Used to be if Lars' appetite waned we could give him a dose of Mirtazepine (appetite stimulant) and his appetite would soar! He'd get the Cat Crazies, sure, but his appetite would be voracious! Eat anything we'd give him, and the effects of the dose would last a good 3-5 days.

Not so the last couple of weeks...I'll put down his bowl of either gushy fud or kibble, he'll eat with gusto for a few minutes, then he'll slow to a crawl and eventually wander off like a homeless person, leaving a goodly portion of whatever food he's been given behind. If I stand nearby and coax him, he'll stick around and continue to pick at his food until it's mostly gone, but otherwise it goes half-eaten.

This could be any number of things: rejection of the prescription food (he's a finicky fucker), the house being stuffy and a bit warm rendering his tummy a bit queasy and therefore not as hungry, something related to his now myriad health conditions getting worse that we're as yet not aware of...Hard to say.

Gave him a dose of Mirtazepine yesterday morning and it seemingly did much of anything for his appetite, so I called Dr. B this morning for advice. He suggested perhaps Lars is feeling a bit dehydrated and sluggish, so if we've still got a bag of fluids hanging around the house to give him 150ccs of sub-qs. I reminded him of Lars' stage 4 heart murmur and posited that perhaps 150ccs might be a bit much for him. Dr. B asked had Lars just been diagnosed with a physical exam or had an electrocardiogram been done? Just a physical. He suggested I contact internal medicine at the VCA to schedule an electrocardiogram to further study the heart murmur to make sure it's not a factor in his current state, or if it could become a factor if Lars needs to receive regular sub-qs. I'm all like "what-what???" Now I've got to worry about this heart murmur I was told not to fret about??? Sigh...

Dr. B also suggested trying a common sense approach to Lars' food--try to feed a 50/50 mix of his old non Rx food/Rx food and see if he showed more interest in that plan of food attack than just his Rx food. I tried it and he did show more interest--in fact he largely ate around the Rx stuff in favor of the non Rx stuff so that says a lot about how he feels about the K/D kibbles right now... :/ The folks with internal medicine out at VCA don't even prescribe Rx renal diet until a cat's in stage 3 so technically speaking Lars probably doesn't need to be on the Rx renal diet just yet, but we'd like to keep him on it to be more aggressive with treating his CRF, so after work J's going to pick up a bag of Royal Canin's version of renal care kibbles for us to try with Lars to see how he likes it. I daresay he's probably going to eventually end up rejecting it as well, LOL, but...it's worth a try.

As far as the temperature in the house goes, we've got a working solution in the works for that until we can afford to fix the whole house AC unit, too. We bought a 12,000 BTU window AC unit on clearance from the Meijer last night which we're going to place in the kitchen window; we're hoping it'll help cool not only the kitchen, but also the den and part of the living room as well with the help of the standing oscillating fan we also bought on sale at Meijer. J's installing the unit tonight after he's done with getting the renal food.

Hopefully the combination of cool places in the house and the change in food will help Lars eat more...Not holding my breath, but...yeah.

Sigh. This cat is truly my soul mate cat--finicky as fuck eater and sensitive to temperatures like his mama... :/
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Thursday was simply not Harlow's day. It started out by my noticing him sort of dragging his hind quarters around/limping a bit while he gallomped around waiting for his breakfast. He was still voracious for his food, though, so I decided to opt for "watchful waiting" throughout the rest of the day.

Fast forward to around 1430. J was home with stomach woes, and had decided it was time go find something to eat to help fill his somewhat calmer tummy. We were about to leave and I turned to look into the living room and saw a pile of very Harlow looking diarrhea BM on the living room floor! Holy Hannah! Harlow is NOT an errant pottier! The only time he's ever messed outside of a litter box was when I brought him home from the shelter back last September and that was inside his carrier on the way home. He was also laying on his side, looking somewhat out of sorts, on some stuff J'd left on the floor to deal with later. Not Good. Cleaned up the mess, petted Harlow and checked him over, and decided to go out for a quick bite and to re-evaluate when we came back home shortly thereafter.

Get back home and he's still laying in the same spot, still looking out of it. We decide to check his "Treat Reflex" as we call it--rattle the bag of Temptations" treats and see if he's interested and comes a runnin' for them. While he did get up and come into the kitchen, there was little fight in him to get his fair share among his "sibling" kitties. He even let Dorene bully him out of a couple of treats. Since he's usually the big bully when it comes to treats, we really knew something was amiss. Time to call the vet.

