07 March 2013

Clarissa Woes, Part 2

The last week or so have been a nightmare!  Clarissa, my tiny tortoiseshell Persian, had another spell of vomiting and not eating, similar to what she had a month ago.

Similar, but not exact...


She started by not eating all her food, just like last time.  Then she stopped eating or would eat and throw up shortly after, just like last time.  So, I'm thinking, "Oh, just like last time.  Wait and she will be fine."  So I did not panic and I waited.  I gave her some laxative hoping that the hairball would move on.  And then I waited more.  Only this time, on occasion, she would eat and be fine, or she would eat and throw up watery stuff about 2-3 hours later.  Not like last time...  And it dragged on....

Finally, she refused to eat -- even the baby food.  So, I finally took her to an ER clinic to see a vet that does acupuncture.  The thinking was the x-rays last time showed her internal organs were basically normal and her blood work was normal, so conventional medicine could do little more.  Besides, honestly, I did not want her to be man-handled like she had been.  Anyway, the vet gave her a treatment and some serenia pills.

So on Monday I was expecting good things, like her eating.  Nope...  In fact, she pulled back from the food without licking it.  Not a good sign!  (This is a non-scientific indication of the beginnings of liver failure.)

Finally called my homeopathic vet and of course got the receptionist.  I told her my name and that I needed to leave a message for my vet -- PANIC.  (Just one word, all capitals.)  Worked -- vet called back in 30 minutes.  We worked out a plan...

AND IT WORKED!!!  What we did was give her a small dose of prednisone for inflammation, the serenia for nausea, sub-q fluids for any lingering constipation, and B12 for an appetite stimulant.  Clarissa is now back to eating.  And I can breath....

So, why?

It goes back to the hair again.  She grooms a lot, so she gets hairballs.  Unlike my other cats, she doesn't throw them up, so eventually they form a blockage.  This time, I got at least part of the hairball to move, but some of it probably stayed and irritated the stomach or small intestine.  The irritation led to the vomiting.  Eventually, the vomiting caused the gag-reflex to be set to a lower threshold, so any minor problem caused her to vomit.

The key will be to prevent the hair from being ingested and to keep ingested hair moving through.  For the latter, once she's stabilized, I will add pumpkin, psyllium, or tater skins to her food, depending on what she will eat.  (I'd rather do this than constantly give her laxatone.)  To prevent the hairball from forming, I will go back to grooming her daily and bathing every 2-3 weeks.  (This is basically what I was doing when I was showing her and she had no problems.)

I'm just so very glad we could get her sorted out before she did have liver failure.  And I promise never to complain about her pulling all the DVDs off a bookcase at 4 am.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

So happy to see Clarissa is well again Linda! Wonderful news and thank you for sharing her treatment plan with us. Very good information as always. Continued good wishes to you and your sweet baby! Joane

L.M. Hornberger said...

I'm so thrilled that Clarissa is back to naughty tortie-ness that I promised not to complain about her. But it's hard not to whine a bit when you wake up at 3am with a tube of toothpaste in bed with you and a tortie sitting there proud as punch!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA---that is SO cute Linda! I bet it warmed your heart to have Clarissa being playful again! Joane

L.M. Hornberger said...

Just remember, Joane, Clarissa is small enough to be mailed to you... Maybe you would like 2 weeks with the Tortie Tot? Mwahaha...

Abby Silver said...

I laughed when I read about the DVDs! I'm glad everything is back to normal!

P.s. I am from PC. I am the owner of Stanley A.K.A Stan the Man!