they truly miss Ben. I think Jake did at the beginning because he was calling him at night and then got very mopey but he seems back to normal now.
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Gaia33
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

Quote:
but I wonder if Indy is spraying more out of habit than missing Merlyn
I think you meant that Merlyn is spraying more out of habit...

No, I don't think so. Why would he suddenly go from spraying a few times a day to many, many times--like quadruple. It's like he's trying to lure Indy to come out of hiding. If anything, I'd think that he would be spraying less since he's got less "other spray" to spray over. Chiam seldom sprays in the house, so Merlyn is mostly spraying over himself.

Maybe coming off the prozac that slowly for Missy first, then Molly will hopefully work. I know it's a pain to pill them every day. I hope it works!
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lunidoo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:26 am    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

Hi Nanci,

I know I am a bit late to this but just wanted to add that it is so important that you wean cats of Prozac extremely slowly. I would as your vet says if not even more slowly. The side effects and withdrawal symptoms of stopping these too quickly are terrible and traumatic for your cats. Nightmares, seizures, depression, hallucinations, severe anxiety and agression and an overall very distressed and unhappy cat. The reason you started treating them can come back twice as bad because of the anxiety caused by stopping to quickly. I know it sounds very dramatic and I know its a pain to stop slowly but the risks of doing it too fast are worse!
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lunidoo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

deleted double post.
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nanci2539
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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
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Location: The Villges, FL

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

So Lund, lookiing at the program the vet told me to follow, do you think this is the correct approach. It's a two week process for each interval. Right now, I have Missy on every three days but am keeping Molly on every other day until I wean Missy off.

The vet said they are on a very small dose but he also feels that once I stop,. they will go back to their inappropriate behaviour.

But I have to give it a try. I just can't see me doing this for the rest of their lives. It's been years now and it's very hard for us to travel because even experienced pet sitters can't pill my cats.
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lunidoo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:35 am    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

I think that schedule is good Nanci. If you stick with that then hopefully you wont have any problems. I have a kitty (Kiki) on Prozac, she has only been on it for a few months and my vet has said to me that the idea is that while she is on Prozac I am to retrain her so that hopefully she can come off it eventually once we have retrained her thought processes. The Prozac just provides a bubble in some ways which blocks out all the the thoughts of stress and anxiety the cats have. While this protective bubble is up, their minds are clearer and it is easier to train them and for them to relearn the desired behaviours because the stress and anxiety that causes them to do these things is no longer there. IF you spend the time doing that, remove the stresses whatever they may be, reward them like crazy when they are good then they may very well never spray again, but if you dont then it is possible that the spraying will start again.

Kiki is not on it for spraying, she has Hyperasthesia which is a mental disorder caused from anxiety. Its a really complicated thing and to be honest I was totally against using Prozac on her or any cat. BUT since she has been on the Prozac, she has not had a single fit or hallucination and while she is still a nervous cat, she no longer suffers from the very distressing effects of the hyperasthesia so I am more than happy to keep her on it.

What about getting the pills compounded? They make it in to a yummy paste and all you have to do then is wipe it on their paws and they will lick it off. A kitty sitter should be able to do that. it is expensive but even if you just do it while you go away and then go back to tableting them when you get back. Hope this helps!
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nanci2539
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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
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Location: The Villges, FL

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:05 am    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

How many mg is Kiki on?

The vet told me that Prozac makes them forget whatever it is that bothers them.

I've tried weaning them off before but after the third day, one of them pees in the corner. I always thought it was Molly so that's why I'm trying Missy first.

I've done the paste, gel, etc. The pill (for me) is the easiest. Missy is the absolute best cat to pill; she opens her mouth and I pop it in. I need to use a pill plunger on Molly but it works. I just don't think a sitter can do this but I'm hoping (against hope) that by December, they will be weaned with no more problems.
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Gaia33
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:28 pm    Post subject: re: How to Wean off Meds Reply with quote

Chryseis is a good pill taker, too. I just pop it into her mouth and she swallows it.

Hope this time the weaning works and there are no more accidents.
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