Thursday, September 2, 2010

Useless Thumbs and Medical Drama

Forgive me for not getting around to everyone's blogs this week; I played catch-up earlier in the week, but, as you'll soon find out if you read this post, I've kind of had my hands full here.

We turn our attention back now to Layla, who has been in the midst of some bad tummy troubles thanks to an unwelcome change in the formula of Hill's Prescription Diet cat food.

The new d/d Dry formula never wound up working out; Layla was still vomiting and I didn't want things to get worse.  So, per my vet's advice, I switched her on to Natural Balance Duck and Green Pea, which was the food most comparable to Layla's original d/d Duck and Green Pea.  Things went okay for a few days, but the puking began again after some time passed.

I then added in d/d Duck and Green Pea CANNED food. The ingredients in this food haven't changed and aren't supposed to change, so I thought that perhaps 1 or 2 small meals of canned food every day would help Layla out in the digestive department.

It, too, seemed to help for a bit, maybe 5 or 6 days.  Then, the throwing up began again.

Yesterday, it got to the point where she had vomited on back-to-back days.  Her stool didn't look normal, and I found some sort of bloody-mucous-like-substance in her litter box (still not sure if it was vomit or stool, as gross as that is).  To top things off, she stopped eating.  She vomited twice in the presence of the d/d Canned food, as if merely smelling it was enough to send her delicate system out of whack.

We went to the vet today, where the plan WAS to get blood work done on her (we need to rule out things like hyperthyroid and kidney disease).  Well, she was having none of that.  Two technicians were holding her, trying to draw blood, and I was petting her..

..and she nailed me.  HARD.  On both hands.  On my left hand, I've go two punctures at the base of my thumb, and on my right hand, the nail is partially crushed and it's just a bloody and painful mess.

Definitely the most painful animal bite I've ever experienced.  I don't blame her, she was scared and angry and freaked out.. but OUCH.

I got all light headed from the pain, the blood, etc and had to leave the room and drink some water.  A few minutes later, the vet came out and said that there was NO way they could draw blood from her.  Wrapped up in a towel and restrained by three people was simply not enough to keep her still.  My guess is that he didn't want to sedate her because she hadn't eaten anything.

They did manage to give her subcutaneous fluids, which was a good thing.  They also gave her a shot of something (honestly can't remember what) to stop the nausea, and sent me home with pills to give her for a week to see if the nausea/vomiting clears up.  They also want a urine sample (which Layla is not being cooperative about, as she absolutely doesn't want to pee in an empty box).

The vet basically told me that she needs to eat SOMETHING, no matter what that something may be and even if it meant feeding her crummy foods. Turns out that Layla actually is extremely hungry despite her refusal of food (she ate treats heartily this afternoon), so I picked her up a can of EVO 95% Duck and she ate a few spoonfuls of it in a hurry.  I'm glad for this, because I really wasn't too keen on opening up a can of grocery store cat food. I will give her more in the morning, once I make sure that she doesn't have a skin reaction to the food (as she did back in June with the Wellness CORE).

She's acting pretty much normal now, probably because the anti-nausea drugs are working.  I can't know for sure yet whether or not she can eat the EVO long-term, since the medication might be blocking a digestive reaction, but I have no problem feeding her this food (or ANY food) exclusively, as long as she holds it down and it keeps her healthy.  I'll take anything at this point.

Te vet and I are going to touch base tomorrow to figure out where we're going from here.  I would really like to get bloodwork done on her, for starters.  Though I'm hoping this is all due to allergies, there is a possibility that other things are going on and making things worse.

How terribly frustrating.  My cat's got to suffer through yet another dietary dilemma, and me?.. well, quite frankly, my thumbs hurt.


LauraK September 2, 2010 at 11:55 PM  

Goodness gracious- what a mess! I'm sorry your cat isn't feeling well and that you don't have useful thumbs because of it. I winced in pain as I read your description of your bits- OUCH! Hopefully things get better soon for you and her!

jen September 3, 2010 at 12:41 AM  

I am sorry to hear that Layla is not feeling well.
I hope your thumb and hands are feeling better, there is nothing worse than being bitten or scratched bad by a kitty. Having been bit by both dogs and cats I aways say I'd rather be bit by a dog! IMO it hurts less:)

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! September 3, 2010 at 12:52 AM  

Maybe Khyra and the OTHER Layla could come have a talk with her -

I can only imagine the stress on ALL of you -


Let's hope she's turned the corner and will continue to eat -

Paws crossed for your wounds -

Amy / Layla the Malamute September 3, 2010 at 1:31 AM  

Holy crap! That sounds so painful. Their teeth are sharp when they playbite, I (so far) haven't been bit bit, but it sounds like something to avoid.

