Thursday, March 28, 2013
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.