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Gollum update

faranya
August 28th, 2008, 04:30 PM
This is just to touch base. I had such helpful responses to my earlier post about Gollum, who had been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia (not necessarily cardiomyopathy although it could be the early stages of that) and developed kidney problems. The kidneys eventually rebounded, but then the liver failed and he became severely anemic!

I took him back to my vet a few days after the anemia appeared, as he wasn't doing much except lying there in misery, unable to eat on his own, losing weight almost by the hour, and I felt perhaps it was time to call a halt to his suffering. He's only just five, so that was a hard decision. However, blood work revealed that his red cell count was back to normal. The vet then told me that with patience and persistence, there was a shred of hope that I might help Gollum at least be more comfortable.

Denamarin was recommended in another thread and I ordered some online from an American supplier, as it's not available here in Canada. I also force-fed pureed liver (yuck) and Hill's A/D, together with daily 4 ml doses of pediapred, one clavamox a day (62.5 mg), diltiazem cream rubbed into the ears, sub-Q saline injections three times a day, and potassium gluconate alternating with mashed banana flavored with a touch of corn syrup.

These troubles all began on April 29th with a heart arrhythmia that causes clots in the hind legs, leading to the kidney challenges. Now it is nearly September. About two weeks into the Denamarin, in late August, Gollum suddely jumped down from his usual resting place on my bedroom windowsill and went to the kitchen looking for food. He started showing interest in everything from dry Purina Cat Chow to Whiskas pouches and everything in between. I even made him some pureed chicken livers and he ate that on his own. And he quite likes corn syrup! If I'm eating frozen yogurt, he heads straight for the bowl to lick it out afterwards.

He's gained back half the weight he lost, and since he was too heavy to begin with, he's probably rather normal now. His appetite is fine - he eats often, in small amounts, but that was always his style anyhow. He's back to running after my older calico, then jumping on her to knock her over. He sleeps with my husband at nap time, which he wouldn't do throughout his illness. He seems upbeat and happy about life again. The only he doesn't do is run freely outdoors. We've made our deck into an escape-proof enclosure through use of high lattice nailed around it, which was initially inadequate to contain him as he jumped out twice. We raised the height, so now he's content to lounge in the dappled sunlight and collect cat treats whenever they're offered. He is a different kitty. Next week he's going for a complete blood assessment, so we can then decide how to proceed with the meds. I'm hoping I can cut down on some of the dosages, at least.

My only dilemma now is that he's picked up a couple fleas. They itch; he scratches. The vet recommended that Advantage would be the safest choice, so I have it sitting here awaiting application. But I'm scared! I know it's low in toxicity, and that it is primarily an external medication as opposed to systemic. The vet feels he'll be fine with it, and I don't want flea anemia. Does anyone have experience with Advantage as applied to a less-than-healthy cat?

Thank you so much to those who offered support and advice. I just wanted you to know how things have been going so far. As far as I'm concerned, that Denamarin is amazing! I've been after my vet to get some and he seems interested.

Brenda

sugarcatmom
August 28th, 2008, 05:29 PM
Yay, I'm sooo happy to hear that Gollum is doing better. Go Gollum!!

My only dilemma now is that he's picked up a couple fleas. They itch; he scratches. The vet recommended that Advantage would be the safest choice, so I have it sitting here awaiting application. But I'm scared! I know it's low in toxicity, and that it is primarily an external medication as opposed to systemic. The vet feels he'll be fine with it, and I don't want flea anemia. Does anyone have experience with Advantage as applied to a less-than-healthy cat?

I absolutely would NOT use Advantage. There's an interesting PDF here (http://www.apnm.org/publications/resources/fleachemfin.pdf) that you might want to read.

As for what you could use instead, the best, least toxic method is liberal use of a flea comb and vacuuming lots.

faranya
August 28th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Hmmm, it IS interesting! Makes me scared to use the stuff even though I've just bought a 4-pack.

I questioned the vet carefully about the Advantage. He said he would definitely steer clear of Frontline or Revolution as they tend to be absorbed internally, but that he felt Advantage was much safer in this situation and that he wouldn't be worried about using it.

I have two other cats, and have always used Advantage in summer with no problems (on Gollum as well). I normally just give one treatment, as we live well off the beaten track. There have been no fleas at all until recently. But we have a rather endearing little "visitor" in the yard right now, always appearing at night and begging to be fed. He looks healthy - nice coat, bright eyes - but is a bit slim. Many people dump their unwanted kitties beside the road at the end of my driveway and some make their way down to the house. My husband doesn't want to encourage them, but I tend to sneak food out to them nonetheless. Can't help it! But with strays come fleas ...

Will ponder this. Thanks for the reference to that article!!!!

Brenda

growler~GateKeeper
August 29th, 2008, 03:10 AM
Thanks for the update :) I'm so glad to hear Gollum is doing so well :grouphug:, little biting buggers not included of course :D

faranya
August 29th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Thanks, Growler. He sure does like to eat now. What a struggle! No one gave a penny for his chances three months ago. You and sugarcatmom were both very encouraging and helpful to me when I needed it most.

I forgot to mention that I'm visually impaired when it comes to seeing close-up, owing to cataracts. I'm due to have laser surgery in October for the first one. But it makes seeing fleas in the grey part of Gollum's coat next to impossible. I'm not sure a flea comb would be feasible for me to use at the moment. I can't even read a newspaper much anymore. I'm glad my monitor is bright and the font is sharp/dark.

I put Advantage on my other two cats, anyhow, so they won't bring fleas in contact with Gollum now. If I can only get the two or three little buggers that are on him, maybe there won't be any more for awhile.

I may shampoo him with herbal shampoo on a sunny day - it just has chamomile, lavender and sweet basil in it. The name is Tearless Essentials (Hagen) and it is also recommended for kittens so it sounds mild. I know it won't kill fleas but when the coat is wet, I'll spot them easier and can tweezer them off. Do you think this is an OK product to use?

Gollum needs a cleaning anyway. He's had a lot of pureed liver and banana spilled on his white chest over the summer!

Brenda

growler~GateKeeper
August 30th, 2008, 01:13 AM
Not liking the 2 potentially toxic ingredients in the shampoo especially with Gollum recovering from anemia & cats always wash right after a bath.

http://www.hagen.com/uk/msds/50276.html

DMDM Hydantoin http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/DMDM_hydantoin.html works by releasing formaldehdyde into the product

Tetrasodium EDTA http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/tetrasodium_etidronate.html is used as a water softener

faranya
August 31st, 2008, 12:13 AM
Holy cow!! Maybe the only thing I can use is plain water. Scary what's in this stuff. Thanks for the link.

I tried grooming him today with a brand new brush and little comb. I can't find one of the metal flea combs at any local stores. I got a few flecks of flea dirt off him but no fleas. I probably wouldn't be able to see 'em anyhow.

So it's a catch-22 situation for me. And for the cat as well.