Results have come back from the blood tests done on 2 of my 3 cats (the big guy was just too heavy to carry). They have pancreatitis. Humans get it, dogs get it – it is, apparently, quite rare for cats to get it – nobody knows why it happens and the outlook is not pretty. As with humans, there is no treatment to “cure” it.
People just don’t eat for a couple of days, the attack passes, and then they hope it will be a long time before the next episode. The cats aren’t eating because it is really painful for them to do so. At 9 and 11 lbs, Olivia and Herbie don’t have much in the way of reserves. Blaze, at 23 lbs, can withstand a few days of not eating but this is not my preferred diet, for sure.
Option 1: Have them hospitalized and treated with IV fluids, pain medication and tube feeding for nutrients. The cost PER CAT for a stay at one of these places is $275 – just for the 24 hr stay. The treatments are on top of that – so I’m figuring about $1500 per day in total. Can’t go there.
Option 2: Try to give them the pain medication myself at home by squirting nasty tasting stuff down their throats. I have tried this before – when Olivia had a major infection – with antibiotics – it didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now. I get 99% of the liquid on me and on the cat’s head – and nothing where it’s supposed to go. Then she foams at the mouth for the next 15 minutes, dripping it all over the house. This method also doesn’t get any fluids into them. We all get very stressed. That one won’t work either.
Option 3: Take them to the vet daily for injections of fluids and pain meds. I did that today. One of my neighbours (Doris) came over and helped me get 3 cats into carriers and then into the car. Cats don’t like carriers or travel so they are vocal. It breaks my heart. We will do the same tomorrow. On Sunday, my vet isn’t open so I have a mobile vet coming to the house to administer the injections. These trips (and the visit) are about $300 each (or per day).
We are into day 1 of Option 3. They have all eaten a tiny bit (about a tsp) of wet food. I guess that’s something.
I’m up to $1200 and change including today with a further $600 committed over the weekend with no idea how long we will have to do this or whether it will work at all. Apparently cats often end up with other nasty side illnesses like diabetes, some sort of hepatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. I should never have googled the subject.
It is so bizarre that all 3 cats are sick. They have been on the same food for months and months – no change there. There is nothing I can think of in the house that they might have ingested – I don’t have any real plants. Quite a mystery.
I hope my next update is a happier one!
Hi Susan: This is all just plain heartbreaking – I feel so badly for your pets, and sympathize with you.