Talked to Dr. Lehal, described Harlow's day, and he said he wanted to see Harlow that evening, to come in right away. He thought it sounded like Harlow might have had a seizure that we didn't witness, but because Harlow's been on high-powered antibiotics and NSAIDs for awhile now, he wanted to do some labs to rule out any kidney or liver issues. Thorough physical exam was done, liver, kidney and CBC panels drawn and x-rays of his spine and hips taken to rule out arthritis. During the physical exam, Harlow's left leg made a distinct pop upon manipulation, which is what prompted the x-rays; which showed his hips and spine to be okay, but arthritis in his hind knees. CBC came back right away and was normal. Had to wait for the rest til Friday afternoon. Thankfully, the rest of his labs also came back within normal ranges, too. :)

Dr. Lehal suspected that, based on our behavioral descriptions, Harlow had a small seizure sometime on Thursday; the behaviors we were witnessing were post-dictal behaviors. Asked us if Harlow was hydrating well enough--we admitted we didn't see him drinking from the fountain very often, so he advised us to give him 100cc of sub-qs when we got home. Also prescribed Cosequin for Harlow's knees once he's off the Metacam he's almost done with for his sinuses.

The good news is that Harlow bounced right back once he got those sub-qs. He's been acting fine ever since. :) But did he ever put a scare into us on Thursday!! :/ Poor Cheeto Burrito! :/
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I called VCA Aurora on Monday to update them about Lars' newly discovered renal failure diagnosis because I figured they might want to know for their records for their ongoing care with his ongoing digestive issues they're still helping Dr. B treat. Told them his creatinine levels and that I didn't know his BUN, but that it was high end of normal, that Dr. B felt it was very early stage renal failure, that Lars had been prescribed Hills K/D, and to contact Aurora Cat Clinic for more information if they needed it.

Cindy from VCA called me back on Tuesday. She said Dr. M called Dr. B and they'd discussed the labs and, according to the one set of very specific guidelines for renal failure staging they go by, Lars was not in stage one renal failure, but square in the middle of the range for stage two instead. :/ Stage TWO?!!? Sweet Bast, there's only FOUR stages to this fucking disease and he's already halfway gone???

Sigh...

To say J and I are dismayed is beyond an understatement. Lars is only six fucking years old and shouldn't even be in stage one yet for fuck's sake!!

I talked to Cindy again today to double check to see if Dr. B's got Lars on the correct treatment and she surprised me by saying that Dr. B is actually going pretty aggressive--most of the time Dr. M doesn't start Rx food or any other treatment for the renal failure until the beginning of stage three. I found that to be interesting. And, no--we're not taking Lars off the Rx food! He actually *enjoys* the food so far and it can only do his numbers good. It's a balanced food otherwise, too, so he'll be fine on it.

I've joined the two feline renal failure groups on Facebook and have sought out more information on the rather popular layman's site--Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease that I used to frequent when I was dealing with Jazz's and Diva's renal failure. Gotta get myself re-acclimated to the logistics of the disease and care for same...

What is it with us and Broken Cats? I tell ya, we fairly seem to attract them...:/
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Because I'm available during the day during the week, sometimes HHAS' cat coordinator, Carol, asks me to help out with special tasks at the cattery. A couple of months ago I was tasked with administering the afternoon dose of an eye drop to Franny the Shelter Cat for a few weeks until she was on the mend, which was a bit of an adventure because she was a feisty Calico girl who *hated* getting her drops. :/ We had an understanding, though--she would get lots of treats before, during, and after and I wouldn't get swatted or bitten, LOL. It was a success--never a drop of blood was shed between us. ;)

A few days ago Carol called me for a new adventure. We've got a three expectant mamas, three semi-feral 6-8 week old kittens, three 10 week old kittens, and a couple of scared and unfriendly adults at the cattery right now. She was wondering if I was available during the afternoon during the week to come in for an hour or so to socialize with those guys to help get them ready for eventual adoption for at least one day a week.

Of course I am, but...

