blank'/> The Libe ob Don Estorbo de la Bodega Dominicana: Estorbo update

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Estorbo update


This is the Wooman:

Time for an update for Estorbo's regular readers. I am sorry his posts have been infrequent, but it's hard to write funny stuff when I am very worried about him.

That doesn't look like a very unhappy cat, does it? That was Estorbo yesterday, when I got home from an appointment. I can't make the bed if he's on it, of course.

The recap - Estorbo was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (he insists it is typhoid) about a year and a half ago. Healthy T (thyroid) levels are between 1-4. His were at 19. But he was eating very well - a lot! - and the only symptom was projectile vomiting a couple of times (which prompted the vet visit) and some panting.

On medication - Methimazole - his T-levels came down. Prior to that he'd had long-standing urinary tract issues because he did not drink enough water. I solved that by serving him dry food floating in water for every meal. Voila, blockages-be-gone. That was great - after having a blockage every 6-12 months he never had another.

Fast forward to 16 March 2013. Vince went to Montreal and the next day the cat stopped eating well. It had been two shots of pellets in the morning, and  four at night. Plus a small dish of canned food with his crushed pill in it, twice a day. Dayeen' dayoud. Like clockwork.

Now he refused his pellets. The timing with Vince's departure was uncanny. At first I thought it was the shift in routine, or that he just missed the Frenchman. I took him to the vet a week later when he was eating considerably less and the examining vet, not his internal medicine specialist Dr Slade, who was not in, found nothing alarming in his bloodwork, but she did not check his T-levels (unbeknownst to me).

A week later he saw Dr Slade (who did not charge us for his consultation because of the previous week's mix up). Estorbo's T-levels were at 6. Not awful, and perhaps because he was not eating all his drug food. Hard to say. Nothing else seemed alarming. He had a quick sonogram at no charge. No explanation for his decreased appetite. Dr Slade upped his dose of Methimazole.

So for the last two weeks Estorbo has been eating every kind of canned cat food, as well as chicken cooked to order, and as many vitamin treats as I can get him to eat. His meal schedule is all over the place. I just feed him whenever I think he will eat. At first he loved Weruva and Tiki,  and his chicken meals, and occasional meat. But the last couple of days have seen farther deterioration. He threw up violently, two days in a row. He ate some Purina baby food yesterday.

I decided I wanted to try another way of administering the drug, as he is simply not ingesting it. There is an ointment which is absorbed after it is smeared on an ear. Online I have read good reviews of it, and a couple of readers have also had success. It costs  two-and-a-half times as much as the drug, but that is now the least of our worries. If it does not work we will consider radiation therapy.

Because he has responded so well to his drug in the past, and has seemed so healthy over the last year, radiation was the last thing I wanted to try. It is very expensive, a couple of thousand dollars, but the worst part is that he has to be in an upstate clinic for about two weeks with no direct human contact, which will be traumatic. He will literally be radioactive. The success rate is high, but not 100%. The chance of it being unsuccessful also worried me.

So that is where we are. The new ointment arrives by UPS tomorrow. It is not dispensed by VERG as it must be compounded in custom batches.

Seeing him want to eat, and then turn away when the food is in front of him, breaks my heart. He is still purring when we pick him, looks at us with his beautiful eyes, blinking in the way cats do when they say, I love you. And, as you see, he can look perfectly normal. His fur on his back is not looking good. That is a bad sign. We think perhaps an anti-nausea medication might also help. Just to get him to eat.

I have to write to our cat sitters for May and June (hi, Dinah) - to explain this all. We will be gone for a month and he is now a high maintenance kitty. That may change things for sitters, who did not sign up for this. Naturally, I am hoping that the new ointment will help balance him out...

Till then, please send some purrs his way. And one or two for us, too.

3-28-13 Update: took him to VERG for an anti nausea injection. Ear ointment arriving tomorrow.

3-31-13 Update: Day 2 of Estorbo's ear ointment (which Vince had to track down in a Queens UPS depot - long story) as opposed to taking the Methimazole in pill form. He does not seem to mind having it rubbed inside his ears. He is still on anti-nausea medication and we will stop that tomorrow, and see what happens. His appetite is slightly improved, and he seems in good spirits.

40 comments:

  1. My heart hurts. Funny how we can fall in love with an animal on the Internet. I am sending pets, purrs, and all my good thoughts.

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  2. We are in the early stages of dealing with hyper T with Audrey - she is on methimazole for 2 1/2 weeks now. Her T4 was 23 and she was losing weight rapidly in spite of eating a ton. Weight has stabilized, she still gets breakfast, lunch, dinner wet food and a couple of small amounts of dry food from an automated feeder at night. She did vomit this morning and we wonder if the methimazole is responsible or if it is a fluke.

