Aby-a-Day – 11 Februari: All clear! (Medical Monday)

A couple of weeks ago, I got the following email from Dr. Cecilia: Hi Koshka!
I just got the results back and all cats are free from Tritrich! Great job!
Hope you haven’t waited too long for the results. They appeared in a weird place in the journal, so I hadn’t seen them before.
No more restrictions. Hope Jakey is doing fine. Otherwise get back to me to discuss treatment with prednisolone.

I wrote back: I knew it! There’s been no diarrhea and he’s gained weight. We’ve been feeding him sensitive stomach food and kitten food, but he is still a little growly.
It took me a while to get all five cats’ poops. Angel is a very stealthy pooper. So no, I didn’t wait too long at all!
Great news! What do we do about the prednisolone?

jakeC05216

She responded: Hi! If he’s had no diarrhoea and gaining weight I wouldn’t put him on pred for now. The best would be to put him on a hydrolysed feed. There are a few different ones, but I recommend them in this order of priority (based on protein and fat content): Purina HA, Hills z/d, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic, Specific CDD Allergy Management Plus.
Also I’ve written a prescription for folic acid and B12. He should be on it for 6 weeks, then off for 2 weeks. After that I recommend a revisit to check his B-vitamin values, evaluate the feed and recheck his albumin and proteins, which were abnormal before the treatment.
Is that an OK plan for you?

My answer was: It’s a great plan! to which she said: Super! I’ll put him up for a revisit in 8 weeks. We’ll call you to make the appointment.

But what AWESOME news! We have successfully conquered both Giardia and Tritrichimonas Foetus. I am earning my cat-parent merit badges!

Aby-a-Day – 21 Januari: Tritrichomonas Foetus (Medical Monday)

You may recall that Jacoby has been having some sort of vague mysterious ailment. We spent much of the summer shuttling to the djursjukhuset in Jönköping to try to figure out what the problem was. But we have finally gotten to the bottom of it. It took a while because I needed three separate fecal samples from Jake…and I was having a devil of a time catching him in the act! But finally the first week of September I got that third sample, and a week later Dr. Cecilia emailed me with the result: “Today I’ve finally recieved Jacoby’s fecal sample results. We have significant findings that may well explain his weight loss and (quite possibly) also his change in behavior. He has the parasite Tritrichomonas foetus that in chronic cases may induce chronic intestinal inflammations. He also has toxin-producing Clostridia in overgrowth.”

jakeminvetC05988

TriTrich is a protozoan parasite that can infest multi-cat households. But it’s good news, right? At least we know what the problem is. I mean, we have already dealt with Giardia, which is a huge problem to deal with, and we managed to survive that…so TriTrich is at least better than that, right?

jakeminvetC05986

Well, yes and no. Whilst Giardia is harder to kill in the house because the protozoa are shed encased in cysts which are hard to destroy, the medication is readily available in any Apotek. The TriTrich protozoa have no such protective “shells,” but the problem with treating TriTrich is that the medication for it, Ronidazole, is toxic. Like, wear rubber gloves when giving the pills (for four days), and also wear a face mask when cleaning the litterbox during medication and three days after the last pill has been given. Dr. Cecelia had to get specific licenses from Läkemedelsverket (the Swedish bureau that deals with prescription medication) for each cat based on their weight. This was delayed a bit because, as usual with Swedish government agencies, the instructions on the paperwork weren’t entirely clear, and there was an error on the original paperwork so it needed to be redone…and Läkemedelsverket only sends the denial notifications by snail mail.

But we finally got ahold of this highly-regulated, super-toxic medication, which I had to give to five cats once a day for fourteen days…yeah, good times. The exact written instructions were as follows: “All cats are treated with 1 capsule per day for 14 days. They are prescribed and will be sent directly home to you. The drug is toxic and is excreted through feces and urine. Therefore, you need to use disposable gloves and masks when you’re cleaning the litter boxes. The most common side effects (still uncommon), are neurological. Contact us immediately if any of the cats show any neurological abnormalities or other symptoms.” Now, that’s not at all daunting, is it? At least I’m not the only person who’s been through this! And hey, this time I didn’t get bitten, either!