...We're currently down to one vehicle right now. J's truck is, for all intents and purposes, dead in the water. When he brought it in for repairs it was discovered that his 1998 Ford Expy with about 250,000 miles had a burnt 2nd cylinder, a way-too-pricey repair to make on such a vehicle. He's in the process of obtaining new wheels, and in the meantime he's catching rides with coworkers occasionally and using my Bridget most days. Which leaves me without a ride many days of the week unless I've got something I really need to do during the day which requires a car...

That being said, I *do* need Bridget at least once a week for something or another, so J and I talked and came to the conclusion that, because I usually do my therapy appointments on Wednesdays, that I could also do socialization at the cattery every week on Wednesdays, too. Problem solved! :)

I'm a bit wary of working with the timid and unfriendly adults, because, after all, they know how to fight better than tiny kittens do, but I think with enough treat givings, slow blinks and gentle and soft chit chat I'll get them to slowly warm up to me. I worked my magic with that feisty and cranky-assed Calico Franny just fine, LOL...

We'll see what happens. I'll keep you posted on my adventures! :)
Yesterday morning. J and I took both Lars and Dorene into Dr. B for blood work and urinalyses and for Lars' yearly exam and vaccines. It started off as quite the adventure. We've got several carriers, including three soft-side collapsible carriers. We decided to use my cutesy and questionably functional Laurel Birch carrier (I got it on clearance at PetSmart (go figure) and it's cute as hell...that's about all it's worth, as you'll find out soon), and a Martha Stewart carrier we got for free from the cat coordinator at the shelter. Lars got the Laurel Birch carrier and Dorene got the the Martha carrier. Dorene was fine in her carrier, but Lars managed to escape the not-so-surly bonds of his carrier in less than 2 minutes, LOL. So much for my cutesy carrier, LOL. We've decided to donate it to a charity we frequently use (AmVets); perhaps somebody with smaller and less frisky cats can use it for awhile...

Anyway, get Lars in a hard shell carrier, drive out to Aurora Cat Clinic, and start our appointment. Dr. B sees each cat in turn, palpates both of their bladders, and finds that neither of them has any urine in their bladders! :( In order to get the proper samples, we left them with Dr. B for fluids and observation for a few hours. Lars got his vaxxes and his exam, the fecal sample got processed, and bloods got drawn and started in the lab...

Fast forward to early afternoon when we pick them up. The results are back. Despite the fluids, there wasn't quite enough for a full urinalysis, meaning Dr. B wasn't able to test either cat for crystals (which we want to do for Lars, who's been squatting but peeing small amounts frequently lately), but he was able to get enough to determine there wasn't glucose in the urine or any white or red blood cells for either of them.

Blood work: Dorene's was fine. No surprises there. She's four years old, eats well, seemingly healthy as a horse--everything *better* be fine...

Lars' was not quite alright...

His BUN is high normal and his creatinine is .1 above normal. Both mean there is something amiss with his kidneys. And he's only 6 1/2 years old...

What does this mean? Dr. B didn't say specifically, and we didn't ask, but we know enough about renal failure in cats from our past experience to know this means that Lars is in the very, very earliest of the first stage of chronic renal failure. It's enough that Dr. B prescribed renal care food for Lars to get things under control, and we're to bring Lars back in two months for follow-up. We're to watch his food and water intake, and his urine output as well as his energy level for any changes with the new diet. He also wants another crack at getting a full urinalysis on Lars--we're planning on bringing Lars back in on Tuesday to spend the day with Dr. B and his staff for that, which Dr. B has offered to do for free, I might add.

I was gobsmacked. I thought renal failure was something that cats in their double digits had to worry about, not some half way to seven year old kitteh! But Dr. B explained he's seen this before in long-haired kittehs especially. He said something about the bits and bobs of purebred genetics found in most long-haired kittehs (who knows what it could be with Lars--we've tried guessing what his pedigree could be and gave up, LOL) cause some weaknesses/predispositions to renal issues. Something, something read some studies about same, yadda yadda. Still didn't make *us* feel any better, especially me, the former Mom of two CRF kittehs. I am a bit beyond sad and overwhelmed by this... :(

Sigh. So now, on top of digestive/downloading issues, we've got to worry about his kidneys. My poor, sweet, broken boy. :(
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We've, once again, got us an errant outside of the box pisser in our midst. Twice in the last week we've found large puddles of piss under the "sunning chair" which resides under the kitchen window, the second of which we found this morning. In addition, the last 2-3 weeks have brought lots more and larger urine clumps in all the litter boxes; one of which was so large our oversized litter scoop almost couldn't scoop it up. Verdict? One of our idiots likely has a urinary or kidney issue going on.

