Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Lot Has Happened...

First off, sorry about the delay. Things have been a little crazy, between kitteh health issues, the holidays, my job with two major projects due before the end of the year, ESM's school finals and a smattering of extended family drama thrown in for good measure.

Ok, first thing's first. Kitteh health issues. Everyone is still with us for now, so don't panic. But, we have had a bit of a set-back with Hubbard.

As you may recall, Hubbard is our senior citizen, being somewhere north of 14 years old. After everyone went home from Thanksgiving, the next weekend we had pretty much to ourselves and we sorta let the horde run loose. Well, several of them (including Treelo, who is not normally allowed upstairs) came up and spent time in the master bedroom, which is Hubbard's domain. He apparently didn't like all the attention, and proceeded to make a wet spot on the carpet next to his box...then again later in the bathroom on the rug. This is very out of character for our boy, so it got our attention.

We decided that it must have been him being upset that day, as he has not done it since. But, it did highlight another problem that had apparently been getting steadily worse. We noticed he was drinking a lot more water and using his box more. Not good. So, we quickly scheduled a vet visit.

They decided to run a "geriatric screen" of tests on him. They also recommended looking for pancreatitis as well. We agreed and they ran the tests. We got most of the results back the next day, and it confirmed one of our suspicions. Hubbard is diabetic. That explains the increased box use and increased water consumption. He also has pancreatitis. They are not sure if one causes the other, but they are likely related some way. He had also lost almost two pounds in the two and a half months since he had seen the vet last! That was the scariest thing to hear, for me.

So, he starts insulin shots on Thursday, after we get a little training on how to give them to him safely. I watched my mother and grandmother give her aging cat insulin many times, so the process doesn't worry me much. We'll be fine.

For the pancreatitis, they will start him on a low-dose steroid. This complicates the blood sugar equation a bit, but they tell us between getting the diabetes under control and the steroid, the pancreatitis should clear up just fine. Then all we have to worry about is getting the weight back on him! I'm sure his appetite will come back when he feels better.

Treelo is also having issues. She is either allergic to something in the new house, or her asthma is flaring up. She has been sneezing and coughing quite a bit lately. It's all clear liquid, so we didn't think is was a cold, nasal infection or something like that...and our vet didn't think so either. The vet told us to go buy straight, old Benadryl (with nothing included, just the diphenhydramine 25mg) and give her half a pill once a day. Was that an adventure!

We poked the half a pill down her, but typical of our princess, she wouldn't swallow. And, once she tasted that bitter pill, she began foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog! Holy cow, I didn't know one cat could emit that much foam from any orifice! We had to follow her around the house with a washcloth and a towel, cleaning up after her for 20 minutes! Unbelievable.

The vet suggested that we either coat the pill in butter, or get some empty gel-caps from the pharmacy and put the pill in one of them, then give it to her. We are going to try that this week sometime. We'll see how that goes.

They also suggested it might be aggravated by the dry air around here, so we started our two portable humidifiers on the main floor of the house as well. That did seem to help her, so we're hoping the Benadryl might also help. We're keeping a close eye on her too.

I promise to post more this week on the other dramas that are playing out, but for now just know that things are somewhat more under control and we're all ok. I'll keep you all up to date on Hubbard and Treelo's progress.

"Wait a minute. Huh? What?"


  1. Wow what a run you have had with the kitties. I have known people with diabetic kittis who went on insulin and lived many more happy years - happy because they usually got a treat after the shot! I am glad that it sounds like everything will work out there.

    Now, for Treelo, have you tried to put the pills in pill pockets or hide them in a treat? We had a cat that had to be on medication for a long time and he hated it but in a treat he took it fine. He hated the pill pockets but if you get the soft treats, like pounce or something like that you can usually bury the pill in the middle. It is good to hear the humidifiers help - maybe you won't need the benadryl (though cat owners are never that lucky, are we?)

  2. No, we're not usually that lucky!

    My grandmothers cat developed diabetes later in life, and he got along pretty well with it. I'm sure Hubbard will do fine.

    Thanks for the tip, but yes we have tried that and she will eat the treat and leave the pill. We generally do better with powdered or liquid medicine with her. But, since Benadryl doesn't come in a liquid form without all the other medications, it's not that easy. We're going to figure something out.


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