Monday, March 9, 2015

I’m still here

I am ashamed that I haven’t posted in a while and left with no explanation. There are so many things that have kept me from posting. I hope as I write the next several posts, I can explain myself a little better.

This post is about Chase Bird. Chase is a sweet, sweet cat, but he hates going to the vet. Any of you who has an animal who hates going to the vet knows how hard it is on the animal and on you when the visit has to happen.

I intruded on Chase Bird's nap on the pad on top of our bed long enough to get a few pictures.

Our vet has suspected that Chase has some kind of allergy or autoimmune condition that causes his gut problems and swollen paw pads. Back in November, we started him on a hypoallergenic diet—wet food, dry food, and treats. He was on it for two months. He threw up less, but the litter box wasn’t looking any better (I’m trying to be delicate).

After about two months, he stopped eating the wet hypoallergenic food and seemed to be getting thinner. So we started giving him Fancy Feast wet food again. He ate it a lot better, but continued with the gut problems.

I did some research and learned that a hypoallergenic diet is really about giving the animal a novel protein, or a protein that he or she probably hasn’t had before. It’s not full of ingredients that a cat could be allergic to.

Through some reading I did and through some Facebook animal friends’ experiences, I decided to buy some grain-free food. I know it’s kind of a “fad” now, but I decided it was worth a try. I found some Blue Buffalo, some of which are made with fewer ingredients for cats with sensitive stomachs. He loves the dry food. He eats some of the wet flavors. Some he doesn’t.

Meanwhile, Chase was due his rabies and distemper shots, and he needed a dental cleaning. So we decided to combine everything in one trip and also have blood work done while he was sedated for the dental work. All that happened last week.

The vet’s partner saw him this time, and she agrees that something allergic-like—something autoimmune—is going on because of his paw pads (which actually are looking good now) and because with examination she could tell that his gastrointestinal system is inflamed.

She wants us to gradually move him totally over to a grain-free diet first before possibly trying prednisone. But she did start him on Cerenia, a vomiting preventive that has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory effects. After three days in a row, he gets the pill twice a week.

So that’s where we are. He hasn’t thrown up since his vet visit. He still doesn’t like some of the grain-free flavors. And it’s too early to tell if the Cerenia will help. But we are hopeful. He seems to feel better than he did over the last few weeks.

I still think Chase Bird is lonely and needs a sibling. I really do think it would help him. But Larry is not ready.

On Thursday, I will tell you the story of trying to change my job.

So how have you been? And if any of you have experience with animals having autoimmune issues, please share your experiences!


  1. Oh it's tough to have a sick animal. :( Taking the birds to the vet is a chore, too. I'm curious about your job thing. I haven't felt like posting lately, so I've been absent a bit, as well.

  2. Oh I am so sorry to hear about Chase Bird I do hope the changes work. Oh you got the job? I am excited to hear more. HUGS to you and ChaseBird.I have been missing in action also, I have been posting so busy. Nice to hear from you. HUGS HUGS B

  3. i have no cat experience but i do believe cats need a partner in crime. that they are happiest with a friend!!

    you never have to explain why you don't update, i hope i did not make you feel that way. i just wanted to be sure you were ok my friend!!!! i hope chase bird feels better!!!!!

  4. i'm so sorry little chase bird has been so ill! and for a long time! i hope you can find the key to restoring his good gut functions and relieve his poor foot pads, too.

    have wondered about the job... :)

  5. I'm sorry he has been ill! I hope that the things you are trying will make big improvements for him.

    I've had pets with seizure disorder, thyroid, IBS, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, lyme disease .... but I don't think I've ever had one with autoimmune disorder.

  6. Poor Chase! Hope he's doing better soon. A cat's diet can be tricky. We do love our kitties, don't we? :-)

  7. We have missed you! But I'm sad to hear about Chase Bird's woes. I hope these dietary changes help him.

  8. Poor, sweet guy. I feel for him -- it's so hard when you don't know the diagnosis and its trial and error till something sticks. (Same with people!). I am lucky in that I have a visiting holistic vet who comes to the house and the extra cost is well worth the aggravation of going to the vet (which you still have to do for certain things but many less). She's hugely big on careful reading of ingredients, making sure the protein is the first ingredient ( or hopefully more ) and that there are NO by-products, which I learned are things like beaks and feet of critters. Lizzie has moved toward more low-grain/no-grain diet. She eats a mix of Natural Balance and I think I have Blue Buffalo dry that I mix together along with Natural Balance and some of the other wets (1/6 can, 2x/day). Her gut seems pretty good, except when she wolfs it too fast. I've been pleased with those particular foods. If you are using Fancy Feast, which I did for years and still have a couple of cans as back-up, in case I run out of her regular food, check the label for the protein because lots of time it's not till number two or three on the list.

    Sending furry pets to your guy via you.

  9. Hope you are doing ok! No need for shame for not posting! It's your blog and you post when you want. And you don't owe anyone any explanations.

    I'm sorry about your little kitty. Yes, that was what the vet told us when we had to change Anna over to an allergenic diet - it had to be a protein that she'd never eaten before. Hopefully things will turn around for your baby. Hugs!


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