Thursday, November 19, 2015

Papillomavirus Creates Lesions on Baby's Ears

Baby has large, brown spots on her right ear.  Years ago she had tiny spots and in the last few months they have grown.

A sample was taken and sent to the lab. They are due to a rare virus called Papillomavirus. Virus is introduced via broken skin-a cut, a bite, a fight; lesions occur due to suppressed immune system brought on by a virus such as herpes, FIP, FLV, etc.;  or long term use of steroids which would also suppress immune system.  Could become cancerous a.k.a. Bowen's disease.  

Treatment is an ointment-imiquimod cream 5% with a collar to prevent her from licking off the cream. The cream makes the lesions heal and disappear. Laser or cryotherapy is often used but lesions may come back and those are not recommended for areas near the eyes. Azithromycin, an antibiotic, has had some success. Lesions have been known to heal on their own but if untreated, could get worse. 

We need to figure out what is causing the possible suppression of her immune system. She was vaccinated as a kitten and she has been with us since she was five months old. The lesions began to appear a few years ago and I can't recall if they appeared before or after the kittens arrived.  If she got the virus, it would have had to been from one of the kittens or Cooper, if she received it via a cut, as those are the only cats in the house. None have/had papillomavirus as far as we know. If she tests positive for a virus, then we will test the other four. The others could become infected with papillomavirus but they don't cuddle with her so the infection risk may be low.  
The vet today drew blood to retest for FIP, FLV, etc.  

We also took another gastro test that tests for inflammatory bowel syndrome vs. something else which I have forgotten, I'm sorry to say but it avoids  having to do surgery to get a biopsy of the intestinal tract. While this has nothing to do directly with the papillomavirus, she has trouble eating; the scan last summer of the GI tract showed mild thickening of the intestine.  This is either a separate issue or a symptom of an underlying issue yet to be discovered.  We should have results in a few days. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Object Found in Hills c/d cat food

What is this? 1/2 round, 1/4 tall, fleshy object in Hills c/d I found today? Artery, intestine? It's fleshy. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Katharine Has Developed Infection of the GI Tract

Last week, Katharine had a gastro blood panel-pancreatitis, B12 absorption test, and folate level test-due to her vomiting issues which have been worse for the past year than before; and due to her excessive hunger-both of which were noted last year and we've been monitoring. The results show normal pancreas levels at 1.1, and normal B12 of over 1000 but abnormally high folate: 41.1 and the high norm is 21.6. This indicates bacteria growth and inflammation in the GI tract. They will treat with the antibiotic Metronidazole for a month and she is to receive Fora Flora, a probiotic powder, in her food. There are a host of problems that can cause inflammation and the inflammation can lead to numerous complications. Since all other blood work in the CBC/chem panel was normal, there are no other signs of any disease or complications at this time. We will see how she does on the antibiotic. It won't be fun getting this into her. She's the squirmy one. Then in two months or so we will recheck folate levels. And then we will have a gastro scan.

Who, me?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sweet Potatoes Beat Pumpkin in Fiber-Something to Ponder When Choosing Fiber for Sick Pets

Something to think about: we are told to give pets pumpkin for gastro issues due to the high fiber content. But butternut squash has more fiber and more sugar and carbs and therefore calories, than pumpkin-which may benefit those pets who are not eating enough. 

And yet, sweet potatoes-which I push as a great addition to the diet as a source of potassium-has more fiber, potassium, sugar, carbs and calories than either pumpkin or squash. So, perhaps instead of pumpkin, we should give our pets sweet potatoes-cooked fresh or from jars of baby food (and I use Gerber and recently found that Beechnut was too watered down vs Gerber.) AND canned "pumpkin" is often made up of butternut squash and some pumpkin, something I had not known before. That came up recently in an article which discussed that this year's lack of pumpkin harvest meant that next year there will be less canned pumpkin on the shelves. Except only Libby supposedly is actually 100% pumpkin as they grow their own.

