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state of the cat - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2008-09-19 23:30
Subject: state of the cat
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:calmcalm
Music:tori amos
Well, mystery solved.
As I said earlier, we took Kuron up to the Royal Veterinary College before we went away, and they did some more tests - mostly repeats of the earlier ones to see if anything had changed - and the ultrasound scan showed he had an enlarged pancreas and nodules on his liver. So they decided to forego the gastroscopy and open him up to see what was going on.
Apparently the surgeon who did the operation had never seen nodules like this on a cat's liver before, which is par for the course.
Anyway, they took biopsies of his liver, pancreas and digestive bits and bobs, and it turns out he has inflammatory bowel disease and very mild hepatitis and pancreatitis which may well be linked to the inflammation. The nodules, whatever they are, are not malignant.
The IBD is the reason he was losing weight, and there's a fair chance that it can be managed with steroids. We brought him back on Tuesday evening - shaved in some different places, in particular his tummy - and the doctor who was treating him told us to keep an eye on him until Monday. If he's not behaving weirdly by then, he starts the 'roids. One tablet in the morning, one in the evening, for a few months. If that works, we start tailing the dosage off, although he may have to have some kind of medication for the rest of his life - we don't know yet.
While he was at the hospital, they fed him the kind of diet we'd been feeding him before all this started, and he didn't throw up once. Which suggests he was just intolerant of the single protein-single carbohydrate diet.
So, it's not cancer, it's not feline HIV, it's not feline leukaemia. It's only inflammatory bowel disease.
And they phoned us every day while we were in Poland with updates, even when there was nothing to tell us. If I ever get really sick, Bogna has instructions to drive me up to the Royal Veterinary College. I can't speak highly enough of them.
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2008-09-19 23:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hey, that's pretty good news! And I'm with you, the Royal Veterinary College sounds an exemplary animal hospital.

Is Kuron a calm cat when it comes to tablets or do you have to wrap him in a towel and prise his jaws open with a scissor jack?
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-19 23:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's been a while since we had to give him any tablets, so we'll have to see. We've never had to do the towel-and-scissor-jack thing with him, although he does get tired of having stuff poked down his throat. We gave him the antibiotics mixed with some gravy from a pouch of Tesco's cat-food and he wolfed it down, but Bogna thinks that to make sure he gets all of the steroids we'll have to crush them up, mix them with water and give them to him via a syringe. Cue hours of low comedy.
He's not as bad as Kasia, to whom you can give a tablet with apparent success, only to watch her two hours later spitting it out.
Nah, we'll be fine. We'll sort it out somehow. I'm just glad it's something we can address with pills; the mechanics of getting the pills into him is a small price to pay.
Going right off that, I've got Fourtold. Very nice stuff. Very nice indeed.
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2008-09-20 08:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My mum and dad have three cats, and while all three are soft and placid by nature, only two of them will succumb quietly to taking tablets. Poppy, a little black female, only has to hear the sound of a pill bottle being cracked in the next room and she launches into chainsaw mode. Mum's tried all sorts of devious methods -- adding doctored gravy to her food is a good one -- but Poppy is wise to 'em all. It becomes a running battle of wits. I was thinking of Poppy when I made the towel and scissor-jack comment. Anyway, hope you little fella is perky today. And thanks again for buying Fourtold. The paper quality could be better, and here and there the formatting isn't what it should be, but by and large I'm very happy with the way it turned out.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-20 23:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's hard to say how he'll react to being given pills. He might be fine, he might not. I suspect, like with Poppy, this is going to turn into a battle of wits, but we'll see. He certainly seems perky. Indeed, he's never seemed ill - his behaviour hasn't changed at all throughout any of this, which just goes to show how hard it is to tell that a pet is actually unwell. If I had what he has, I'd make certain everyone knew about it.
I think the paper quality and the formatting of Fourtold look just fine; I'd have been perfectly happy with it if it had been my stories in there. I understand the paperback's coming out soon, too. (Yay!) The fiction is brilliant; if we ever get beyond NW2, expect a call. I'll big it up the next time I do a book update.
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2008-09-21 10:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you ever venture oop north, I'll look out for you. Many thanks for the compliments.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-21 21:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We do very, very occasionally get up to Staffordshire - Bogna has family up there - but not your neck of the woods. Although I did visit once many years ago, on the way to see a friend who was studying at Keele, and was rather charmed by the place.
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Kat: content
User: artykat
Date: 2008-09-19 23:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:content
So glad it wasn't something much more serious. Here's hoping he starts feeling better, and you have less drama!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-19 23:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is a big relief to finally know what's wrong with him. IBD is pretty serious (if I had it, you'd all never hear the end of it) but compared with the alternatives (there was dark talk of the possibility of chemotherapy) it's a walk in the park, and his doctor seems to think the prognosis is hopeful if he responds to the steroids.
The weird thing is, he's been prescribed prednisolone, which is what they prescribed my mother twenty-odd years ago when her cancer recurred. Back then it was being hailed as something of a miracle-drug. Now it's being routinely prescribed to cats. The world does move on.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-20 23:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is indeed, and it's an enormous relief. Before we went away we were sort of preparing ourselves for losing him. Now, well, we're not out of the woods yet, but at least we know what we're facing and we know there are strategies to deal with it.
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jmward14: armrest
User: jmward14
Date: 2008-09-20 03:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:armrest
Poor little guy...
I meant Kuron! ;-)
Seriously, I'm very glad it appears to be something you can manage with meds. Sorry they had to open him up to find that out, though. Very, very scary for you and Bogna, to say nothing of the cat.
Much love,
Jean Marie
(Off to wrestle with "Siren Bridge" again. I swear, that story is forcing me to learn how to write fiction all over again. "Hero Material" was a walk in the park by comparison. Sigh.)
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-20 23:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The first time he was up there, we discussed the options with his doctor and decided that they'd give him an endoscopy first, and only if that failed to find the cause of his weight-loss would they operate. But after the results of the ultrasound they decided they needed to take a proper look and get proper biopsies; the chances are that an endoscopy wouldn't have found the IBD. It's a shame he needed the operation, but without it we'd still be none the wiser and he'd still be losing weight.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for `Siren Bridge.' You go, girl!
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-20 23:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the crossed fingers. Hopefully the steroids will do the trick.
And speaking of Chia, I was talking to Stephen Marley the other day.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-09-20 14:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is good news about Kuron. Sounds like you have an excellent vet.

I'm sending Kuron "get well" kisses. XXXXXXXXXX
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-09-20 23:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Our local vet's a lovely bloke and very good at what he does, but he only has a small practice - it only has rudimentary imaging and testing facilities, and he has to send the majority of his samples out for testing - which is why, for the stuff that's outside his everyday work he refers patients to the Royal Veterinary College, who are like the veterinary equivalent of Jedi. We're lucky to live so close to them - about twenty minutes' drive on a good day.
I will pass on your kisses to Kuron.
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