Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Trouble with Cats
I know I know, it's been forever since I posted, or felt like I needed to post, the "Semi-Daily Maine" (semi yearly is what it should be called now :-), yet here I am again posting. It's been a little bit of a trying time here and I think I just need to talk about it.
On Oct 4th while Cosmo was sitting on my chest (preventing me from taking a deep breath I might add) I noticed a strange swelling on the left side of his upper lip right next to his nose. Mark thought it might have been a spider bite, but it looked so really odd to me. It looked like the swelling itself was made of wax, and was shiny and very pink. So I immediately got on line to see what I could find out. There it was, almost instantly, Eocinophllic Granular Complex. It's a complicated disease found only in cats and is an allergic reaction to something the cat is exposed to which creates an immunosuppressant reaction. (the body basically attacks itself creating loads of white blood cells and in this case ulcerations) It can manifest itself three ways, the most common of which is "indolent" or "rodent" ulcers appearing on the cats' lip. These ulcerations have nothing to do with rodents, but can result from flea allergies, food allergies, or something in the cats' environment. That's what Cosmo has and though it is not fatal it can be disfiguring completely eroding away the cat's lip. The treatment is risky however. (it could result in life shortening condition such as diabetes) The gold standard treatment is injections of Cortisone (Depo-medrol, a long-lasting injection that is given at two-week intervals for three sessions) We opted for a more conservative approach first, giving pills (prednisolone) plus an antibiotic. Unfortunately they did not work, and he actually got worse so last Thursday he got an injection of Depo. I do think it may be starting to improve, the vet said one shot would do it but I think he'll need the three. He HATES going to the vet, it stresses him incredibly but I think this will be his lot in life, because this usually recurs. Of course while we are treating him we are searching for the cause of the allergic reaction. I am aggressively treating for fleas (my three Maine Coons are strictly indoor cats, never been outside) since we did spot fleas on Cosmo this summer for the first time. I am praying that once we get this calmed down and eliminate the fleas we will be all set. I hope so, I want my big happy man-cat back again!!!
Now for THIS morning's drama. I put Sophie, our little wet food eating blue smoke girl, into Mark's office so she could have her breakfast without having to fend Star and Cosmo off. After about 4 minutes I heard an incredible racket from inside and as I opened the door a blue streak flew past me, with something dragging from her tail. I never NEVER saw an animal move so fast. It was like light speed!! I panicked, my usual reaction, but thank God Mark did not panic, HIS usual reaction. We got her cornered under the bed and even though she hissed at Mark she let him take the cord and key to the treadmill from her tail (you know one of those things you plug into the treadmill to start it up, and then attach to you as an automatic shut off in case something happens). I have NO idea how she got it wrapped around her tail, but she did! She's fine now, but all three of them were in hyper mode.
Of course Star had to have her teeth cleaned two weeks ago. I worry about everything and that was no exception. I really do NOT like having it done unless there's a REALLY good reason. The vet thought she might lose some teeth (Star apparently has a natural tendency towards plaque) She came out of it fine, and with all of her teeth, but I've seen waaay too much of my vet lately!!!
Sometimes I think I'm getting too old for all of this, but....nah they are truly worth all of the worry and pain! I'll post Cosmo updates as they are needed. Send a good thought or two his way, no one wants to have something called "rodent ulcers"!
PS Thanks to the lovely and kind Dr. Laura (Bill Hue's wife :-) for being patient with me and answering ALL of my questions!