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Nycturne

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Folks who have the experience of having to retread everything when they get into a specialist and have to point out that yes, X or Y was already done and it isn’t something that worked, we’re having the same experience with the cat.

In Sept 2021, we got a “presumptive IBD” diagnosis and put her on hydrolyzed protein foods. This worked until recently, but we had to rotate through the 3 major brands that offer hydrolyzed protein, and she’s now stopped eating any of it, which is what led to bringing in a specialist.

After the first round of tests with the specialist, we’re told that we should start a “hypoallergenic diet” on the presumption of IBD or lymphoma. When I asked what options we had because she’s been on a diet for IBD for the last year or more, the specialist rattled off all the foods she has been on and have all stopped working, with no new options that she hasn’t been on at some point in the last year. And I tried to point this out without letting my frustration leak out, only to get silence so far. I also pointed out she had been on these in her medical history, and that her refusing to eat them (because of the recurrence of symptoms) was what led to the current need for a specialist. *sigh*

I get why people with chronic conditions can be grumpy about working with medical professionals, now.

But on the upside she’s recovered over half a pound in under a week. We’re giving her a slightly different diet that isn’t “hypoallergenic” in the way hydrolyzed protein is, but uses other novel proteins for cats (Turkey, Duck and Venison). Fingers crossed that buys us time to wade through this and get some better answers after the endoscopy.
 

lizkat

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That poor kitty! Well she is very lucky to have you looking after her. Meanwhile turkey, duck and venison inform her she's royalty!
 

Roller

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Folks who have the experience of having to retread everything when they get into a specialist and have to point out that yes, X or Y was already done and it isn’t something that worked, we’re having the same experience with the cat.

In Sept 2021, we got a “presumptive IBD” diagnosis and put her on hydrolyzed protein foods. This worked until recently, but we had to rotate through the 3 major brands that offer hydrolyzed protein, and she’s now stopped eating any of it, which is what led to bringing in a specialist.

After the first round of tests with the specialist, we’re told that we should start a “hypoallergenic diet” on the presumption of IBD or lymphoma. When I asked what options we had because she’s been on a diet for IBD for the last year or more, the specialist rattled off all the foods she has been on and have all stopped working, with no new options that she hasn’t been on at some point in the last year. And I tried to point this out without letting my frustration leak out, only to get silence so far. I also pointed out she had been on these in her medical history, and that her refusing to eat them (because of the recurrence of symptoms) was what led to the current need for a specialist. *sigh*

I get why people with chronic conditions can be grumpy about working with medical professionals, now.

But on the upside she’s recovered over half a pound in under a week. We’re giving her a slightly different diet that isn’t “hypoallergenic” in the way hydrolyzed protein is, but uses other novel proteins for cats (Turkey, Duck and Venison). Fingers crossed that buys us time to wade through this and get some better answers after the endoscopy.
I wish you and your cat well.

Veterinary medicine has a lot in common with pediatrics — it's often hard to determine what's going on.
 

Nycturne

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I wish you and your cat well.

Veterinary medicine has a lot in common with pediatrics — it's often hard to determine what's going on.

Oh I get that. I am just venting a bit on the whole “need to bring in someone new, give them the history in writing, only to have them ask you to do X when it is in the history already”. It can be frustrating and make the “parents” of the pet a bit grumpy when we are trying to engage in good faith.

That poor kitty! Well she is very lucky to have you looking after her. Meanwhile turkey, duck and venison inform her she's royalty!

We’re trying. Right now my fingers are crossed that we’ll get answers once we get the endoscopy done with and the results back. It’s hard not to bond with a cat that does a lot of non-verbal communication like she does.

The Turkey/Duck dry food is cheaper than the stuff she’s been on in the last year, go figure.
 

