Living With a Cat with Inflammable Bowel Disease or IBD
I brought him to the emergency hospital in March after he stopped eating. They did their $2000+ job. You have to pay before they even look at him. Thickened intestinal walls and an enlarged heart showed from the ultrasound. So they put him on steroids. If I wanted to spend another $3400 for a biopsy, they might be able to tell me a little more, no guarantees anything else would show. I figured, let's see how it goes with their recommendations before spending any more $'s.
So they sent me home Flagyl, Prednisolone and Mirtazapine, a PTSD Veteran's psych drug which acts as an appetite stimulant in a cat. It worked. Only for a few months. I stopped the Flagyl as it's an antibiotic, he hated it and it didn't seem to do him any good. After a while, the Pred didn't work any more, either. I tried from 15mg to 2.5mg a day. He is also on MethylCobalamin B-12 Shots, 1 a week for 6 weeks then one a month thereafter. His level was 145, very low. Nothing would make him eat. It seemed when he had food in his stomach, he acted normal and had normal BM's. Even though he was eating VERY well during the good times, he was still losing weight. Whenever he stopped eating, he had diarrhea. Go figure.
Every day he follows me around, looks at me and wants to eat. Everything I give him, he rejects. It really wears on you. You want to help him, but you can't. It's enough to push you over the edge. Trying to get him to eat and heal him is now my full time job.
This month, December, 2012, he stopped eating again and had a bloody stool. Back down to the Emergency Hospital. So, another $2,000 later with a biopsy and another ultrasound, we've determined he has IBD and not Leukemia, but they couldn't be sure because they only took a small sample of his intestine and cancer 'could' be lurking somewhere else. Luckily, the bloody stool was from a tear near the rectum and not cancer. The other good news was that his colin was normal and no longer thickened. So part of him improved.
Again they sent me home with more Pred, Flagyl and Mirtaz and now Lukeran, a cancer drug because it helps with IBD at times. Same old tune which didn't help the first time around. All costly drugs that are used for humans, also.
I kept thinking, how much quality time would he have to live with those drugs? Chemo and Pred, two strong steroids that stop cell growth and a psych drug which makes him wonky. The liver is so tiny and can only process so many toxins, and the kidneys, they won't tolerate much, either. No life for a kitteh or a kitteh owner. There was an ominous cloud of doom hanging over my head.
Then in the middle of the night, I awoke remembering I have 4 natural health books on cats. Why didn't I think of that before?! So the next day we sat down and went through them all. There in front of me was a protocol to try! Hope at last! At least is is something other than toxic drugs. I got to it immediately! (This disease is a series of hopes and disappointments)
One think that I knew would be helpful was a special recipe using Slippery Elm! I've used natural meds on myself whenever possible and was knocking my head against the wall for not thinking of this $2000 ago. Better late than never.
I am currently on this journey and decided to write about it as I go along. I don't know if this will work or not. I started this on Sunday, December 16th. I ended all the drugs cold turkey that day. So far, he is sleeping a lot, but he hasn't vomited. That is a BIG deal. He isn't eating a lot, but he is eating. That is a BIG DEAL, too. He still has diarrhea, but the stools have a bit of substance to them.
I don't know if this holistic protocol will work, but it's my last and his last hope. I will be back to either update this or start with a new page as this journey progresses, or doesn't progress. It's a grand experiment.
12-20 Update.... he threw up twice and has diarrhea again. Sigh. So now he's back on Pred as well as the natural diet. I will let you know everything I am doing if he stabilizes. If you want to know now, please comment below and I will give the full protocol.
12-24 Doing very well. No vomiting, he's hungry, bright and eating. No Mirtaz. Eating all on his own. I'm changing his food every few days. He's getting used to taking the slippery elm. What a good kitteh.
12-25 So far so good. Eating, not standing hunched over, bright, slightly formed BM's. Still a 'bug' position once in a while, but major improvement. No Mirtaz. I'm hoping he stablilizes.
12-29 Still wanting to eat and eating. This is truly amazing. I can no longer feel the bones in his back. He is putting on some weight. His BM's are almost all solid. I am thrilled. Got my fingers crossed that this lasts.
1-4 He still has very soft BM's and still wants to eat and is eating. I'm feeding him Instinct rabbit and duck right now mixed with 50-60% sweet potato and white potato, chlorella, a little raw chix liver or veal liver. I am starting to fast him by cutting him to 3 meals a day instead of 4. The consensus is to cut them in half, but they admit it's tough on the owners. At least he's gained weight. The eye smudgy he always had in his right eye is gone. Don't know if this will last, but my fingers are forever crossed for him.
1-4 I just posted the diet I have him on: http://chris-wrinn.blogspot.com/2013/01/recipe-for-cat-with-irritable-bowel.html
1-13-13 He seems to have his inflammation back. I am so disappointed. He's slowed down his eating. I was hoping this upswing would continue. I'm heartbroken :(
1-16 Took him back to the ER and they did some labs. They gave him Cerenia (anti nausea) and it seems to be working today! YAY! At least for now. He's wanting liver like crazy. I wonder if there's something in liver that he is lacking. Maybe it's the B-12? We found out that clumping litter is a no-no, so we changed back to clay. Any suggestions, please post!
Also, I found this AWESOME site that has a ton of information on IBD. http://www.ibdkitties.net/index.html Please check it out!
1-29 I had to give him the Mirtazapine on the 17th to get him jump started again. He also had to take Cerenia. BUT...... I am trying what worked for me. HCL with Pepsin. So far, no drugs and he has been stable and wanting to eat. No potato with this, either. His energy has picked up. I hope it lasts. My ND told me that people take the purple, alkalizing pill, which sends a signal to their stomach that they need to make more acid. Acid digests protein. Then they get caught in a Catch 22 where they have to take even more purple pills to counteract the acid their body keeps churning out. My naturopath had me on 15 capsules of HCL with each meal and after 1.5 years, my body didn't need it any longer. It was amazing. And the docs wanted me to take that purple pill. So glad I listened to my ND and not the allopathic doc. Cats eat meat, but many of the cheaper foods have a lot of carbs in them. I hope this works and will keep you updated. Seems good so far. Keep your fingers crossed for him.
2-14 He is doing incredibly well. I stopped the HCL after about a week b/c I saw him burping, so if you try HCL, be careful and monitor him closely. I can't believe how well he is doing. I will update if there are any more problems or if he takes a dive. So far so good. Keep keeping those fingers crossed!
4-15 He's doing well. I'm now only feeding him Royal Canin Hypo Allergenic or any kind of quality Rabbit, Royal Canin Duck, Royal Canin and Nature's Balance Venison as well as a little fresh, organic liver (chicken, beef, or calves). I've started cutting down the Pred and he's down to 3/4 tab once a day instead of a whole tab. As soon as I see the 'bug' or 'meatloaf' position, he gets the cyproheptadine or mirtazapine. I wish it would completely go away, but it isn't. At least he's gaining weight instead of losing it.
End of summer:
Sorry I haven't been around. I am disheartened to say that I finally had to put my precious friend down. We both made a valiant effort and we're both not suffering anymore. I'm exhausted, too exhausted to think about another cat at this time.
If your cat has this disease, I wish you the strength to deal with it and the best of outcomes. <3 p=""> 3>