Our plan of attack is to take them in, one by one, in order of suspicion of guilt, for check-ups and blood work and urinalysis. Harlow's done by default, as he had his full work-up by coincidence last Thursday, and we'll have his test results back sometime this week hopefully. One down...

Next up will be Ulysses. At eight years old he's our most senior cat, so he's a good next "suspect". He had a baseline full blood draw done that came back all normal back in late April or was it early May? Regardless, I know things can change in a heartbeat with cats, so...yeah...He's also got a history of crystals in his urine that we think is controlled by his special prescription diet, but there's no way of knowing without another urinalysis. Interesting note on that--in the last month and a half we switched to a different brand of wet Rx food and he seemed to love it at first, but has been somewhat rejecting it in the last couple of weeks...Coincidence? Another reason to get his fat butt into the vet for a looksee...He'll be seeing Dr. Bajwa at Aurora Cat Clinic on Thursday morning at 9:30 AM. That oughtta be fun--he's a total beast at the vet and at his last visit totally cowed the timid substitute vet that took care of him. We're hoping the more steely, much more experienced, and "hardcore" hands of Dr. B will work out better on Thursday...

After that it'll be in order of age--Lars, then Dorene. We'll pin down who's doing all the pissings eventually, LOL, and if whomever it is needs treatment, they will receive it...

Sigh...It's always something in our house. The cats we adopt inevitably end up just as broken as their respective owners...
Our sweet Harlow's sinuses are A Hot Mess, have been ever since he happened into our lives when he came into the care of Humane Haven Animal Shelter back last summer. He'll get a sinus infection, get a course of some random antibiotic, be clear of any signs of infection for a few days to a week or so, and start exhibiting signs of sinus infection all over again. The vets at Brookville Animal Hospital have had him on a merry-go-round of Clin Drops and Doxycycline for the most part until we put up more of a fuss about wanting to try something stronger and different than what hasn't already worked longer. This time he got put on Azithromycin--250mg once daily for five days, then twice weekly for 6-8 weeks. We're currently in the midst of the 6-8 weeks part. So far, so good: his nasal discharge cleared of coloring and grew thinner after the first five daily doses.

Our issue with the way Brookville's vets have been treating his chronic sinus issues is they don't do much beyond giving him a basic physical exam and then throw the same antibiotics at it over and again. This is a great recipe for antibiotic resistance and it's not treating the root cause of what's going on. Time for a specialist, but who and where?

I called out to our usual standby for specialty vets, VCA Aurora, early last week. Internal medicine also handles issues with the sinuses. I brought him in last Thursday to see Dr. Medinger. He got a very thorough physical, I got asked lots of questions. Hell, they even asked about how concerned we were about Harlow's five pound weight loss since September; we weren't terribly concerned because we thought it was primarily related to diet and much more exercise, but...yeah, we could see why there might be a concern... Dr. M ordered pre-procedure blood work, urinalysis, and a thyroid check, a nasal CT along with biopsies and cultures. This cost Big Bucks, of course, but what can you do if you want to find out the Root Cause of what's going on? They send everything out of house to specialty labs for testing, so no results until at least the end of this week at the earliest. Preliminary findings were positive in that no polyps or growths were found in the nasal cavities or sinuses, but there was swelling in the nasal cavities, especially on the left side, lots of fluid in there, and signs of sinusitis.

Sigh. Our Cheeto Burrito kitty was such a good boy throughout--the techs and Dr. M all raved about how wonderfully cooperative and quiet Harlow was while they worked on him. :) That's our boy! :)

...And now we wait for the results, and any further action steps that may result from those results.

I will keep y'all posted...
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lady_curmudgeon: (Lars)
( Jun. 9th, 2015 10:36 am)
It's a day late for National Best Friends Day, but I'm posting it anyway.

I, the Crazy Cat Mama, almost totally forgot to post about my Feline Best Friend.

