Monday, January 25, 2010

We finally have an answer!!!

I had to take my dog, Angel, to Dr. K today for her monthly cbc, and when she called me this past Friday to let me know that all of the test results were back she said that everything was negative.  She asked me to allow the boys to tag along with us today because she wanted to see how they are doing, and wanted me to try and get another poo sample from Radar for retesting, since his poop hasn't yet returned to 100% normal.

About 20 minutes before we left for the vet Radar went poo, and I grabbed it.  Poor boy, he gets so confused when I do that!  He knows that he pooped, but when he turns around to cover it it's gone!  Sorry, I just can't help to wonder what he must think when his poop disappears right out from under him like that.  The look on his face when he discovers his poo missing is priceless!  LOL!

Anyway, we got to the vet and first saw Dr. I, she's Dr. K's partner in the practice.  Dr. I took Angel's history and such, read through what our previous vet sent them (which was missing ALL of the important info about why Angel is on pred and has a monthly cbc!) and then she took Angel to draw her blood sample. 

Then Dr. K came into the room to see TK and Radar, and she's amazed at just how well they're doing, TK has a nice fat tummy, both boys have shiny coats, and they're active, playing well, eating and drinking well, and both are acting fine.  TK's poo has returned to normal, but Radar still has a bit loose poo, but far from what it was!

I gave Radar's donated poo to Dr. K so she could run tests again, and can you guess what they found???

Giardia cysts!!!

Yes, my boys have giardia!  Why on earth my "other" vet didn't find this, I don't know.  Perhaps the boys weren't shedding giardia at any of the multiple times they ran fecal tests on them, or perhaps the tech doesn't read fecal checks well...........either way at least now we have an answer, and a treatment plan to get them back on track.  They'll both be on metronidazole for 10 days.  And, if once they stop this med should the diarrhea return, we'll just have to treat them for a longer period of time or try a different medicine.  It's so good to know what we're treating.............all the way home I kept thanking Radar for his donation!  Without it we wouldn't have this knowledge.

Oh, and today TK weighed in at 5.8 pounds and Radar is 4 pounds.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's been a rough road............

Sorry about how long it's been since I've posted here, but things went from good to bad for the boys again, and I've had to take special care of them.

Back in early December Freon got sick again, vomitting, not eating or drinking, and generally off.  I had to syringe NutriCal into him to prevent fatty liver disease, and gave him sub-q fluids daily to keep his hydration levels up.  Within a few days he was feeling much better, but then TK came down with some bug.  He totally lost his voice, was vomitting some, coughing and gagging some, and he developed diarrhea again.  TK seemed to be holding his own though, so I waited while hoping that this illness would pass.

It didn't............within a week or so Radar came down with diarrhea, but he didn't develop any of the other symptoms that TK had.

I ended up taking the two boys to my vet because of the diarrhea and TK's other symptoms, but I have to be honest with you, my vet let me and the boys down this time.  Normally the first thing they want to do is to run bloodwork.  They didn't this time.  All the vet did was to run a fecal check on Radar, the results showed an overload of bacteria.  Then the vet took their temperatures, TK was 102.6F and Radar was 102.1F.  In my book that's having a fever.  The vet said that it was just "slightly" elevated, most likely from the stress of the car ride!  Ummmm.........Radar was sleeping in the carrier, so how is that stress???

Anyway, my vet sure didn't seem too concerned about their condition, and gave me 4 syringes of DiaGel.  She didn't even bother to tell me when/how often to give it.  The instructions said to give each kitten 1 syringe, and if within 24 hours the diarrhea was still present then to give each kitten the second syringe.  So I simply followed the instructions.

Both of the boys took a turn for the worse, their diarrhea was pure water, they looked horrible, and I was upset that my vet didn't seem to care.  So, I called a new clinic, one I had visited when they held open house for their new building.  I made an appointment with them for 3 pm that day.  Shortly after I had done that TK really turned badly, he threw up 7 times within minutes.  He finally seemed to settle down and was napping on my bed so I went to watch a little bit of tv.  Suddenly TK came to me, insisting on climbing up into my lap, the whole time he was dripping liquid poo.  He laid down in my lap and started shaking!  I knew then that I had moments to make a decision!  I called the new vet back and told them what had just happened, and they told me to bring them in now!  Off we went!

Once I got there with the boys we were immediately whisked off to an exam room.  TK was listless, very sick.  Radar was totally upset too.  The vet tech took their history (thank God I have this blog because I wrote down a lot of stuff from here for the new vet) and then the vet came into the room.  Dr. K took one look at the boys and told me that they both needed to be hospitalized immediately!

TK was put on IV fluids, he was severely dehydrated.  Radar wasn't in as bad of shape, but TK needed his brother there with him.  TK's white cell count was over 28,000!!!  They were started on antibiotics, panacur, albon, and pro-pectalin for the diarrhea.  They stayed in hospital for 3 days.

Dr. K thinks that they may have trichomoniasis.  She sent many tests to the outlab to find out what the cause of this diarrhea might be.  So far some test results have come back indicating an over abundance of coliform bacteria in their intestinal tracts, but several cultures haven't been reported on yet.

The boys finally came back home, and I got to say, I LOVE this new vet!  The staff are all friendly, kind, and compassionate.  There are 2 vets there, and they talk to each other about cases.  They're not afraid to make phone calls to other vets to pick their brains, and they listen to the owners.

TK developed a whole different problem shortly after they came home though, one I've never had to deal with before.  The medicine worked so good on him that he got to the point where he couldn't go poo!  I took him back to the new vet, and she told me that she didn't really feel comfortable giving him a laxative because she feared it might bring the diarrhea back, so she gave him a little sub-q fluids and suggested I use karo syrup to help "move" things along.  For two days I gave him 1/2 cc of karo syrup mixed with a wee bit of warm water every 6 hours, hoping he'd go poo.  Finally he did, and it was such a relief to both him and me.  Dr. K's tech even called here daily wanting a "poo" update!

So, now they're both much much better, feeling well and playing, and we've found ourselves a new vet.  Hopefully we'll soon figure out why the boys get this horrible diarrhea and will get a treatment plan sorted out for them.  They're both growing again, TK is over 5 pounds now, Radar is 3 pounds, 15 3/4 ounces.  Dr. K feels that whatever the cause of the diarrhea is is most likely why their growth has been stunted.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the boys just taken within the last several days!

TK sleeping with Jasmine, his dear girlfriend.

Radar sleeping curled up on my computer chair.

TK napping with Sam, who thinks of himself as the "kid's" grampa!

Radar with Freon.

Brotherly love!

TK mid pounce, Radar waiting to get pounced upon!

TK and Radar playing.

And lastly, one of TK's baby teeth!

And if you feel so inclined to view more pictures of the boys (and the rest of my furry family) you can visit their photos at: