Thursday, October 30, 2014
About 2 years ago, Cupid was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We had taken her to the vet because she was eating like mad and losing quite a bit of weight.
The treatment plan was to put her on a special food with no iodine and that would get her thyroid under control. It seemed to work at first, but the biggest hurdle we faced was that Cupid hated the food.
It got to the point where she became desperate for any food other than her "special food". After Benny and Luna passed things got even worse because Henry would just let Cupid have his food. Benny and Luna would never allow no kitty cat to eat any pug food, but Henry was more than happy to oblige with the cat's wishes.
Not only was the cat ravished and cranky that she never got to eat yummy food, but her thyroid levels weren't really stable. There were times everything would be ok and she would start to gain some weight and then times she would drop weight fast.
The pot boiled over about a month ago, when Cupid started throwing about a few times a day and having diarrhea. We took her to the vet and they reluctantly recommended putting her on an easy to digest food that would help ease her tummy issues. However, while on this food, her thyroid would go untreated, so this was not a long term solution. More like a try this for a few days then we will switch back.
Cupid was thrilled to be on the different food. She was like a different cat. She was so much happier that we talked to the vet about alternative treatments for her hyperthyroidism. We knew our options from before, a pill that a lot of cats react negatively to (vomiting, stomach upset) and a radioactive treatment to be done at a specialists to zap her thyroid.
The zapping option seemed so scary to us when we heard about it a few years ago. Mainly because it was at a specialist we weren't familiar with and Cupid would have to stay there for about a week. We'll that option seems a little better now because the specialist that performs the treatment is SEVO and that is where Henry received his chemo treatments.
At Henry's last chemo treatment we talked to his Dr about Cupid's treatment and she gave us all the details. The pros and cons and stories about how other cats they have treated have fared.
We left feeling much better about our options and at the Dr's urging decided we would get a baseline blood test, start Cupid on the thyroid pill and then do another blood test after a month. Why all the blood tests? Well it turns out that the kidneys are the only organ that benefit from hyperthyroidism. With everything pumping so fast they actually benefit from the increased blood flow. So, some cats have kidney troubles once their thyroid is regulated and things stop pumping so fast.
Once her thyroid is zapped, there is no going back. However, you can easily take her off a pill. So Cupid is currently on the thyroid pills and in a few weeks we will check and see how her thyroid levels are doing and if her kidneys are holding strong with her thyroid being under control. From there we will decided if we keep her on the pill or if we zap her thyroid.
Long term I'm not sure how any of this is going to play out, but right now Cupid is happy. She is eating better food, she has stopped throwing up, her diarrhea is gone and she is putting on weight. For the first time in a while she is playing again! Check out this video of this happy girl in action!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I am very happy to report that Henry had a very good day yesterday. The morning got off to a rocky start with us worrying that he might be on the verge of throwing up, but we gave him some food and that seemed to help settle his stomach.
We are under strict orders from the vet that we need to feed Henry small and frequent meals. He went a good 10 days with almost no food so we can't just turn him loose and let him eat what he wants. This had proven more difficult than I thought it would be.
Henry has never been much of an eater. Even as a pup. Sure he had an appetite, but he never had the type of appetite typical of a pug. And he never had the appetite that Benny had. But today, Henry had the appetite of Benny and Luna combined. He was ravenous. We fed him a small meal about every 2-3 hours and he was ready to chow each time.
It was fantastic to see him ready to eat. Not just to see him eating after getting over pancreatitis, but to also see him happily eating since Benny and Luna passed. Without them, Henry has a bit lost in the food department. He always followed their lead and just ate when they ate. Today, he was his own pug, and told us, "I'm hungry!" I hope his appetite sticks around!
Monday, October 27, 2014
This weekend Henry caught up on some much needed rest. Overall, he has improved although we still have some concerns.
On Saturday, he wasn't up to eating much until about an hour before bed time. About the time Luna would have normally stirred for her late night chew, Henry became interested in some food. We gave him a small meal of shredded turkey and oatmeal. He seemed pretty happy with that and he luckily washed it all down with some water.
On Sunday morning, we awoke abruptly to Henry throwing up. It was a moment of, "Oh no! We are going backwards!". His throw up was mostly acid and after he threw up, he promptly wanted to eat. This was definitely different behavior than last week when he wanted nothing to do with food. We fed him a small meal in the morning and then another small meal at lunch time. We are going with the small meal approach to give his stomach time to adjust to having food in it again.