I also had to bathe all the cats. I wasn’t sure when during the medication timeline I should bathe them all, so I emailed some researchers at North Carolina State University for advice, and was pleasantly surprised at their quick and helpful response! They told me: “To my knowledge, no one has looked at the optimal time for performing a disinfection during treatment for T. foetus (ie. at what point during the treatment, on average, is T. foetus no longer being shed by the cat). The good news is, the T. foetus organism is not particularly robust once outside the host. We have observed the organisms in feces are no longer viable 24hrs after being voided into a litter pan, in the absence of litter; the presence of litter likely speeds the process up via desiccation of the feces.” So, towards the end of the dosage period, we cleaned one room, washed all the cats, locked the cats up in the clean room and then cleaned the rest of the house. We used liberal amounts of Virkon (which is actually better than bleach for sanitizing – and without the smell and turning things white).

cleanlitterboxesC03312

Another importan part of eradicating TriTrich is to thoroughly clean all the litterboxes, since it is mainly transmitted in feces.

litterboxes_5164

litterboxes_5165

It wasn’t easy, cleaning six litterboxes, but between the two bathrooms, I managed to wash them all.

cleanlitterboxesC03322

cleanlitterboxesC03327

cleanlitterboxesC03333

We got all the freshly cleaned boxes back in their places…

cleanlitterboxesC03335

…and filled them up with clean, fresh litter. We use two types, PeeWee pine pellets, which are wonderful, and Cat’s Best Öko, which is a plant-based wood fibre clumping litter. Both of these make collecting fecal samples very easy – much easier than clay litter.

This is important, because once we were done with the medication and the bathing and the cleaning, we needed to test all five cats’ poops. Which involved catching each cat “in the act,” so to speak. Izaak and Lorelai were easy – just catch them when we’re at a cat show. Jacoby, as well, was simple: he eats in a room with a box in it, so just catch him after he’s been fed. But Alfred and Angel…it took me weeks to catch them, especially Angel! I finally managed it, though…

jakeminvetC06023

So now, we are TriTrich free…no diarrhea at all, and Jake seems happier and less growly, although he still hisses and growls at the younger cats…but I think now it’s just become a habit to be a grumpy old man towards them more than an actual medical symptom.

(And yeah, I wasn’t going to post a photo of anyone actually using a box, so have a shot of Jake having his perfect teeth checked instead.)

Aby-a-Day – 10 September: There ain’t no party like a South Boston party, ‘cos a Southie party don’t stop! (Medical Monday)

Last week, we went to the South Boston Animal Hospital’s grand opening party at their new 9 West Broadway location…the building I used to live in.

jakeSBAHpartyC07587

After Jacoby and I toured the medical facilities, we went to check out the new exam rooms. At the old location, there were only two rooms…I don’t remember how many are at the new place, but it’s at least double that.

jakeSBAHpartyC07595

One room was set up as a photo room, with decorations and props, and guests were invited to use them and take photos. As you can see, there was a luau theme. So we started with the lei, and shot a few poses…

jakeSBAHpartyC07612

…before adding the grass skirt.

jakeSBAHpartyC07599

Jake wasn’t sure about that bit.

jakeSBAHpartyC07603

Okay, Jake, we’ll take it off and move on.

jakeSBAHpartyC07627

In the new location, there were exam rooms specifically for cats! No dogs allowed.

jakeSBAHpartyC07620

In one exam room, there was a rocking cardboard scratcher.

jakeSBAHpartyC07636

I didn’t think Jake would go for it at all, but he surprised me. He ROCKED that thing!

jakeSBAHpartyC07643

Then he noticed the mechanical mouse-in-the-cheese toy.