Lars came into my life on Sunday 21 July 2013, the second Sunday after we lost Diva kitty. My heart was broken into a zillion pieces, I did not want to go to the shelter for our volunteer shift that afternoon, but there I was anyway. We walk in the door and we're greeted by a white and orange leg sticking itself out the middle cage by the door. I look in and find a beautiful fluff ball with worried eyes, purring away. No name, no gender on its feeding information card. No name was a fabulous specimen of cat, that was for sure. There was something different about this cat--it "spoke" to me, as if it knew of my troubles and wanted to help make me feel better. Wouldn't leave me alone for the whole shift, or in the next few Sundays thereafter, either.

I had hoped "it" would be a girl, so we could have a crack at adopting "her"; Ra was known in the past to not abide by a male cat in his midst so a male cat was not probably an option for us, so...Fingers crossed, we came in the following week to find *him* named Lars. I was SO upset and disappointed! :/ But J told me to not fret just yet, that Ra's last experiences might not be a true testament to his behavior with all male cats, that perhaps we could give Lars a "test run" in our house and see what happened. We decided that would be the way to go, and when Lars was quickly moved over to the PetSmart to be shown, we/I had to make the decision fast!! We brought him home a month after our first meeting on Wednesday 21 August 2013.

After about a 2-3 weeks in our guest bedroom as a "safe room", we allowed him to start venturing out to meet both Ra and Jazz. It didn't take him long to comfortably establish himself within the ranks. He's been a joy to have in our home, quirks, current health issues and all. I love him to absolute bits. He owns more of my heart than any other cat I've ever owned, even Jazz--and I lived with her for over 15 years!

My sweet Lars: Larsipan, Larsupial the Marsupial. Larzy Parzy. So many nicknames for one amazing cat...


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Lars in a box 20140213

Clever Lars up on a shelf on my desk...
( May. 11th, 2015 09:39 am)
...cat mama's get to celebrate Mother's day, too!

The fur kids somehow busted out of the house with their Cat Daddy without my noticing and got me a funny card (which they all signed somehow, I'll have you know... ;) ) and a lovely sterling silver pendant with a charm of a moon with a dangling gold star that has "I love you to the moon and back" inscribed on it. Cat Daddy also got me a card. :)

Talk about feeling special! What a blessing these four cats are, and that Cat Daddy--what a guy!! :) I am truly loved! :) <3
Got some plain yogurt from the Meijer last night; of course they only had the McLargeHuge size, so that's what I bought. Thankfully it was cheap at about 2 bucks for the McLargeHuge container of the stuff. Stir it up well, dish out a couple of tablespoons of it into Lars' gushy fud bowl and present it to The Prince...

...and he licks at it like three times, rejects it and walks away! :/ Mkay. I try a taste of it. Okay, it does taste kinda flat and gross. Perhaps if I doctor it a bit with some of the handy dandy bottle of clam juice I've got. A few more sniffs, a few more licks, then rejection and walking away.

Harlow, on the other hand? He LOVES both versions of the stuff--plain or doctored with juice, he's totally down with the yogurt. Figures, right? ;) That knowledge could come in handy if he ever encounters any tummy troubles, LOL.

So...

I had one unopened jar of chicken baby food left over, so I dished out about two tablespoons of that and mixed in 1/8 of a teaspoon of benefiber very well into that to see if Lars would deign eat same with that tiny amount of benefiber added to it. At first he was reluctant to eat it, but grew more enthusiastic after he got going and he finished the portion, licking the bowl clean as a whistle! So at least I might have that trick up my sleeve...

Another trick I'm contemplating trying in the dairy department is vanilla ice cream. I've yet to meet a kitteh in my life who did NOT enjoy a bit of vanilla ice cream. Every single cat I grew up with loved the stuff, as did every cat that owned me that came before the cats that own me currently. So I'm hoping the trend continues with Lars! That, and if he doesn't like it at least J and I can enjoy some vanilla ice cream, LOL.

Sweet Bast, this whole special food thing with Lars is SO VEXING!!! :( But hey--He's my Special Snowflake, my Floofy Floofy Little Prince, LOL. I expect nothing less from His Royal Highness... ;)
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The Doxycycline did the trick--the upper respiratory infection is finally gone! :) Took about 2/3 of the way through the bottle for him to really show improvement, but it definitely did the trick.