    There is a place near us in NJ where they do the radiation treatments and the cat stays 3 days. I don't know if NY laws would not allow you to bring a partially radioactive kitty home, or not a problem. From what we read a lot of places only do 3 days now. You have to be more cautious once the cat is home in terms of close contact for a couple of weeks, and how you deal with the litter. We don't actually know if this is the facility our vet would send us to for Audrey if we went that route, but here is their brochure about I-131 treatment.

    http://www.animalerc.com/vets/specialties/pdf/AERA_i131Feline_brochure_web.pdf

    We know first hand the limitations all of this high maintenance stuff puts on one's ability to travel.
    Best of luck.
    Simba and Audrey's humans.

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  3. So sorry for Estorbo, you, and the Frenchman. Taking care of an ill kitty is heartbreaking. I do hope the ointment is the answer. Estorbo is very fortunate to have you looking after his welfare, doing all you can to help him.
    Purrs and pets for Estorbo and hugs for you and the Frenchman.

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  4. Well dammit. I'm sending purrs and positive thoughts and beams for all of you.

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  5. Okay Señor Green Eyes, knock off the pickiness! Ju must be in shape for carck-rustlin' season. Many purrs and best wishes beaming your way from here, as much as you want!

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  6. I had the radiation treatment done last year for my cat Snoopy. He would deliberately vomit up any pills I gave him, so I opted for the radiation right away. It was hard having him gone for two weeks, but the clinic had a 24 hour webcam on him, plus there was a cage full of birds in the room where the kennels were, so cat tv at it's finest. He was happy to come home, and has done well since then. One issue that the hypothyroidism could be covering up is decreased kidney function (the numbers get thrown off), so be aware that may come up after his treatment.

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  7. Best wishes to Estorbo and his humans. We're sending kitty hugs and kisses and hope that the medicine helps you feel better.

    Nula and Danny

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  8. So sorry to hear this - thought you had it licked - or at least controlled. Don't see the button for Amigos d'Estorbo up, but please let us know if you need us.

    Storby? Eat your food, kitty. Even if you don't really feel like it. We need to maintain that gorgeous fur that you normally wear, and besides the good weather is lurking just around the corner and you want to have a fun summer with your visitors. Ole!

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  9. Marilyn and her cat, Otis, wish the 3 of you well. I know how difficult it can be to remain happy and tough for our whole world. I tend to deceive myself and think that I fool our 4 legged loves; but they are ever so much more in tune with the world, than we.
    All of you hug and purr with each other every day. That does make a difference, I benefit from it even if it's just a crappy day. :(
    M & Otis (+ Peter, husband/Otis' dad)

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  10. Thanks for the latest news. Sending love, hugs and purrs. Jill x

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  11. I've been thinking about our 'storby all week. Sending you love in exchange for all the joy you bring. If you need to set up a fund, Im sure we'd be happy to make a small contribution -- the T-Lebbel Fund!

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  12. I 'm broke as hell but if you need money for Storbie i'll try and give my meager contribution. If we're just going on positive thoughts, Bobo is one wealthy cat. Bobo, DON'T YOU QUIT ON US who love you. Love you.

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  13. When I wish upon my next star, I will wish for your good health. May not be very practical, but you gotta believe.

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  14. Oh dear sweet Estorbo, please get better. We love you so much!!

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  15. Thanks for updating us. Estorbo is such a beautiful fellow, and his tales have been missed. It's difficult watching our feline friends suffer isn't it? Hobie and Misty are always worrying us, and Hobie in particular is now starting to show his age. Take care all of you.

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  16. Sending you a purr and a prayer, Estorbo. Hang in there and get better. I take the ear gel and I am doing great. I think it will be just the ticket for you and then your tummy can settle down. Here's hoping!
    ~Sony

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  17. It is, indeed, funny how you can fall in love with a pet on the Internet. It hurts to hear this news. I have been there with my own beloved pets and understand the anguish you must be feeling. I have pictures of Estorbo saved on my iPad! I wish you all peace in his waning years (and I hope there are many), and chicken cooked in as many varieties as he wishes. Love you, Estorbo!

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  18. Not a Vet, but have 2 cats. The elder has had urinary tract trouble. The Vet prescribed Royal Canin Urinary SO cat food (comes dray and or wet) My guys eat the dry. No magnesium in this food and no trouble since they've been eating it.

    Probably has nothing to do with Estorbo's problems, but I thought I'd let you know just in case.

    Huge hugs to all of you. Love your blog and Estorbo and wishing you all the very best!

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear this--Levi and his mom and dad will say a prayer for you all. It is difficult, but Estorbo has the cattitude to stick with it! Hugs to you! Sandy in Texas

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  20. And you are still undertaking your long trip to South Africa with Estorbo being so ill?

