Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What a Difference a Flavoring Agent Makes with Compounded Meds

I love it when I'm right about something especially if it pertains to the cats-and only because it means I'm not crazy.

In December I observed that unlike prior bottles of compounded Prozac we give our cat Jimmy Stewart (litter box anxiety issues) the December bottle was causing him to react severely to it by shaking his head whenever I squirted the syringe of med into his mouth. He wasn't foaming but I thought perhaps it was bitter.  The med also looked differently. In the past it was cloudy and this was a clear liquid.  The pharmacy redid it and added more flavoring but it was still clear, which they couldn't explain, and still produced a reaction.

When it was time to renew the script for January, I decided to taste the med to see what Jimmy was tasting.  It was spicy. I told the pharmacist that it was spicy and they looked into their source materials.  They always log in what recipe and which products were used to compound the med.  While the recipe was the same, they checked each component and found that indeed the chicken flavor used in December, while the same type of liquid formula, was from a different company.  They tasted the flavoring and found it to be spicy.  So, I was RIGHT!  There was a difference and Jimmy had been telling me all along.

Oddly enough, the Buprenex we have compounded for other cats, also uses the same chicken flavor as was in December's Prozac.  BUT-the Buprenex med mixed with the chicken flavor makes the compounded med taste sweet instead of spicy.   So,  hence the reason we had no negative reactions from the other cats when dispensing Buprenex.

This month's Buprnex was made with a chicken powder and the new med actually tastes like chicken broth.   The pharmacy can't use a powder flavoring agent with the Prozac recipe but has ordered other chicken flavors from a new source. We'll see what that is like before using it in this month's Prozac recipe.

Lesson learned-if you think something's wrong, it probably is.  Try to figure it out first and then tell the doctor/pharmacy/plumber/car mechanic, etc.  exactly what you found out and that might help them pin point the real problem to solve it.


  1. I'M amazed how much meds you give your pets.My cat has HCM & CHF for 9 months now. I will not give him all the meds the cardiologist prescribed.I use some herbs for his kidneys along with a low dose of liquid lasix 3-4ml.He also gets herbs for his heart.I've spent hours on the net & most stories state their pets have died from kidney failure,not heart disease.Lasix & all the other drugs get processed thru his kidneys & liver. Eventually the meds will destroy his organs.There is no cure for HCM,but I did read a story about a cat called Baby Boy & the vet Dr. Karen Becker who claims she cured him of HCM with various herbs.My kitty is getting worse & it,s breaking my heart to go through this.I wish you well with your cat.I will continuwe to follow your story.

    P.S. I'm 67 yrs. old & do not take ANY meds either,not even an asprin.My mother lived a good life without any meds till she was 87.She died in her bed at age 89.

  2. Of course the cat is getting worse-it's not getting the supportive meds it needs for better heart function and to ease congestion. HCM is incurable but the progression of the disease and the effects on the body can be managed with meds, vitamins, potassium, etc. Give herbs if you'd like but it needs medicine therapy as well. The only way any doc could have "cured" HCM is to misdiagnose it in the first place. Yes, lasix is a danger to kidneys but can be managed with potassium supplements and bloodwork to check values. Did your mother have heart disease and also refused meds? Or did she just live a healthy, normal life to old age? There's a difference.

  3. Find the size of your cat's heart valves: Myrna began at age 8 months with 1.60, already very enlarged but with meds, COQ10, vitamins, and potassium she has lived to be 4 yrs and 4 months. She's had only three CHF-the first one that revealed her disease; the second one three months later; and one a year later, and none since due to meds and our care. She's had minor congestion we've battled since January as her heart has enlarged further. She's now at 2.48. She would not be this far along in the disease (because it's rare for a cat to live with such a heart size) and be this healthy without all the meds and the vitamins and COQ10 (which I strongly believe in using and which Dr. Becker did prescribe to Baby Boy) as well as our careful, constant care and monitoring. Your cat is getting sick despite any herbs because it needs supportive heart meds as well as herbs and vitamins. Baby Boy could not have been that sick and probably didn't have actual HCM. It's rare but not uncommon for a cat which has many other issues-and he presented sick at the time-to be dehydrated, causing the heart to appear thickened but once hydrated, the heart returns to normal. Maybe this is what happened to Baby Boy. But either he wasn't sick or has yet to be as sick as Myrna and your cat. Many cats on Facebook, here, and at other sites live long, healthy, uncomplicated lives with HCM and little or no meds for a few years or until seniors when the disease begins to progress again. This could also be Baby Boy. But it's not Myrna and it's not your cat. Ours are following the traditional path of having the actual disease progress rapidly. You can either watch it progress or fight progression. We fight it.

