Not quite a month since Larry and I headed up to Cork to see if Gilabbey could help him with his chronic snots. We’d had a pretty successful fundraising campaign to raise the funds for the op and the tests and the recovery – thanks again to all who donated – Larry, KLAWS and myself are all incredibly grateful! As always, you will have to forgive my lack of veterinary terminology in the following paragraphs – but hopefully I’ll get the gist of it.
You may remember our return from Gilabbey, with a very unhappy Larry, tonsured and confined to a lampshade collar so he couldn’t get at the stitches in his forehead. He’d had an operation to access the source of his problem, basically the back of his nose. His wee nasal passages had been thoroughly flushed, to get rid of the build up and hopefully ease the irritation. And he’d been swabbed again so tests could be run to find out what the problem might be – and what might help him.
So poor Larry remained unmedicated for a few days while we waited for the results to come back. And on Wednesday we found out, to no surprise, that he’d built up a resistance to the antibiotics he’d been on through his year with me. But there were a few antibiotics that might help, and one in particular. But he’d need to take that antibiotic for six months to be absolutely sure nothing remained to give him trouble.
So we got the antibiotic from our local vet surgery. And we gave Larry the first pill. And he really, really didn’t like it. Hated it. Horrible, horrible, horrible. You get the picture (though sorry it’s so blurred – he was running round a lot so it was difficult to get a good shot, bless im). The antibioitic isn’t palatable, and drooling and discomfort is the result. Drooling this intense is rare as far as I’m aware – so this is a pretty extreme example. Larry’s usually really easy to pill for the first week of a course. He gets a bit fed up after that and it can be a bit hit and miss, but not insurmountable. This is a different ball game altogether. He and I popped down to the vets and Jenny had a go. Nope, very difficult even for her – and she’s a pill-giver extraordinaire. We got the pill down him, but he was a very, very unhappy lil puss.
What to do? I checked back with Gilabbey, and this particular antibiotic seems to be his best bet – if we start him on it and then stop, he’ll only build up a resistance to it too. No palatable alternative seemed to be available. I tried covering the pill in butter – nope, still sucks. Yuk! Yuk! Yuk! I think this pic says it all! Injections seem the only alternative. But the injection stings, and we can’t be injecting him for six months – he’ll be in agony at the end of it. So Jen posted on a vet forum and we got several suggestions. The one I’m most hopeful of is to crush the pill and put it in a capsule. This would hopefully mean the taste wouldn’t be such an issue. A further suggestion to dip it in fish oil first gives even more hope. We’re waiting to hear back from the pharmacy about getting empty capsules. And in the meantime, Larry is alternating between yucky pills and stinging injections and is thoroughly, thoroughly miserable. The cure is worse than the illness as far as far as he’s concerned.
The staff at the Veterinary Clinic are being fantastic as always – Jennifer, Fachtna and Teresa are all looking into options. It’s just taking time. And the whole thing is complicated by the fact that my menagerie consists of all the broken felines who couldn’t find a home – FIVs, seniors, a wobbler, a genetic mutant and another snotrag, Barley. I’m going to have to figure out a way to keep Barley and Larry separate so they don’t keep passing the snots back and forth between them. And they’re best mates. Added to which, Larry can’t go out because he sometimes goes on walkabout for more than 24 hours – and he can’t miss a pill. He’s always been an outdoor cat – indoors is a luxury he’s only encountered since being taken in by KLAWS. And he loves the outdoors – he is literally climbing the walls trying to get out (video to follow). And I am completely nauseated by the idea of giving injections. I’ll just have to get over that, of course.
In the meantime, Larry is confined to the indoors, is getting Lycine daily, eucalyptus steams and Vicks dabs on his chest, and an anti-inflammatory from time to time to help his breathing. So far, the snots have improved. But not hugely, one nostril remains pretty permanently clogged.
So things are not good. Larry is completely depressed. And I’m totally distressed by the whole thing. As a result, the whole household is frazzled. I wish I’d better news. But I’m hoping we can sort something out. And we’ll continue to look for and try all the options we can to help this lovely wee lad. He’d be better off in a household with no other cats. But I can’t imagine anyone else taking this on.
To be honest, I can’t quite believe that, in this day and age, we can’t get a palatable version of the antibiotic. If we could there wouldn’t be a problem.
Any helpful comments and advice are very welcome.
Lastly, if you can find it in your heart to donate a wee bit towards Larry’s ongoing medication, or any of KLAWS work, it would be much appreciated. See their site for details.