As for the empty litter box, did they give you any crystals? Where I tech'd, we had tiny clear plastic balls that people would put in the litterbox and then siphon up the urine. If you have some that you wouldn't mind wasting, maybe some marbles in the litterbox will make her a little more apt to go? Not to make her slip, but so nothing sticks to the urine and she gets the impression there's something in there.

I hope they get the food situation fixed. I still feel bad I couldn't find the other food for her. That's just so wrong for them to change the formula suddenly - it's prescription food for a reason, not just for fun. It still would've been annoying, but if they at least said "In 6 months or a year, our formula will change, so use this time to find an alternative." At least then the animals wouldn't be sick with no options - I'm sure that Layla isn't the only one.

Good luck with your thumb - not to gross you out (don't read the rest of the line if you're feeling queasy) but when my dad was younger and playing basketball, he jumped up with his hand outstretched to try and steal the ball, and his thumbnail somehow got caught in between the other guy's front teeth. (One in a million shot, right?) So when he pulled his arm back instinctively, off popped the nail and the poor other guy had a full nail stuck between his teeth. Somehow, the nail grew back from nothing. I know it doesn't help with the pain of it (or the looks), but it won't be permanent.

Frankie Furter and Ernie September 3, 2010 at 7:39 AM  

So sorry your cat is sick. and really sorry about your thumb.

Jules September 3, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

Oh no! This is terrible. I hope you get to the both of Layla's tummy troubles and your own wounds heal quickly. :(

BRUTUS September 3, 2010 at 8:19 AM  

Yikes. My thumbs started throbbing just thinking about your story! Hope things turn around for you gusy soon.

For what it's worth, Brutus eats EVO and has always done well on it. Lots of Frenchie folks use it since the breed tends to be very allergicly reactive. That being said, be advised that someone just bought the EVO brand recently (I think Ralston-Purina), so we're keeping a close on on that label. Purina promised they wouldn't change anything (HA!), but you know they won't be able to resist messing with the formula in order to boost their profit margins. Grrrr.


Golden Woofs! SUGAR September 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM  

Woof! Woof! Hope everything goes well ... sending my Golden Thoughts. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Dawn September 3, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

Awwww man! This all sounds terrible! I hope you and your vet can figure out the poor cat's issues...and mostly I hope your thumbs stop hurting very soon!

Anonymous September 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

What a ruff time for you and Layla! :(

Sendin you lots of licks and luck that you both will feel all better again soon,

Kathy Mocharnuk September 3, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

HOLY MOLY!! I got bit by a cat someone was throwing out their car door when I was standing with a dog and that sucker was infected within hours,that was PAINFUL. I feel for you getting nailed. I am sure you have checked that all out but the allergies are not the grains in most cat foods???? Poor kitty, she has had such a rough time of it lately...I feel so bad for both of you, it really sucks they keep changing the formulas of all these foods, as soon as you get your animal all settled with one food they are switching the formula and a lot of times it does not even seem they let you know they have changed them.

andrea September 3, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

awwwww shoot

glad she's feelign better for now at least but so sorry to read about your thumb :(
hang in there

Kari in Alaska September 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM  

Ouch that sounds painful. I sure hope you are able to find something to help her feel better soon.

Don't forget, we moved to

KB September 3, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

I hope that Layla keeps feeling better and eating. And, I hope that your thumbs recover. Be careful of infection because puncture wounds are the most likely to get infections. When K has been bitten by other dogs, our vet automatically puts her on antibiotics even if we know that the biter was healthy. I don't know whether they do the same for humans who have been bitten...

Golden Samantha September 3, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

Oh how horrible... for Layla... and for you - yes, Ouch! I sincerely hope she'll feel so much better in a week; I know how hard it is to tend for a sick furbaby when you don't know what exactly, your kitty has. Layla: get better! I've missed so much since we began planning this junket trip we just got back from, so I'm going to scroll down and see what you and Marge have been up to!
Hugs xoxoxo
Sammie, Mom and the gang

Cyndi and Stumpy September 3, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

ACK! I was soooooo hoping layla was on the mend! And now you're hurting, too. Bummer! I hope you find some answers soon! Poor Layla :( seems like she's been feeling lousy for a loooong time

Diana September 4, 2010 at 8:14 AM  

Wow that sounds rough! I hope you got medical care for your cat bits. Infection from cat bites can be really bad so you need to be aggressive about treating them. I hope Layla starts to get better soon. Diana

Chris and Ricky September 6, 2010 at 6:32 PM  

So sorry to read about Layla's tummy troubles again! Poor kitty. I hope she is feeling a little better by now and that the vet helps you figure out what to do.

Sue September 6, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

Kitties can be a handful when it comes to medical procedures. I hope your vet gets a handle on her problems soon.

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