Monday, December 01, 2008

Elliott's Nine Lives

Elliott may have yet another chance... can you believe it?

I didn't go to work today - took Elliott to the vet at 9:30. We saw yet another veterinarian... and I like her. A lot. She reviewed Elliott's entire file before we even arrived, and then reviewed files of his endoscopy last January and uncovered an important piece of information - Elliott has inflammatory bowel disease. I forgot about this because he didn't have any further symptoms, and to date no other vet looked far enough into his files to find it. What she thinks is that he is having a terrible flare-up of IBD at the exact same time he's having a 'thyroid storm.'

The good news is that his thyroid levels, liver enzymes and kidney levels look good from Saturday, which means we're getting the thyroid under control. We also decided not to put him on a feeding tube. So today we loaded him up with an appetite booster (mirtazapine) and a steroid, and our vet thinks this should turn him around. She also said that we need to work together because we're trying to overcome a lot - both IBD and hyperthyroid.

Elliott has been restless and frustrated all day today - never relaxing - and the vet says that it's likely the appetite booster doing it because it's a central nervous system stimulant. We've also stopped his thyroid meds for a day or two to try to get his IBD under control. He may get sick, because we've stopped the thyroid meds, but that should help his IBD in the short term. It's a three day plan. And it's a see-saw.

So what do we know?
- Elliott is extremely hyperthyroid which will require daily medication.
- Elliott has uncontrolled IBD which will probably require steroids 2x per week for his life.
- We NEED to get food in him within the next two days. He IS showing interest this afternoon, but he's too restless to just sit and eat.

I, on the other hand, need sleep. My head hurts, I'm emotional... but I am also FINALLY optimistic. Thank you, Dr Burke for digging. Thank you, friends and mom for calling and emailing and posting. Thank you, Elliott for hanging in there.


Anonymous Cassie said...

You are the best Mommy ever. If I come back as a cat, can I be yours?

December 01, 2008 3:22 PM  
Blogger Summer said...

The steroids should definitely help his appetite. If you can, pick up some of the high calorie gel. It doesn't require lots of "sitting and eating" for him to get some calories in. On the other hand, if he's never been into that type of product, it might not work. Did they give you a suggestion for a high calorie food to try, like kitten food, or does it have to be his regular food?

December 01, 2008 3:36 PM  
Blogger Charissa said...

Cassie - yes. I love you. Thank you.

Summer - I've never tried the gel, but I have the following:
- Gerber baby food Lamb
- Gerber baby food Beef
- Merrick Cat/Kitten Cowboy Cookout (this is what I force fed, though... I doubt he'll ever eat it again)
- Merrick Cat/Kitten Thanksgiving Day Dinner
- Royal Canin Lamb Formula
- Royal Canin Duck Formula (we are trying this one today)

None of these show caloric information, but all were recommended by one or two of the vets we've seen.

December 01, 2008 3:43 PM  
Blogger Summer said...

Oh, right... his allergies. damn, we just dropped a whole flat of the duck food off at Barcs because our cats won't touch it. Hope it works. The nutrical does not have chicken in it. Good luck!

December 01, 2008 3:47 PM  
Blogger Broadsheet said...

I feel for both of you. I know this is horribly draining. Emotionally, and financially. I just hope you both are able to recognize the point at which you've suffered enough. Hang in there. Lots of hugs and hopes for the best.

December 01, 2008 9:04 PM  
Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

Charissa, I hope Elliot has ten million lives! He's a very lucky cat. Go scratch his chin and rub his belly for me, 'k?

December 01, 2008 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, I hope someone will take care of me as well as you are taking care of Elliot.


December 01, 2008 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Charissa,
I am so proud of you for getting a 2nd opinion...that is very important, especially when it comes to animals, as they cannot speak for themselves.
You are the best MOMMY EVER!! Good job...and best of luck with Elliott. (& you for that matter) "All you need is love"

December 02, 2008 10:09 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Glad to hear the good news, I hope Elliot is able to overcome everything. The new vet sounds like she is very committed and won't give up when there is a chance for improvement. I wish all vets were that caring.

December 02, 2008 4:33 PM  
Blogger Cham said...

Are you talking about Dr. Cheryl Burke? If so, she saved my dog's life about 15 years ago. You are dealing with the best.

December 03, 2008 9:22 AM  

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