Things have been a bit wacky around here, so I've been remiss in not posting timely updates about my boy. Mostly I've been trying to mentally digest everything that's been happening, LOL, as well as going about the business of treating the new things going on so I haven't been at the computer as much as I usually am to post about new goings on.

Pre story...

Lars has always had a wheezy sounding purr. He's also had a somewhat chronic issue with an on again-off-again dry cough that does not produce any hairballs or vomitus. It wasn't anything I worried about until we discovered the heart murmur diagnosis; after which I really started paying attention to how much/how often he coughed...

In the last couple of weeks, Lars has coughed and wheezy purred more often than normal. It increased last week dramatically with the introduction of an air freshener thingus in the master bedroom; every morning he started waking me with his dry cough when he'd come to wake me for his breakfast. Last Tuesday his cough was particularly bad and persistent, so I called out to VCA Aurora to see if they wanted to check him out. They did.

They did a physical exam which got him to cough upon tracheal palpitation. Thoracic x-rays were taken to see what was going on in the chest cavity--there was some mild bronchial thickening in his lungs. This, at that point could mean three things--allergic bronchitis, complications from heart worm disease, or feline asthma. Blood work was drawn to rule out heart worms. Prednisolone was prescribed to get the coughing/wheezing under control, at least until the heart worm test came back.

Heart worm test came back, mercifully, negative. Diagnosis: "Suspect feline allergic airway disease." We're to continue the prednisolone (5 mg/ml) .9ml every 12 hours and to add a puff of a Flovent HFA 220mcg inhaler once a day for three weeks and then re-evaluate to see how the treatment is doing. Flovent HFA is not available as a generic, ergo it is quite expensive. The cheapest we found it was at Costco and it was still $$expensive. I also had to purchase an AeroKat chamber/mask to administer the inhaler to Lars, which was almost a big fiasco, and was also $expensive. First attempt at ordering it off amazon was a bust--they initially said I would have it arrive by yesterday, but yesterday sent me an email that the earliest *ship* date they could tentatively promise me would be Wednesday the 9th. Uh, no, we need this thing NOW. Ended up ordering it through vetrxdirect.com for about the same price, though I did have to pay $5.95 to expedite the shipping by a few days; it'll be here tomorrow according to the USPS shipping tracker.

So, yeah: feline asthma/bronchitis. We, at this point, have idea if this is a lifetime affliction or if it's just a temporary thing. We'll know more as we continue treatment. His wheezy purr already sounds less wheezy just on the Pred, which is a good thing, and the cough is all but gone already, too.

I swear, I'm gonna stop bringing Lars out to the VCA--they always find something else wrong with him! :/

That being said, he's seemingly doing alright outside of when it's around time for him to get his twice daily meds. He kinda knows when to expect when it's going to happen, so he's taken to hiding himself in clever places so we have to do all sorts of tricks to get him to come out so we can take care of business. :/ Smart kitty is smart.

Sigh...So now his diagnoses include stage IV/VI physiologic heart murmur, stage II kidney chronic kidney disease, small intestine dysbiosis, and now feline allergic airway disease. He's special, alright. :/
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