Monday, February 21, 2011

Tummy Ache

half-winking for the camera.  she hates the flash...

We got Layla's bloodwork back on Thursday.  It showed an extremely low level of Vitamin B12, but not much else.

This means that Layla's problem lies in her intestines, not in any of her other abdominal organs.  The question now: what is the problem?

Both vets (my main vet and the specialist) keep saying it's pretty much either Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Lymphoma.  However, the only way to distinguish between the two is through performing an endoscopy and taking a biopsy of her intestines.  The outward symptoms for each disease are very similar.

This would cost a hefty sum of money and will require anesthesia, as well as an overnight stay at the hospital.  Both vets think she can handle it, as long as we get her heart checked beforehand.

The other option is starting her on Prednisolone and waiting about a month to see if there are any changes.  If she has IBD, Pred will help tremendously.  My vet said she likely wouldn't be significantly worse after a month, even if the Pred does no good, since whatever she has is a "slow developing" kind of thing, but I really have trouble letting that much time go by with a "wait and see" approach.

Right now, Layla's getting B12 injections.  She got her first one yesterday, and I'll give her another next weekend.  We're going to wait about another week (after she has another injection) and then my vet and I will discuss what the next step is.  She may respond favorably to the B12 alone.

I've been really upset about the whole thing - my cat is pretty happy, eating like a champ and acting normal for the most part (except for being wobbly whenever she shakes her head - she's on antibiotics but unfortunately not responding as quickly as she did the last time she had an ear infection), but the thought of her having lymphoma is really hanging over my head.

Not looking for advice, just needed a place to write all of my thoughts down.. just think good thoughts for us over these next couple of weeks.  In the mean time, I'm going to try to not think about it so much.


Tucker The Crestie February 21, 2011 at 5:17 PM  

Sam, do check out and contact Lisa. She lost a kitty to IBD (actually triaditis) and has worked tirelessly since in learning as much as possible about IBD and helping other people whose cats have IBD. She would gladly help you however she can. The cat kids will be purring for Layla.

Tucker's Mom

Sara February 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM  

Stay busy, and love on Layla whenever you can. I'll be thinking about you.

The fact that her bloodwork cameback with good values is a good sign.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ February 21, 2011 at 5:34 PM  

You have worked so hard to find an answer. Seems like every new step brings more questions. We hope the B12 helps and that you can avoid more expense. And of course, that there is no lymphoma. Paws crossed.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Cyndi and Stumpy February 21, 2011 at 5:38 PM  

Darnit, Layla! Feel better, ok?

Frankie Furter and Ernie February 21, 2011 at 5:46 PM  

Oh Layla I so very much hope that the B-12 gets you moving along the right road. I will cross my paws fur you!!!

Wyatt February 21, 2011 at 6:25 PM  

Sending Aire-Prayers and healing thoughts your way. Get well soon, Layla.

Wyatt and Stanzie

Muttsandaklutz February 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM  

Thinking of you guys, sending positive thoughts Layla's way.

houndstooth February 21, 2011 at 6:35 PM  

I'm sorry! It's so frustrating when you're trying to find answers and they aren't clear. I hope you get some soon!

Stella February 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM  

Hoping for the best for Layla with the B-12. Try not to think the worst, it won't help at all. We send the Power of the Paw to this Kitty Layla!

My Good Girl was a sweet read and its so fun to see how beautifully Marge is doing.

Stella (and Jo)

andrea February 21, 2011 at 7:09 PM  

Hang in there ...
I will be thinking of you both

Chris and Ricky February 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM  

We will think good thoughts for you and Layla for sure! Take it easy and relax if that is at all possible...

Amy / Layla the Malamute February 21, 2011 at 9:33 PM  

I know you aren't looking for advice, but would it help to think about what you would do after each of the diagnoses? I'm hoping that it's IBD, but I was thinking about when we found out that my old Golden Retriever had cancer. At that point, it didn't make sense to subject him to chemo or other treatment, so we just made him as comfortable as possible. Another person who had a senior dog at the hospital where I tech'd at was debating about whether or not to have the dog's stomach examined to find cancer. But since they wouldn't go ahead with treatment if there was cancer anyhow, they decided not to even subject the dog to the procedure to find out if anything was there.

I'm sure whatever you do will be the right decision for both you and Layla, but I hope that it's an easy and clear decision to make.

Lorenza February 21, 2011 at 10:31 PM  

Good vibes and optimistic thoughts for you!
I hope the injections help Layla!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Sam February 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM  

Unfortunately, Amy, it's not as simple as cancer or no cancer.

Small cell lymphoma can be managed across a substantial period of time using oral medication. Large cell, on the other hand, would require chemotherapy (which, you're right, I likely would not do).

I feel like there's a million different ways to slice it.

Unknown February 22, 2011 at 6:55 AM  

I will be thinking of you and Layla! Stay strong!!!

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart February 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM  

No advice. Just big hug.

Anna the GSD February 22, 2011 at 12:36 PM  

I don't have advice, but can offer a cold nose kiss...and my mom offers hugs...and chocolate if she could get it to you. :)


Sue February 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM  

We're all thinking about you and Layla. You'll make the right choice.
Sue and the Pack

Kari in Alaska February 22, 2011 at 8:06 PM  

I wish I could help but all I can do is send get better vibes


Anonymous February 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

I'm thinking good, good thoughts for you and Layla. I know it's prolly real frustrating but I also know you'll make the right decision, Miss Sam. Hang in there!

Wiggles & Wags,

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