Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Lola's Tummy Troubles

With the horribly cold and dark days we have had the girls have done little but sleep! Lola has a burst of activity - usually around midnight when she decides its time to play and no-one else is allowed to sleep. She seems fine most of the time but I still worry about her lack of appetite and when she does ea, more often than not she doesn't manage to keep it all down for very long. She does seem to be sensitive to certain foods so and I have been trying to get her off any foods containing cereal and wheat etc but it is surprising how difficult it is to find these; most commercial cat foods in the supermarket are full of cereal as are the expensive Royal Canin food she has been brought up on. I have managed to find a couple of cereal free dry foods on-line from specialist suppliers. I've tried all the cereal free wet foods I can find but she is not impressed, some days she will eat them and others she just takes a sniff and walks away. But I am persevering and she does seem better when I can keep her off her previous diet.  I had an email from Dr Addie recently who mentioned that, cats who have had the Feline CoronaVirus, even though they don't go on to develop FIP, can develop problems with their intestines and have difficulty digesting and absorbing food. I am trying not to panic buy after Lola's recent illness I can't help but worry this will be an ongoing problem. When Stuart did the ultrasound he said her intestines were quite abnormal, which is also worrying. I weigh her regularly and she can never get over 3kgs, sometimes less. Despite the fact that she eats so little she is a playful little thing and I just hope we can get her sorted out and put a bit of weight on her. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Lola - The latest drama

1.1.2013:  At the beginning of December we had a real fright with Lola. She suddenly started vomiting blood stained fluid and I naturally thought the worst. A middle of the night call to the emergency vet didn't help much so I waited till morning and took her to see my usual vet Stuart. By now she was visibly dehydrated and very sorry for herself. Stuart kept her in and put her on a drip and two lots of antibiotics. He also did an ultrasound, which thankfully was clear, and took various bloods including one for the Coronavirus titres. Thank goodness it came back as ZERO. So whatever she had, it wasn't anything to do with the dreaded FIP. She recovered quite quickly and Stuart was happy for us to bring her home to carry on with one antibiotic (nightmare!). We wondered whether she had an allergy to something in the dried food she likes so I have tried to wean her off this but its difficult as Coco loves her dried food and Lola kept finding it no matter where I hid it! I've decided to re-introduce it gradually  and have found an holistic, hyperallergenic variety with no additives but I'm also trying to encourage her to eat more wet food. They are both very fussy cats (are there any other kind?!) and don't even like fresh cooked chicken or fish! I even bought her some organic minced beef. I know the latest thing is feeding raw food so I tried to give her a little from my hand (not pleasant for a vegetarian). I often hand feed her when she won't eat but I have to say the raw thing was a bit much for me! Despite my courageous effort she was not impressed and just looked at me as if I were mad. So I opened a tin of Applaws! Anyway, so far so good, she is going from strength to strength and had a really good Christmas with her sister. She's such a little thing I always worry when she is ill and can't/won't eat. At the moment she has just managed to get back to 3kg so I am going to monitor her weight and see if we can up it a bit.
When Lola when back for her check up I took Coco for her next Coronavirus titre test - Lola is so much better in the car when she is with her sister - otherwise she cries the whole time. I put them in one large carrier together and she just snuggled up to Coco for comfort and was really quiet and happy. More good news; Coco's titres also came back as ZERO so we are now a Cororavirus free household and I can give a huge sigh of relief. The last year has been very traumatic; the desperate sadness of losing our darling Dylan and the constant worry that Coco & Lola would succumb to this dreadful disease. So I'm hoping  for a few 'vet free' months and a happy healthy new year for us all. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Coco & Lola Update

26.11.2012: Coco & Lola continue to improve since losing their beloved brother Dylan to FIP in August. Their appetites are better and Lola has started playing again, which is a good sign. Having said that, hearing her crashing about with her favourite toy at 2 in the morning is a high price to pay! Thought we had burglars last night! I have heard from Dr Diane Addie and she has answered my numerous questions regarding the girls' future management and I am very grateful to her - I feel much calmer now. Athough I am still on the lookout for any signs of illness, the longer they stay well the better I feel. I will follow her recommendations and get a further blood test done soon - the vet said to wait six months but Dr Addie recommends 2 to 3 months, which I think is better all round as the sooner they get the 'all-clear' the better. I am a little nervous to say it but it feels like we are almost out of the woods. Have bought the girl's Christmas stockings and have started to accumulate a few small things - have ordered a new wooden climbing frame for their run too - they are going to be VERY spoilt this year! The picture above is of Lola sleeping on Dylan's woollen blanket - I knitted them one each when they were little and he used to carry his around; it's full of holes where he chewed it as a kitten and Lola and Coco seem to love sleeping on it now - I don't think they have quite forgotten their brother.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Coco & Lola Progress