We're going to keep him on the Lysine to help keep his immune system stronger for the indefinite future; it works wonders on the cats at the shelter, so it's worth seeing how Harlow does with it here at home. 'Sides, he'll get gushy fud twice a day to deploy the 250mg of the stuff, which he most definitely won't mind. :)

He's also still on the Benedryl, which seems to be really helping with the sneezing and such. He hates the stuff, but it's seemingly a necessary evil for him. Learned the first day that we have to deploy it directly down his gullet rather than via "pill pal" or "pill pocket" as it's got a bitter taste and he can taste as he chews up either of those two vehicles, which he then spits out same before the pill goes down his throat. Poor fella. :/ That being said--he still takes that pill like a total champ. He's A Good Boy.

So yeah...much, much better. :)
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His personality is back full-tilt boogie--he's gone back to hanging out on the cat forts and to ripping ass down the hallway after his "siblings", two things I was really waiting to see before I declared him out of the woods. I still have him on the Mirtazipine for appetite every 96 hours, but his appetite doesn't seem to wane at the end of the dose, so I think I'm going to start tapering him off that med and see what happens.

So, the vexing part...

He's decided to reject any gushy fud that has the probiotics and/or the benefiber in it. Flat out, stone cold reject any of it, regardless of type, regardless of how I doctor it up, regardless of how hungry he acts. Tested the theory by offering him gushy fud without anything added to it and he gobbled it down with no issues. Little fucker. :/ Fortunately he's still downloading okay with the 5-6ccs of Lactulose we give him daily, so it's not totally an issue, but...yeah. He still needs at least something else to keep his guts moving...

Called VCA internal medicine about this new conundrum, and was told to try plain yogurt for its natural probiotic effects, or, if that fails, anything else dairy based that he'll deign eat. Alrighty then, we can do that. I know he likes milk a lot from my past learnings, so there's that at least. Was also told to try to try to at least try to sneak in one dose of the benefiber a day if I can manage it. I know the probiotic's straight away right out--he always rejected his feeds with it in it, but sometimes ate his feeds with just the benefiber, so that's pretty telling right there.

Sigh. Finicky cat is fucking finicky. Little shit. :/ Oh wells, a cat mama will do what a cat mama's gotta do...
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Well, my thoughts on the repetition causing food apathy came true--this morning's helping of Spot's Turkey Stew was largely a big old bust. He barely touched the stuff, at least the first go at it. I even left the can out on the counter for over an hour to warm up a bit before serving it to him. He showed some initial interest, but it waned quickly. Sigh.

In a little while I'm going to try zapping it in the microwave for a few seconds to see if a little bit of warmth will coax him into eating more of it. If not, then I'll have to dig into the selection of other gushy fuds I've got stashed and see if he'll eat some of one of those. He's definitely hungry--he ate all of his breakfast allotment of kibble with great enthusiasm, so it's not that his appetite is faltering at all. It's him being A Finicky Bastard.

Yay me? Yay us? :/

Sigh...again...

Back to the drawing board...
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Got a wide variety of gravy and broth heavy gushy fud selections between Petsmart and Pet Supplies Plus yesterday. Petsmart yielded Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers flavors I've not yet tried with Lars just yet (beefy ones) and some of the "classic" line of broth based packets of food they offer in fishy and chickeny flavors. Pet Supplies Plus had the Halo brand, which came highly recommended by a good cat owning friend, so I picked up some cans of Spot's Stew in a couple of different flavors, largely because the Stew part of the name seems to infer that it'll have a stew/gravy like quality to it...

Tried the Turkey flavor of Spot's Stew this morning and was surprised to find the consistency of the bulk of it was like a very thick gravy to a thin pate'. :/ Additionally, it came complete with a complement of vegetable matter mixed in with the gravy and meaty pieces as well, which I'd read on the ingredients on the can, but somehow pictured they'd be diced smaller or something. Lars isn't known to prefer pate' type food, and he's never had food with veg in it before, so I was sorta wary of giving it to him, but I figured since I opened the can and didn't want to just throw it away without giving it a good go, I mixed in the probiotics and the benefiber and set the bowl of the stuff down in front of him...

He absolutely shocked me by totally scarfing that stuff down like a mad man! :) He snarfed down the gravy/pate' and meat and even some of the smaller veggie bits and ate the gravy/pate' off the bigger veggie pieces that he left behind! It was a sight to behold! I haven't seen that sort of enthusiasm for gushy fud in at least a few weeks! It was a miracle!

