Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Firby Cat Update

So firstly, I mentioned here that Firby wasn't well. I won't go into massive detail now about our history of cat ownership but Firby is very special to me. When we moved here a year ago I registered him and took him to a vet pretty quickly because he already had had cystitis so was on a managed diet to prevent it reoccurring badly and then I thought he might have developed arthritis.

No, even DP agrees that our vet is fantastic (total coincidence) because they took the time to x-ray him and discovered he'd been shot! In the UK at some point he'd been shot in the hip with a lead pellet gun (illegal by the way)! It makes me very angry because I try to be a responsible cat owner, he is primarily my cat and it not only hurt him but it costs us a lot of money. To be honest the whole experience is a post in itself but hopefully it explains part of why I worry about him. When I was in labour with IP, Firby was there for a lot of it, DP recently said to the Vet to explain it 'he was like our midwife'.

Anyway, I was last told (and I even got a second opinion just in case) that Firby had Cushings Disease but the medicine normally given is actually for dogs and hadn't helped. So we had to keep a close eye on his health. I was told to make another appointment in October but as that's when Munchkin's due and DP had a few days off this month I asked him if he could take Firby. He also didn't really believe me regarding the diagnosis from the vet (I will explain why later) so I thought it would help hearing himself.

So he took Firby the first Friday and the vet said we need to start checking his blood sugar levels several times a week. He (the vet) checked him there and then and said it wasn't great but it wasn't awful. So then within a week a kit had arrived and we booked another appointment for the Friday after. And as this would be the rest of Firby's life, I came along as well.

At the first appointment DP had forgotten to ask a few things so I asked them:

Randomly my cat seemed to be very ill with a cough or the flu but literally within that week had recovered. The vet even sounded concerned on the phone but then listened to his heart etc and said he seemed fine! Most peculiar... DP wondered if he was run down due to other issues and once they were resolved he got better (and the vet agreed).

Cushings Disease in cats is VERY rare. DP had done a google search and it basically said if your cat has Cushings Disease it will probably not survive more than a few months. Firby had it nearly a year at this point! Plus I had been told that it's even more rare (like unheard of) for cats not to respond to the treatment prescribed for dogs. I gather 'it just doesn't happen'. Then in turn, if a cat gets Cushings Disease they are a lot more likely to develop diabetes. Well Firby seems to be up and down all over the place with all of this. The week before his cortisone levels were high but not too high. When the vet showed us how to use the testing kit they were back down again?! He definitely doesn't like vet visits but DP did suggest that he'd been under additional stress the week before. So we now have a diabetes testing kit and are supposed to test a few times a week. I will take photo's when it is successful. We have tried twice and the machine + Firby have not co-operated. And it's frustrating cos DP has to 'prick' Firby's ear to get blood so if he doesn't manage it the first time we don't want to keep upsetting Firby...

Take from google images! 

As part of this visit DP had already indicated that he didn't really believe me (I wasn't sure I'd understood it correctly to be honest!) so I asked the vet if I had understood and he said yes and reiterated to DP and we were all able to ask any questions. Which was fantastic as DP and I both trust this particular vet - they always seem to check things, rather than just assuming (like x-raying his leg rather than prescribing a medicine for arthritis that's not nice for cats).

So fingers crossed for the foreseeable future (but we don't know how long) Firby will be ok...

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