1.11.2012: Coco & Lola have settled in to their new routine. They seem to be getting closer and get on most of the time; apart from when Coco insists on giving Lola ANOTHER wash when she doesn't want one and they end up coming to blows (albeit fairly gentle ones!). We don't need an alarm clock in our house; the girls get up at the crack of dawn and make a nuisance of themselves to get your attention because they want to go 'out'. Lola brings me her favourite toy; (a skinny kitty, which used to be a rod toy till she stretched the elastic so much I had to cut it off- she carries it everywhere!) lays it on my pillow (sweet) and then proceeds to bite my toes (not so sweet!) until I give in - it doesnt' take long. They rush to their outdoor run to watch the squirrels and birds and don't even stop for breakfast!  After about an hour they have had enough and come back in for breakfast followed by an extended snooze - all right for some! 
On the health front; I managed to contact Dr Diane Addie, an expert in Feline Coronavirus and FIP; she has kindly agreed to answer some of my (many) questions about where we go from here; things like when will it be safe for them to have routine vaccinations and how often they should have FCov blood tests. I also want to know when it might be safe to get another kitten/cat (I know glutton for punishment!). She very kindly sent me a draft copy of her latest book which I am currently working my way through, it's full of useful information and all the latest about FIP treatment and research. As you can see, The girls are currently very well, though I permanently have everything crossed - doubt I'll relax until they are about 5 - (FIP does that to you) they only have to sneeze and I fear the worst! (The picture above shows skinny kitty taking pride of place between them!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Coco & Lola

26.9.2012:  Life goes on and Coco & Lola are getting used to life with Dylan (not sure I ever will). It seems to have brought them closer together and they actually spend time playing together now - or at least chasing each other up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants! They both seem to have become a bit more loving too - Lola loves a belly rub and will literally climb up my leg and miaow pitifully until I give in! We had a few days away at my friend's house by the sea and they really enjoyed themselves - I thought they would be a bit freaked out but apart from the car journey (Lola hates cars) they settled in really well. A new set of stairs to tear up and down! On the Coronavirus front things are a bit confused; their blood tests came back and according to the results Lola's titres are 320 and Coco's 0.  Stuart (my vet) is a bit suspicious that the lab has got the results mixed up as Coco's last level was exactly 320 so we are not far ahead. The purpose of the tests was to decide if it was OK for them to have their vaccinations, since this is a stress factor for FIP and I didn't want to take a chance if they still had Coronavirus antibodies. Stuart spoke to another expert who said we could wait a while longer (up to three years apparently!) and he is going to try to get some more information as I don't want to keep on subjecting them to blood tests. On the plus side they both seem fine and are eating well and settling into their new daily routine without Dylan. I only wish I could.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Dylan We Miss You

It is two weeks ago today that we let our beautiful Dylan go to sleep. It has been a very difficult couple of weeks; lots of tears and "if only's". When we went to collect his ashes on Thursday it all came flooding back. But I know we made the right decision at the right time. Dylan had a love of food and a zest for life, once he could enjoy neither it was wrong to let him linger. At 2 years old he still played like a kitten, he would play 'football' for hours and and it seems strange not to be falling over dozens of fluffy coloured balls everywhere we walk. Coco & Lola don't seem to have the heart for games at the moment, Dylan was such a big character, always the instigator of fun and mischief - I used to call them "Team Dylan" because he was always centre of the action. The girls seem so lost without him, as are we. The house feels far to empty and quiet.  (The picture above is one of the last of Dylan and Lola together, he was quite poorly here but Lola would still follow him around and was happy just to sit with him).  

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Goodbye Dylan

6th August 2012: Dylan had taken a turn for the worse. By Sunday evening he hadn't eaten and was hiding himself away under mum's bed. He couldn't even manage a saucer of cat milk. He didn't want to be cuddled, he would just look at us with those beautiful blue eyes and miaow quietly as if to say: "I've had enough". I knew we couldn't let this go on. So on Monday morning we were up at the crack of dawn to spend a last couple of hours with him before we took him in to the vets to be put to sleep. We spent ages with him giving him cuddles and saying goodbye and it was really peaceful at the end. Stuart was so kind to Dylan and us, I don't think I could have got through it without him. Rest in Peace our Beautiful Brave Boy, Dylan. We will never forget the love and joy you gave us in your short life.