Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Long Overdue Kitty Update

Fermata looking dignified
Looking back at the blog, I see that I have neglected to post updates about Fermata, my hyperthyroid tuxedo cat.  At present, his situation is improving.  However, I believe that maintaining an ideal weight for kitty that makes me feel secure may be an ongoing battle, but we shall see.  At any rate, so much more has happened than just weight loss from a speedy thyroid gland.  Allow me to explain.

When I last left you, Fermata had been admitted to the emergency pet hospital in Rhode Island and was undergoing a battery of tests, most of which came back either normal or confirming what had already been determined (i.e., hyperthyroidism and no heart disease).  The worst of these results was, of course, the abdominal ultrasound that showed signs of hepatitis and enlarged lymph nodes in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as an "odd" texture to the liver.  Fearing that lymphoma was the culprit, the veterinarians performed some needle aspirations.  Thankfully, the results of those tests came back negative for lymphoma but positive for suppurative lymphadenitis, a bacterial infection of the lymph nodes in the GI tract.  Being on antibiotics for this infection, but still not eating wonderfully in the hospital, Fermata came home in the hope that, once away from the hustle and bustle, noise and smell of the cat ward, his appetite would return and he would be on his way back to being a ten-pound cat.  No such luck.

Arriving home on Thursday, January 25, 2012, my daughter and I worked diligently to encourage Fermata to eat more, but battling nausea from his medications, he just didn't feel like consuming anything.  Afraid that a further drop in his weight could cause additional complications, I returned kitty to the pet hospital for installation of an esophageal feeding tube.  Fermata has eaten with the assistance of this device since Saturday, January 28, 2012, the last night I think I slept more than two hours together.  I am hoping that the tube can be removed soon, as he has been eating the correct amount of food on his own to sustain ten pounds of body weight.  Frankly, I think I was actually starving Fermata before, unknowingly feeding him less dry food and not enough wet food in a misguided effort to switch from the latter to the former.  Silly kitty mommy.

One other development:  while in the hospital, Fermata started taking the tablet form of methimazole, rather than the cream version that I initially preferred.  Apparently, more uniform dosing can be achieved with the tablets and since he is tolerating them well, Fermata will be pilled twice a day from now on, unless my husband and I decide to have kitty undergo radioactive iodine therapy, which would remove any need for thyroid medication.  That decision is in the future, though.  The current priority is to return Fermata to his previous eating habits and to maintain a healthy weight in the ten to eleven pound range.

Related articles:
Kitty Health Update #3
Kitty Thyroid Update #2
Kitty Thyroid Update #1
Another Thyroid Patient

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