Tonight for his dinner I served up more of the same; he didn't quite have the same enthusiasm but he still ate with pretty good gusto despite there being more and larger veggie bits in with this particular batch of chow. He, again, ate all the gravy/pate' and meaty bits for the most part. There were more leavings tonight, but I think that had more to do with the extra veg getting in the way than any problem with the bulk of the gravy/pate' medication vehicle.

He'll get the rest of the turkey can tomorrow morning. Hopefully his enthusiasm for it won't wane at all with the repetition. Next up after this can will be one of the brothy packets. Will keep you posted on how things go!
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He's not sneezing as much and he's not wheezing as much, but when he does sneeze it's still disgusting yellowish brownish gluey gack and he's almost done with his course of ClinDrops. Back to the vet with him this afternoon.

Dr. Lyn gave him the once over--he's exactly 11 pounds now, a good weight at last! :) Lungs clear, head still congested, eye still giving off discharge but it's now clear vs. the discolored stuff last visit, temperature normal. Switching from the ClinDrops antibiotic (which are almost used up) over to Doxycycline and adding 250mg of Lysine twice daily to help bolster his immune system a bit. Both are mixed in gushy fud, so Harlow will be in Heaven, let me tell you. ;) He's A HUGE FAN of gushy fud! :)

So far it seems as though the last few days on the Benedryl have helped stave off a goodly share of the sneezing, though we've had to pill him by hand rather than feed him a pill pocket--he can taste the larger pill when he bites down on it when it's in either the "pill pal" from the vet's office or the "pill pocket" from the Petsmart, so it's just been easier for J to give it to him straight the past couple of days. I'll get to giving it to him myself via the pill popper when J's not able to give it to him for me.

So, hopefully, Harlow will be back on the mend again shortly...Poor fella! :/
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He's now decided to, one by one, reject his formerly favorite flavors of Gravy Lovers gushy food. The other day he vetoed the turkey, and today he rejected the chicken. At least he's still seeming to want to bother with the salmon, which is good, but...yeah.

I need a gravy/broth laden gushy fud as a vehicle to deploy the powdered probiotics and the powdered benefiber that he'll at least eat the gravy/broth off of. I tried Friskies but theirs is woefully low on gravy/sauce, making mixing the powder(s) in a bit difficult. I know either Friskies or Fancy Feast has a line of broth oriented gushy fuds that I'm going to look into later today, so that's my next line of attack.

Internet Cat Hivemind--any ideas for gravy/sauce/broth bountiful gushy fuds I can look for??? Any and all ideas are welcome, and damn the cost!

Otherwise he's doing about the same. Still not quite back to normal either in personality or in the downloads department, kinda maintaining a status quo of sorts in the middle ground of things. This leaves us both hopeful for further improvement and frustrated that it's not forthcoming more quickly.

Sigh. He *had* to reject the Gravy Lovers shit. He just *Had To*...
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He's been on the ClinDrops antibiotic for just about a week now and he's still sneezy and wheezy. Eye watering is somewhat back under control with the help of the eye drops, discharge watery and clear. Nasal discharge is clearing up, too; only slightly colored compared to what it was when we started the oral antibiotic.

He should be doing better by now, dammit, but he's still pretty under the weather. We're hoping that things will turn a positive corner in the next day or two. If not it could be a trip back to the vet for him, poor fella...

Finally started him on the half tab of Benedryl this AM. He didn't mind--meant an extra pill pocket treat for him! ;) We'll see if it helps stave off some of the sneezing for him. Hopefully it won't sedate him too badly, either. Again, we shall see...

Ah, the joys of owning a cat with chronic viral herpes flares... :/ At least we're fortunate that the three other resident kittehs don't have active symptoms, despite having been exposed to the virus at the cattery...
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He's turning into a finicky eater, the big dumb floof. He's seemingly growing tired of his Gravy Lovers gushy fud, eating only the gravy off the top of the many meaty bits (which, frankly, is fine since that's where all the benefiber and probiotics live), so I decided to go out on a limb and try Friskies gushy fud "with sauce and gravy" type foods. Tried one can of ocean whitefish in sauce, which barely had any sauce whatsoever; I did manage to mix in the supplements and he did eat the gravy off the meaty bits, but very few meaty bits. Sigh. Damned cat--at least he's still eating a goodly amount of kibble so he won't completely waste away...