Nycturne

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We got her in for the endoscopy last week. They found a huge hair mass partially blocking her stomach exit. She came home from the endoscopy turned into a cat shaped battering ram due to the drugs making her extra happy to see everyone. But her mood was clearly improved even after the drugs wore off. I'm suspecting the hair mass was responsible for the immediate symptoms that made us take her into the ER (vomiting without anything coming up). We just got the biopsy results yesterday, and some mixed news. There's signs of moderate to severe IBD, including a flattening of the villi that absorb nutrients. That explains her weight loss despite mostly normal eating habits over the last few months. The doctor who did the analysis thinks that this is more likely IBD than lymphoma, but not enough to rule it out. So another round of tests on the biopsy samples to check for clonal lymphocytes.

She's on multiple supplements and a steroid now. The supplements to address the nutrient deficiency and help restore her gut biome, and the steroid to treat the IBD. If it is lymphoma, she'd still need the steroid, we'd just add on therapeutic chemo.

Her mood's better, her weight is up, her activity level is normal (for her). Right now she's demanding to know why I'm not taking her outside in the rain. So yeah.
 

Yoused

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Nycturne

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We finally got the news. The follow on tests did show a clean signal of small cell lymphoma, despite the early tests leaning the other way. So next step is to start chemo, and start keeping extra bags and gloves on hand to safely handle the chemo drug and her waste.

How long will we get? I don’t know, maybe a couple years. It’s not really up to us anymore.
 

Roller

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We finally got the news. The follow on tests did show a clean signal of small cell lymphoma, despite the early tests leaning the other way. So next step is to start chemo, and start keeping extra bags and gloves on hand to safely handle the chemo drug and her waste.

How long will we get? I don’t know, maybe a couple years. It’s not really up to us anymore.
Sorry to hear that, but at least now you know what you’re dealing with. I hope you get a few more years with her. (Typing this looking at our cat purring next to me in bed.)
 

Nycturne

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Sorry to hear that, but at least now you know what you’re dealing with. I hope you get a few more years with her. (Typing this looking at our cat purring next to me in bed.)

Yeah, at this point it really boils down to how long we can keep things in remission, and how long she keeps eating after that. With the IBD, there’s already a number of things she will just never even try again. So my biggest worry is that it will get really rough when the lymphoma can no longer be managed. It’s a bit like knowing there’s an oncoming train, that it will hit you, but not knowing exactly when.

That said, we’ve tried to get her to eat more wet food in the past with little luck, she’d just graze the dry food all day and accept one small meal of wet. We just assumed it was a personality trait or related to the IBD, and did what we could. But right now, it’s completely flipped. She’s regaining weight rapidly on a mostly wet food diet and is eating more than she ever has in the past, and will bug us about getting more wet food. She’s also trying certain types of wet food we couldn’t get her to try before (pate is a big one). So that could help us a lot going forward, and it’s clear that she isn’t even close to giving in just yet.
 

Nycturne

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Cat has been taking to her new routine pretty well. In the morning she takes a steroid, a B12 supplement and on chemo days an anti-nausea pill. We hide the two pills in a treat, get her to take them along with the supplement and then give her breakfast. Dinner adds a probiotic, and about an hour before dinner she gets her chemo on chemo days.

Her energy is good, she’s still (slowly) putting weight back on, and she’s acting pretty normal. She seems to find it easier to enjoy the outdoors again instead of trying to mow the lawn by eating it, and while cat nip was never really a big deal for her in the past, she’s enjoying it more now. Let’s see how long we can keep this up. When she bugs us for a third meal, either when there’s hours before dinner or it’s after she’s finished dinner, we instead give her a small number of hard treats in a puzzle. Seems to satisfy her. Maybe that’s what she’s really asking for. But boy does she light up when she realizes it’s time for a puzzle.

We have had to get a bit inventive with the pills as she started disliking the chewy nature of pill pockets. So we further hide the wrapped pill in a sandwich of a more palatable soft treat. The pill pocket goo helps act as a glue keeping the sandwich in place.
 

Renzatic

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And here's the new cat. He hangs around in the garage with the other cats, and sleeps on the breezeway every night. He's pretty much made himself at home, so I figured it was time to start feeding him.

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