That plan seemed to be working well. Henry happily ate at each mealtime and had an appetite much more befitting of a pug on Sunday. However, on Sunday afternoon he thew up again! And just like in the morning, he wanted to eat right after throwing up.
I feel like we have taken 5 steps forward, but the throwing up yesterday has me concerned that we are on the verge of taking a few giant steps backwards.
We touched base with our vet and he told us to keep doing what we are doing and to keep Henry's water intake high and see how things play out today. I'll let you know how things go.
Friday, October 24, 2014
For good measure, Henry spent the whole day at the vet getting fluids. The good news is that he doesn't need to go back to the vet today! Henry will have a much deserved rest day at home and then a nice relaxing weekend!
An enormous thank you for all the support and well wishes. It's a great feeling to know that we have an army of pug lovers pulling for Henry and willing him to get better.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Henry is back at the vet today for more fluids. We are hoping that he will only need to stay a half a day today. Last night, he seemed to be feeling a bit better. He ate a little bit of food, which was wonderful! He also wanted to go for a little walk. It was a beautiful night and he wanted to go smell his favorite bush that is at the end of the cul de sac. This poor bush is the go to spot for all the dogs in the neighborhood. It had been days since Henry had been by so he had a lot of catching up to do!
We are hoping that Henry is on the upswing! #HenryStrongAllDayLong
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Henry spent the day at the vet yesterday getting IV fluids. He is holding steady and was super happy to see us when we picked him up yesterday evening. Unfortunately, he is going to go back to the vet today for another round of IV fluids. We are thinking he will only need to stay a half a day this time. Hopefully he will be home around lunch time and then get some much needed rest at home.
Thank you so much for the well wishes, prayers and positive juju. They are very much needed and very much appreciated!
Monday, October 20, 2014
After Henry passed chemo round #3 with flying colors, we were feeling pretty good. Relieved and feeling pretty optimistic. The weekend was great, but come Tuesday everything changed. On Tuesday morning Henry started throwing up, then came the diarrhea. By the end of the day, Henry could not hold anything down. He would get a drink of water and immediately throw it right back up.
Since he could not keep anything down, we took him to the vet on Tuesday afternoon. The vet confirmed that Henry's stomach was certainly not happy. But he wasn't running a fever and everything else checked out in good order. Henry got an anti nausea shot to help him keep things down and some fluids to combat dehydration. We left hopping it was just a minor stomach bug.
Henry was under the weather on Wednesday and Thursday, but not throwing up. By Friday, we decided we weren't seeing enough of an improvement and we decided to take him back to the vet. A blood sample was drawn and Henry's white blood cells were off the chart. This helped us determine that we are battling some sort of infection.
Without the full blood test results back, we didn't know exactly what the issue was, but our vet was narrowing in on 2 different things. Either a mild case of pancreatitis or some sort of esophagus issue. Henry has had bad acid reflux since he was a puppy and lately his acid has been off the charts. And the last week or so, it has been particularly bad. So the esophagus issue was clearly in the running.
Both issues would receive the same type of treatment so it wasn't imperative that we had an exact diagnosis at that time. We left Henry with our vet to get IV fluids and a shot of antibiotics.
When we picked Henry up on Friday evening, he was looking a lot better! IV fluids really do wonders. But we knew we were not out of the woods yet and we knew that Henry's adrenaline rush of seeing us would wear off soon.
Our orders over the weekend were to keep Henry full of fluids. That would be what would help him start to feel better. We were to give him subcutaneous fluids once per day and monitor his drinking very closely. Then we would touch base with our vet on Monday and see how Henry was doing.
Friday night went well and Henry drank enough water on his own for us not to be concerned. Henry had a drink of water before bed and then he slept soundly that night.
Saturday was a different story. Henry had no interest in water. He had nothing to drink the entire morning and none of our coaxing was working. Since he wasn't drinking we decided to give him his fluids sooner rather than later in the hopes that they would help him feel better and he would be more likely to drink. Hours after we gave him his fluids he still wasn't interested in drinking anything. The silver lining was that he was resting soundly. Rest would also do him well so we let him sleep. We touched base with our vet on Saturday and decided to give him another round of the subcutaneous fluids on Saturday night to make up for his minimal water intake.
On Sunday, Henry drank a bit more, but he was still under the weather. We touched base with our vet again on Sunday evening and decided it was best to bring him in to the vet on Monday morning. The plan is to drop him and he will receive more IV fluids and have another blood test to see if his white blood cell counts have come down any.
So, Henry is at the vet right now and hopefully he is resting comfortably. I'll keep you updated as best as I can.
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