Downloads have been a bit dicey as of late; yesterday he took his time again and waited just over 24 hours to give me some litter box love. It was A Good One, though, so that was a good thing to see. It's just frustrating that I'm giving so much medication/supplements to get him to go and he's barely producing. I know, I know--Dr. M says it can take a few to several weeks for things to right themselves, but...yeah, mama's getting antsy.

His personality/affect is steadily coming back still, which is also nice to see. He's been a bit more feisty than we'd like to see as a result of the not-so-positive side effects of the Mirtazepine, but he still needs that for the appetite boost, so we'll keep giving it to him every 96 hours. His feistyness manifests itself in wanting to argue and promote fisticuffs with his other "sibling" cats, which is maddening to say the least. We've had to keep the water squirt bottle handy to break up the squabbles.

He's also picked up a new, rather annoying habit--kitchen counter surfing. He's up on the counters virtually every damned night, probably looking for food scraps which aren't there. Ra used to do that a lot throughout his life, so we think Lars learned that habit from Ra. It would be fine if our counters were clear of random stuff, but we get lazy and stash our recyclable cans and bottles on the one counter throughout the week rather than just bring in the recycling bin and put them outside, so when dumbass jumps up onto the counter, something inevitably falls off same, clattering to the floor. That's our bad, of course, so we should work on clearing our counters.

So yeah, about the same, really. Wish there was something more definitively positive to report...
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Still sneezing and wheezing, and me forgetting to purchase the damned Benedryl at the grocery store the other day when I was there picking up other stuff--and I was in the damned aisle it was in, too! :/ His nasal discharge is still lovely, putrid colours--takes about 3 days on the ClinDrops to get the infection to start to clear. It takes less time, however, for the other side effects to kick in, namely diarrhea. Poor fella left me some disasters in the litter boxes overnight, so he's on a few days' worth of Metronidazole to get that particular aspect back under control. Poor fella.

He was a bit more sleepy and lethargic than normal yesterday, which left me a bit concerned, but I have to remember he's fighting off a fairly nasty infection so he's bound to be tired until the meds start to work. Will keep an eye on him today and see how things go.

Meanwhile his appetite is perfectly fine, so that's all good. We've yet to worry about Harlow's appetite--he's so damned food driven it's not even funny. If we crinkle anything plastic he comes a runnin' to see what we've got to eat. ;) We go near the laundry room door and he notices--right there waiting for food. No small wonder he was McLargeHuge when he came to us--he was always eating whatever he could get his paws on! He's doing well now on the Science Diet Light kibbles we feed him--he's gone from about 15 pounds of cat down to about 12 pounds of cat and he's getting around the house a lot more spryly than he used to, which is good to see.

So, yeah. Waiting to see some improvement with Harlow, which should come in the next couple of days...
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He's been a total dickhead this morning, jumping back and forth from my hope chest starting before 0800, which is early even for him. He kept swatting/attacking Ulysses in the hallway, too, while he waited for his breakfast--that was more concerning and aggravating, as Ulysses was just hanging out in the hallway being himself and doing nothing wrong to Lars to deserve the fisticuffs. Lars be a jackass!

No downloads yesterday or overnight, so we're back up to 6ccs of Lactulose tonight. Getting the digestive tract regulated again is going to be a Big Old Bitch, methinks. I caught him in the open hallway box a couple of times yesterday afternoon, squatting for a minute or two, then leaving the box. He wasn't seeming to be straining, but no action, either, so...yeah. He still needs that extra 1cc of Lactulose to kick his guts into gear.

At least he calmed down after breakfast. He's chilling out somewhere, probably in his kitchen window or on Cat Fort Bravo. He ate alright--not as much of the meaty bits in the gushy fud as I would've liked, but at least he ate all the gravy off the meaty bits and that's where the meds live, so it's all good. I'll give him back the remaining meaty bits in a little while to see if he'll eat more of them before I toss it away. He ate his morning allotment of kibble like a boss, though, so that was good to see. He's so conditioned--he's so used to getting his gushy fud first, followed by a helping of kibble, that he'll eat less gushy fud so he's got room for his kibble, at least that's what I think that's how he's operating, LOL.

So, yeah--excitement a'poppin' in our house this morning! :/ Damned jackass cat, drivin' us nuts! Ever so glad to see the nutty behaviour, but it's still maddening as all hell!
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