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Unread 01-08-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tolly's tummy/intestinal trouble

Earlier this week Tolly has one of his sick tummy/intestinal spells.

These spells have become more and more frequent as he gets older, in spite of my efforts of daily grooming and a strict hairball remedy regimen (every four days in winter, every other day in shedding seasons). They are caused by a build up of fur in his intestines, the fur seems to form a lining inside making him very ill, with inappetence, diarrhea and vomiting, until all of it gets passed.

Sometimes he becomes so ill that sub q fluids are necessary to keep him going until he can eat again. For a long time I had a supply of lactated ringers here, but it expired in October. At that time I spoke to my vet and now in his records at the vet he has a standing order from my vet that if I need a bag of fluids for him I can go get it without him being seen, even if my vet is not there to approve it. This gives me great peace of mind.

Luckily this time it didn't get that far. I caught the signs early, though sometimes it's difficult to tell with him. The first indication he's having trouble is he goes off his food, just slightly at first. It's difficult because Tolly is a picky eater at the best of times, and often has a day or two where his appetite just isn't there, then he goes right back to normal.

But the next sign is diarrhea, and as soon as I saw that I remembered my vet's advice to begin the "aggressive hairball remedy therapy", large (a whole teaspoon) frequent (3 times a day) dosing of hairball remedy to both absorb the acid in his empty tummy and to help shift the fur lining in his intestines.

I did that for two days, and a more serious problem was averted, whew.

And then yesterday he went and ate a quarter cup of sharp cheddar cheese I had just shredded, good grief. Well he got a large dose of hair ball remedy for that too, and so far shows no adverse affects.
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Unread 01-08-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Oh no gail. Hopefully you wont have any issues from the cheese. Giving him the hairball remedy should help. Those pesky hairballs, at least you cut off the first one at the pass. Boy they are fast when it comes to getting things they shouldnt. Keep me posted about the cheese incident.
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Unread 01-09-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Terri. Hey Terri, in another forum someone mentioned that Tolly might have a motility problem, which is keeping the hair from moving through, and that's why it's accumulating in his intestines. It hadn't occurred to me before, nor to my vet either, but it does make sense.

I'm going to schedule his next recheck/bloodwork for this month instead of February. He was going every 3 months, but his last check up and blood work was so good we decided to let him go four months.

But I'm going to stick to schedule and talk this over with my vet. I don't even know if he can take cisapride, he takes phenobarbital and denosyl and his liver is already compromised from the phenobarbital.

I'll have to look into how Cisapride is processed. If it's through the liver, that's out.

Do you have any thoughts on that?
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Unread 01-09-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Well unfortunaetly the intestine motility is a common issue and the cisapride actually works very well. I have a feeling one of my cats are going to be on that also. As far as the pheno and cisapride together im not real sure if that would be to hard on the liver and what not. The blood work you had recently is good and then if the combo is ok 2 weeks to a month after taking the meds the vet will probably want to redraw bloodwork to see if any changes. I havent seen too many cats that take pheno so that is going to be the million dollar question. Another question is has he ever gotten constipated from the hair not being able to pass or the stools to hard?
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Thank you for your thoughts Terri. No, Tolly doesn't have any constipation problems at all. He gets diarrhea from the fur, instead.

My Bridge Angel Ootay was on cisapride for megacolon for many years. She had frequent blood work and her liver was never affected.

However Tolly already HAS liver damage, from the phenobarbital. He takes denosyl and that has brought his numbers back into normal range.

And he is very sensitive to other medications. I'm not sure I would want to add another, but I do want to hear my vet's thoughts on the theory that he may be developing a motility problem.
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Unread 01-09-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Oh, poor Tolly. He's lucky to have such a good mommy though. As far as the liver goes, I know milk thistle is good for HUMANS when they have liver issues. I wonder if it would be good for cats????
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Unread 01-09-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntKitty View Post
Oh, poor Tolly. He's lucky to have such a good mommy though. As far as the liver goes, I know milk thistle is good for HUMANS when they have liver issues. I wonder if it would be good for cats????
Thanks Ann! You are right on the nose with that! Tolly does take milk thistle. Well he takes Denosyl, and that is what Denosyl is, the sylibin of the milk thistle.

The Denosyl has done wonders for his liver. His ALT numbers were sky high a year ago, up in the 500s. (normal range is under 100. After a reduction of his phenobarbital dose (very scary time) and starting the denosyl, by the six month mark his numbers had dropped into almost normal range, and have remained there through his last two blood work ups.
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Oh that's great news!!!!
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Im glad to hear he doesnt get the mega colon. Did your vet discover what the seizures are from? I do agree on not overmedicating and Im glad the thistle brought his ALT back down to normal. Side effects of the meds can sometimes be worse that not taking the meds themselves. I will be interested to hear what your vet says. I just am not familiar with cats and pheno, I actually dont think I have seen any cats on it the more I think about it. thyroid and kidney issues seem to be common though. Please keep me posted....
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Tolly's diagnosis is Idiopathic Partial Seizure disorder. Idiopathic means (for those who don't know) they don't know why. They started when he was about a week shy of turning 3 years old. (that's a guess because he was a rescue but he was only five weeks old when he found me)

In the last few years I have read so much about FHS and some some of his symptoms did match up to FHS but his episodes went beyond that.

Without the phenobarbital he has having them every hour except when he slept. He saw a neurologist at Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital. That was his second visit, his first time there was for his herpes eyes, he had to see a veterinary ophthalmologist.

I am grateful I live so close to Cornell University Vet school. It's only a two hour drive.
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