So, skip pumpkin and try sweet potatoes for fiber and potassium and for calories if your pet needs it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Annual Check-up and Rabies Shot Time

Jimmy had an annual check-up in September and he is well but needs more dental surgery.  He has another tooth with resorption which will need to be removed.  The tooth is not too far along so we will wait until November.  

The three girls have had their check-ups in October. Bette and Elizabeth are both doing well. The three girls all had Benadryl prior to their shots because two years ago, Bette had an allergic reaction and ended up in the ER (fever, vomiting.) We forgot to give it to Jimmy this year but he was fine. Giving Benadryl prior to a shot helps to prevent or decrease any allergic reactions.  We believe Bette had a reaction to the two shots she received-distemper and rabies. The distemper is every three years but we don't know if she was allergic to one of the shots or became allergic because she received both of them at the same visit. 

Katharine saw the vet today and blood work will be in tomorrow but she looked good to the vet. She will get an additional gastro blood panel on Friday-cobalamin (vitamin B12 and folate) and Pancreatic Lipase Immunoreactivity or PLI, and there's a third which I do not recall.  These tests are to make sure she is not having trouble absorbing nutrients, and does not have any gastro inflammation.  For over a year now, Katharine has constantly begged for food.  She also vomits up a lot of food, sometimes with a hairball, sometimes because she has digested something she should not have such as paper.  We discussed the problem last year with the vet but decided to wait to do the extra blood work.  Since the issue has not changed, and giving a daily dose of Laxatone has not helped to prevent vomiting up of hair, now is a good time to go forward with more testing.  She may also have a scan of the gastro tract in the coming months to see if there is any inflammation or thickening or physical changes that need to be addressed. 

Then there is Baby. Not sure what is wrong with Baby but she's not eating at all today; not eating enough most days unless she is given Mirtazapine. This has been going on for the last few weeks. Usually, she receives Mirtazapine once a week on Sunday or Monday but this week she was eating enough until today. She stays put in the bedroom, rarely venturing downstairs. Katharine intimidates her and fights with her which sends Baby back up stairs. We've had to permanently separate them for months now, alternating which one sleeps where, which one is in which part of the house with us. 

Baby's annual check-up is in two weeks but she may need an extra visit if this continues despite Mirt. I need to readdress the supplements she takes for her gastro/BM issue (not sufficiently digesting hair or passing hair in the bowel system) and what she receives for her kidney support. Perhaps something is upsetting her system. I will begin to make up some food and supplement her eating and feed her PO (by mouth) so that she has some nutrients in her. 

She may need a psychotropic.  Or I will. Could go either way. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Jimmy Has an Annual Checkup

Update on cats: Jimmy had his annual physical late September and his blood work is great. His fructosamine-blood sugar level test-is normal. Last year it indicated hyperglycemia or a pre-diabetic condition that could become diabetes. This condition can cause sudden urination when sugar builds up in the urine and the bladder becomes suddenly full, and the cat needs to suddenly go. This may have been one reason for his out of box accidents which he had on occasion despite taking Prozac (since 2010) to help him use the litter box. We changed his diet to decrease his carb intake (carbs become glucose) by changing him to pate' type of food and not gravy based food (or food that is more wet than compact.) It worked out well. This week-Bette and then Elizabeth then Katharine in October. Baby goes in November.

Methamazole Contraindicated with HCM Heart Meds and Blood Thinners

Methamazole, given to cats for hyperthyroidism, is contraindicated with atenolol, blood thinners, and other meds. Methimazole decreases or prevents the effectiveness of other drugs. If your cat is on meth, I'm not sure what would be the best approach. If your cat's thyroid is overacting, eating iodine free foods such as Hill's y/d and not eating regular food that has iodine, will help decrease thyroid levels. Meth should be used if the thyroid level doesn't improve with a diet. Your cat may need some meds such as atenolol more often if also on meth. Always discuss this with your vet/cardio and watch for symptoms that the beta blocker isn't working. These could be weakness, fainting, lethargy, even breathing too hard because the blood pressure and or heart rate have increased or have dropped.