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  21. So sorry to read this. We did the radiation therapy on our cat Bonnie some years ago, and it was successful. I don't remember how long she stayed at the clinic, but I don't believe it was two weeks. When she came home there were no restrictions on her activity or our contact with her, but we did have to take special care with the used litter.

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  22. I know how it is to worry about a cat you love, and how that complicates life (and travel). If I can help, please let me know. I'd be glad to drive you wherever you need to go.

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  23. Very much endorse cyradaria's suggestion of an appropriate "maintenance" fund. I sincerely hope this can be done and if so please count me in for a major contribution. Lost my Percy and have never gotten over it.. Estorbo is therefore my vicarious kitty--and I suspect for many of other admirers here that this is also the case..

    Pls let others help pull him through.. the least we can do.

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  24. Very much endorse cyradaria's suggestion of an appropriate "maintenance" fund. I sincerely hope this can be done and if so please count me in for a major contribution. Lost my Percy and have never gotten over it.. Estorbo is therefore my vicarious kitty--and I suspect for many of other admirers here that this is also the case..

    Pls let others help pull him through.. the least we can do.

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  25. Of course, huge hugs and plentiful purrs from me and my feline family. Thinking of you and prayers are being said. As I'm a bit of an old hippy, I'm sending you all love and healing light. That fund sounds like a great idea, by the way - we are your friends, let us help xxx

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  26. I feel your concern with Estorbo on the eating issue. I have a cat with chronic health issues, too. I hope the anti-nausea medication helps. Mine has had appetite stimulants. Are they the same? I don't know.

    Try pureeing canned food with a bit of water. My cat seems to be more willing to lap a semi-liquid food when not feeling well. Mine also will not touch food that has been heated after refrigeration.

    We're keeping all of you in our thoughts.


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  27. Sending tons of purrs, comfort, & love from all of us
    xoxoxo Susan & les gang at Black Street
    I too would LOVE to help in any way I can.

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  28. Storbie may be a little dehydrated, on top of everything else. When Chessie was T-deficient, I gave her subcutaneous infusions of water until she wouldn't stand for it any more. (She had a "when I'm done, you're done" personality.) The ear gel is easy. The one who administers it just needs to remember to wear a glove or finger cot so she or he doesn't take the med as well. And if I remember correctly, it's left ear one day, right ear the next, repeat. Easy, as long as he likes having his ears rubbed.

    go well.
    -Melanie

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  29. Good luck, Estorbo! I hope you feel better very soon.

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  30. Hang in there Estorbo you can beat this dreaded lurgy... from Lyn McCallum

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  31. Please tell the Wooman that I apprecite today's update. Wishing everyone good health and a joyeous spring.

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  32. We are thinking of our elegant friend. I hope the gel offers great relief.

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  33. Estorby, be as well as you look and feel at your best, all the time. I am purring for you. Pulling for you. Pudding for you.

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  34. The human and I send out best healing thoughts and purrs to you, hermano. We know the Wooman and the Smoothman are doing their very best to help you get better. And you are getting good suggestions and comments from your fans. Will you have a Donate button for the typhoid fund?

    Love from yr amigo,

    'Kaika

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  35. I don't know where the boundary lies between wooman and cad, but I love your combination.You are in my thoughts, with lots of nuzzling for Estorbo. I wish you the very best.

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  36. Purrs, prayers and something for the Typhoid/T-Lebbel Fund, absolutely. Please do set something up so that those of us who are willing and able can begin to contribute. It'll make us all feel a lot better, and ease some of the financial burden an illness like this brings with it.

    Love and very best wishes from Maren, Keith and Spenser.

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  37. oh Marie - as above it would be great if you set up a paypal link. I cannot remember the name of the blog, set up by two young people who are touring the world. In keeping everyone up to date with there touring they have a "buy us beer" paypal link.

    Have you tried prawns/ shrimps? My two kitties as treats get shrimps plain frozen variety, just hot water from the kettle to defrost and that it is it. Another favorite is haddock boiled. Yes, they are spoilt but I love them to bits.

    Best wishes,

    Lisa, London

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  38. Thank you, so much, to everyone, for your support and concern. We love this kitty so much.

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  39. Just catching up on this now, and we are all wishing you the very best. When our Kali was diagnosed with anemia related to her mammary cancer, we tried several forms of medication, one of which was a transdermal gel which was rubbed in her ear. She responded very well, and was on it for close to a year, I think, before we had to move to injections.

    This is hard stuff, and it stinks, but I hope you know there are so many of us pulling for Estorbo, and sending our support and love.

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  40. I am so sorry about your kitty. I love reading his blog. I hope his health improves soon.

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