  4. My cat has been fed a Raw meat diet since he was a kitten with supplements added.He drinks only purified water from glass bowls.White vinegar is the only cleaning product I use.I try my best to keep everything chemical free.( in my yard also )

    He is getting various vitamins & heart supplements including Ubiquinol,Acetyl-L Carnitine & Standard process feline cardiac support,which I mix in chicken baby food each nite.He eats several times a day (raw meat diet) but several weeks ago he began loosing weight.He has that caved in look in his hind quarters.The cardiologists did blood work & his Liver Enzymes are very high,his potassium levels are fine.Now he wants to do a liver biopsy,and another echocardiogram.I decided no.He gets very stressed during the 1 1/2 hr drive to the vet & then all the tests.By the time I get home he's open mouth breathing.I will not put him thru any more testing.I don't see any point in knowing how thick his heart is getting.Will it make any difference if I know this? Or what if he now has liver cancer,(probably from the meds),It's all beginning to feel like the trying to make as much money as possible before my kitty dies.

    The lasix & Enalapril definately make him sick to his stomach,it can also make him dizzy,he'll walk wobbly after I give it to him then he sleeps for several hours.I've tried dandelion herb for the edema but it's not strong I do resort back to the Lasix.I've read Veterinary info that states Lasix can & will cause Liver & Kidney damage after long time use.He also gets a few drops of an herb formula from Quantum herbs called Kidney Bladder.

    My kitty is one of 6 that was born in my garage 11 yrs ago.The mother cat was a stray & when the kittens were a few days old she got out of the garage & was hit by a car. I raised the 6 kittens & kept them all. They are like children to me.I'm on social security & live alone.The veterinary bills go on my credit card.So money is regretably an issue.

    One woman I met at the cardiologist office had a feeding tube in her cats stomach,the cat had heart disease,kidney failure & one hind leg had been cut off due to cancer.He was on numerous drugs,he could no longer walk.But here she was coming in for more tests.I cry thinking about that poor animal. She's only keeping him alive for selfish reasons.We loose site of what's really important.The quality of there life.It's so difficult to let them go.I cry every day.

    Did you read the entire article about Baby Boy? It states he was tested several times with echocardiogram by a veterinary cardiologist.So it does appear he did have HCM.The only thing I can figure out is it really depends on each animal.Some die in a few weeks,some develope blood clots,& some live several years with this disease.And a very few are cured?

    Oh well,I guess we each do what we feel is best.My problem is I always ask questions.Most of the time the Vets & Human Doctors do not like when we question their advice.But that's just me.Best of luck with your kitty.I don't go on Face book.So I'll keep checking this blog to see how you're doing.

  5. One cat Dr. Becker saved without meds is just one cat. How many others with actual, severe HCM like yours and mine did she see and how many did she save? Probably none. She only reported one simple, easy, success story. She did not report the failures. And yes, I read it, and yes, Baby Boy had other issues. If you expect the woman you saw at the vet's with the sick cat to let it die without a lot of medical intervention, then that must be what you believe is best for your cat. Fine. But I'm fighting for my cat's life. Otherwise, she would have died needlessly at 8 months old when this began. She is strong, healthy, but with a bad heart. I'm not about to sit here and watch her drown in her fluid and die of the inability to breathe or get clots and have a heart attack and then say "I did my best" when I did actually nothing. I choose to fight for her.

  6. I replied to your above statement,but I guess you didn't like what I had to say.( it wasn't posted) Many people like to give advice,few want to listen to another person's ideas if they don't agree with them. I try to keep an open mind.I don't believe in all the meds,but as I said, I have resorted to Lasix & Enalapril.I give these meds in a much lower dose than the Dr.prescribed.Some days when Kitty is doing well I give his body a break & don't give the meds at all,just herbs for his kidneys & liver.

    My cat right now is doing well. He's eating very good & even playing with his toys & brothers & sisters.
    I'm very concerned with the quality of his life not just keeping him alive. When the time comes he'll hopefully die in my arms or in his home, knowing I love him,not in an animal clinic,with strangers, thinking I abandoned him.

    I've gone thru this many times in my life.It doesn't get easier.Nearly all my pets have lived long,healthy lives. 17,18 & two of them to 22 yrs of age.I don't think they're afraid to die or they even know they're dying.They love us unconditionally & just want to be loved in return.

    Each of us must look into our heart & find the best way to deal with death,& when & how to let go.(I'm guessing you probably won't like my opinion this time either)