jakeSBAHpartyC07647

The yellow plastic mouse would pop out of the white plastic cheese wedge at random.

jakeSBAHpartyC07648

Apparently not randomly enough for our Jake.

jakeSBAHpartyC07655

“When the bloody hell is this sodding thing going to pop out?”

jakeSBAHpartyC07657

And then, finally…

jakeSBAHpartyC07662

“Well, that wasn’t worth all the excitement, now was it?” No, Jake…and welcome to about half the TV shows I watch.

jakeSBAHpartyC07630

Next we encountered a good, old-fashioned scratching post.

jakeSBAHpartyC07633

Finally, a toy I can relate to! Thought Jake.

jakeSBAHpartyC07635

“Oh, scratching post…you understand me.”

jakeSBAHpartyC07673

In another exam room, there was a catch-the-string machine.

jakeSBAHpartyC07691

Despite having a similar toy at home that has, the entire length of its career, been completely and utterly ignored.

jakeSBAHpartyC07696

Oh, but downstairs, it’s the Best. Toy. Ever.

jakeSBAHpartyC07700

jakeSBAHpartyC07704

jakeSBAHpartyC07719

And you know when we went back upstairs the toy we have? Totally ignored.

jakedrnatSBAHpartyC07723

But no playtesting session of the exam rooms would be complete without a bit of a schmooze with the vet.

jakedrnatSBAHpartyC07733

Jake and Dr. Natalie really did have a connection.

jakeSBAHpartyC07736

I know I miss her…I wonder if Jake does, too?

jakeSBAHpartyC07742

At the snacks table, there was, of course, ham…and Jake did get a bit.

jakeSBAHpartyC07744

He handled it extremely awkwardly, but he got some ham.

SBAHpartyC07665

Finally, I just have to share this lovely painting of a white cat and a martini. It reminded me of Kylie.

Aby-a-Day – 27 August: “Birth control is the first important step woman must take toward the goal of her freedom” (Medical Monday)

Lorelai is on the pill.

rorymobile_4171

We started her on Perlutex last Wednesday.

rorymobile_4172

We do want to breed her someday. Just not yet. And since Izaak is the same age, even though he’s not displaying any “maturity” signs…ya just nevah know.

rorymobile_4173

We want to let Zak mature as much as he can before giving him Suprelorin. So starting Rory on birth control now seemed like a good idea.

rorymobile_4174

We want to show Rory to Grand Championship before she is spayed. We also want to breed her, since I do have a registered cattery name. I also want to experience having Aby kittens. But not now. Maybe in a year or two. We were going to breed Logan…but boys are hard. We are not planning on breeding Zak, and as soon as he shows any signs of maturity, he’s going on Suprelorin.

Meanwhile, our liberated lady will, happily, be on the Pill.

Aby-a-Day – 15 August: Wordless Wednesday (Home again, home again, jiggity jig)

jakepostopIMG_4296

IjakepostopMG_4297

jakepostopIMG_4298

jakepostopIMG_4299

jakepostopIMG_4307

jakepostopIMG_4308

jakepostopIMG_4313

jakepostopIMG_4318

jakepostopIMG_4325

jakeangelpostopIMG_4332

jakepostopIMG_4334

Good morning from the Cone of Shame

Here’s this morning’s greeting from Jacoby in hospital. I’m taking the train later today to collect him and bring him home. I hope he won’t have to wear the cone for very long…and I’m sure he does, too!

Update on Jacoby

The vet just called me with a post-surgery update. Jacoby did well and I can pick him up tomorrow, most likely. They didn’t SEE anything wrong with him inside (ie, no visible tumours, enlarged organs or infection), so hopefully the samples they took will tell us what’s wrong with him. We’ll find out in a couple of weeks when they get the results back from the lab.

One thing I really love about Anicura is that they send you morning texts with a photo so you can see how your cat is doing. They did this with Logan, too. It’s just so thoughtful of them.