06 August 2008

Tired Wednesday

Therefore I will cop out of posting much and just put up some pictures of Inty.

I took this right after her endoscopy - they had to shave her little wrist to put needles in or something, probably for the anesthesia. It looks like she is wearing some kind of bizarre bracelet, or like she's got a partial poodle 'do. She is so tiny they couldn't get the camera all the way into her tummy and couldn't get biopsies, but they got enough to diagnose her with IBS.

She's responded really well to her treatment, by the way. And yes, it's a total pain in the ass to crush a pepcid and put that in a syringe with some milk (she will eat around it if you hide it in food) and to also give her a syringeful of reglan (anti-nausea) and a half a prednisone tablet every damn morning, but she's very good about taking her medication - especially after three months on the regime - and she obviously feels so much better. It's gratifying to know that you saved your cat's life.

They shaved her belly for the endoscopy, too. Isn't this picture weird? You can barely tell it's a cat, she looks like a black furry thanksgiving turkey. She had this stubble for a while - her whole tummy looked like a bikini line in need of some serious attention - but her soft belly fur has grown all back now. She doesn't like when you snorgle it, unfortunately, and will swat you if you zerbet her too much. She has a tiny mind of her own, I guess.


Rooie said...

Aw. So glad she's getting better. Good thing she doesn't know that this post made me snort through my nose in amusement.

Do you have a pill popper? It's a syringe-y looking thing with a soft tip into which you insert the pill. Hold the cat, put the end of the pill popper in their mouth, aimed at the back of their throat and push the plunger. I dunno. Probably not any easier than the syringe, though perhaps a little neater. Gizmo knows to sit still for his evening Pepcid because afterwards he gets DINNER! Yay.

Jeesh. Pets. What we won't do for them.

Cara deBeer said...

We have TWO pill poppers, and I agree, they are the best. And I suspect that once we're done with the prednisone and reglan part of the regime, we'll just give her the pepcid via pill popper (she can be very cunning about holding a pill in her mouth and then spitting it out a minute later after you could have sworn you'd seen her swallow - but I usually foil that plan by washing the pill down with a syringefull of liquid.)

seppaku said...

Y'know, my sweet boy bengal kitty Zigsa passed away in June because of an advanced case of IBD.

It totally sucked.

Anyway, what I discovered is that IBS/D responds very well to limited ingredient diets and raw food, especially.

Since we lost Zigs, we've been feeding our other two kitties raw food, prepared from a mix called "Feline Future's InstictsTC." I grind up raw chicken (whatever boneless cut is on sale), mix it with some water and the powder mix, and freeze it in baggies. I toss a couple of baggies in the fridge before bed or thaw them in a bowl of warm water.

My cats are so ridiculously healthy now. They both lost weight and gained muscle, their coats (already pretty spectacular) are silky and glossy, their eyes are brighter, and they are lively as hell. In addition, their poop is, like, inert now. I simply do not know how else to describe it. It's small, dry, and practically odorless. I used to have to clean the cat box out at least twice a day in order to coexist with it. Now (sorry kitties), I forget about for a couple of consecutive days because I can't smell it. The food also has higher water content than canned/dry food, so they pee more which is good for cat kidneys.

I didn't think it was such a good idea initially. I thought it would be expensive, time consuming and potentially dangerous (raw meat?!). But it costs the same as feeding the 26-bucks-for-10lbs-of-kibble-or-24-mini-cans stuff, and so so so so so so much better for their health.

Seriously, my cats were very healthy before. Now they have so much vitality that I fear for my life.

I've heard tell that a good raw food diet may help the intestinal tract to the degree that long-term prednisone therapy is not necessary. Ditto with the pepcid.

This group was very helpful:

And the GI Lab at Texas A&M is perhaps the most knowledgeable veterinary research lab on this subject, and they will do telephone consultations with your vet.

Super long comment ends now!

Cara deBeer said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about Zigsa. Poor guy. We nearly lost Inty in April - they go downhill fast, it's terrifying.

Those are awesome links. I will check it out and discuss with the vet. Inty's on an Rx low ingredient diet now but just dry stuff I buy from the vet. Theoretically she will come off the prednisone when she quits vomiting.

Anyway ... it's not like we don't spend enough time and money on the cats now ... I don't think the low ingredient raw diet the way you describe it would be too tough. Simone needs to lose weight and Zoe, of course, is diabetic (so she's on a high-protein canned wet diet ... which Simone noms. And Zoe noms Simone's food.)

So now I'm wondering if I could find something that would work for all of them? Like one food, instead of 3?

plus - the thought of not having to deal with litterboxes once a day (considering going up to twice because EW) is also attractive.

seppaku said...

Anyway ... it's not like we don't spend enough time and money on the cats now ... I don't think the low ingredient raw diet the way you describe it would be too tough.

Exactly! And its not hard at all, especially if you're into home cooking to begin with.

Our boy cat Dylan (who looks soooo much like Inty, btw!) was addicted to his crunchy food and would refuse anything canned. Our girl bengal was completely indifferent about all food. Now they scream and throw themselves about frantically when I walk up with their plate of chicken slurry.

And I really must emphasize that, in all of my experience owning and working with animals, I have never seen such a remarkable physical transformation as I've seen in my two raw food eating cats.

I believe it took them about two weeks to become accustomed to it. Initially, there was some refusal to eat the new food, and their poop was kinda crazy as they adjusted. There was a period of about a month with more hairballs than I was used to. They shed a lot when I first started raw food; I think their coats were renewing themselves with the high-protein fuel I was giving them. Also, cats tend to hawk up rather than pass hairballs when fed a diet (relatively) low in fiber. With raw food, the idea is to give them about as much fiber as you would expect if they consumed the fur and feathers of their victims.

I don't think I'll ever feed them anything else. If I had a garage in which to keep an extra freezer, I would feed the dogs raw food as well. But I think its more important for the cats because they are obligate carnivores while dogs are omnivores.

Oh, and its very important to use a recipe or a mix when preparing raw food to get complete nutrition. Your cat needs the minerals from bones, the amino acids in organ meats, the fiber from the fur, etc. Because of the mix I use, I don't have to grind up entire chicken carcasses, which is nice. Chopping raw chicken livers into the nasty so I buy their dehydrated liver powder. Also, if your cats are allergic to chicken, you can try turkey or rabbit or duck or pork or beef.

I'm like some kind of raw food fanatic, I know.

seppaku said...

I just wanted to add that some vets are not into raw food diets.

In some cases, it is because their vet practice sells the prescription foods and they don't want to lose your business. Its like doctors pushing prescription drugs on you that were pushed on them by sales reps.

Americans have also become very used to the idea that raw chicken is very dirty and may carry disease. If you feed your cat fresh human-grade meat, their immune system can handle it. Of course, you can't leave raw food sitting around all day for the cats to pick at, so it is recommended that you condition your cats to eat only during the, say, half hour that the food is out for them.

Seriously, I'm done proselytizing now.

Lisa said...

My vet's all about the raw stuff -- he gave me a whole batch of recipes. I sent them to you, right, Cara?

Anyway, Mr. Bonkers won't eat any of it. He just loves his Science Diet. But even though he supposedly has Inflammatory Bowel Whatever, I don't know... sometimes I wonder if that wasn't a kind of compensatory diagnosis to make up for doing that big horrible biopsy on him last year that didn't turn out to be anything much. I mean, thank dog and all that.

Cara deBeer said...

You did send me the recipes. I'll definitely bring it up with the vet and see what they say.

IBS is strange in that it can be asymptomatic for a long time.