Eh? What's that?

We took Harlow to the vet about two weeks ago now because he was dragging his hind legs around and generally having a bad time getting around; we figured his arthritis was out of control from all the constant weather changes and we wanted to get some good pain control for him.

We got some Good Stuff for him, and x-rays were taken to quantify where and how bad his arthritis had gotten. Interestingly, aside from some slight right side hip dysplasia and some mild arthritis in his hind knees his x-rays came back fine--nothing in his spine, hips or the rest of his legs. But, that being said, Harlow was definitely showing signs of discomfort when his hind legs were being manipulated.

It was suspected that perhaps some of his mobility issues were post-dictal seizure related, so a serum level for his phenobarbital was drawn up; it came back a bit on the low side, so his AM dose was doubled from 1/4 pill to a 1/2 pill.


Dr. E is not one to be a sales person, but the hospital recently invested in a laser therapy system that was touted as being able to help with inflammation control--it would be of benefit to both Harlow's sinus issues and to his hind leg discomfort. She gave us the $$ price for the initial six session and J decided that, after breaking down the price per session, it was worth a try.

Harlow's had four sessions so far. His gait is still a bit odd, but he's up on his hinders begging for his meals a lot more often than he used to which tells me those hind legs are feeling a might bit better than they were before the treatments. As for his sinuses, he's sneezing some, but no nasal discharge to speak of and his breathing sounds less Darth Vader like in general.

Is The Laser Treatment worth it? I'm of mixed mind on it. Both his sinuses and his hind quarters seem to be improved, but not by an immense difference. I'm not sure how much we're supposed to expect by this point in the treatment, so...yeah...He goes in next Tuesday for his 5th treatment, so I will ask then about what our expectations should be compared to what our observations have been.

So, yeah. LASERS!! ;o)
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! :/
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...
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. :)
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! :/
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...
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...
Harlow is, generally speaking, a sneezy and wheezy kitty most of the time we've had him in our house. Lots of head congestion, usually with clear discharge from his nose. He lives with chronic recurring herpes virus he caught at the shelter (pretty much all the cats at the cattery are carriers of it, only a select few have recurring problems with it and Harlow's one of them) and about a month ago he had a flare which turned into a bacterial infection which required a course of antibiotics as well as antibiotic eye drops for his one watery eye. He bounced back pretty well, but the sneezing and wheezing persisted, albeit with less eye watering and clear nasal discharge. Could Harlow be afflicted with seasonal allergies as well?

Time to find out, and J took Harlow to the vet for a check on that last Saturday morning. Dr. E checked him over and did indeed note that poor Harlow has a lot of congestion in his head; his chest, though, was mercifully very clear. She conceded it could be seasonal allergies and recommended we try to give Harlow a half tab of Benedryl daily to see if that would help. She also suggested we do another pre-emptive course of oral antibiotics because of how congested Harlow sounded. J took the scrip but decided we'd hold off on starting it until one of us noticed discolored nasal discharge from Harlow.

It didn't take long. Yesterday afternoon Harlow had a sneezing fit and a big old nasty grayish yellow loogie landed on my soda can. So much for drinking that soda, LOL, and so much for keeping Harlow off the antibiotics. He started the ClinDrops last night at dinner time; he's on a two-week course of that now. Last night we also noted that the watery eye was especially watery again, so we decided to resume the antibiotic eyedrops for a handful of days as well to get that under control again.

Poor fella--epilepsy, recurrent herpes flares, and seasonal allergies! He's our Special Kitty now...Ever so glad he takes all his meds like a total champ! :)
lady_curmudgeon: (feel the love)
( Apr. 12th, 2015 09:30 pm)
Ulysses passed the "test." Jason signed the adoption papers today. He is now a member of our clowder...


Harlow the Shelter Kitty is no longer; he is now Harlow Olsen!! Jason officially adopted Harlow today as well! :)


With my two idiots, this makes a full clowder of four for our house. We will not be making more room at the inn for another, unless it's on a very temporary basis if the shelter cattery building is threatened with flooding and one of their residents needs a very temporary accomodation in our guest bathroom.

Harlow, Lars, and Dorene celebrated Gotcha Day with ocean whitefish gushy fud and Ulysses celebrated with an extra allotment of his favorite of all--his special kibbles which he usually only gets sparingly. All ate with gusto a plenty. Life, she is good... :)