Thursday, 27 November 2014

Cat troubles again!

It's certainly been a Annus Horribilis  for my cats, and for my wallet too with all the vet expenses!

After having to put down "Mommy" in March due to a dog attack, and a few days later, "Fluffy" was also attacked by a dog, and then "Twiggy" was attacked by a cat in 
April, this time it's "Baby" who has been very sick.

Baby in 2012

It started in September when she stopped eating from one day to the other. 
I had no idea cats couldn't go without food for long as they get a condition called "Feline Hepatic lipidosis", when the liver converts body fat into energy.

So after 3 days without eating I took her to the vet, who said she was jaundiced, which could be seen in the green tinge to the whites of the eyes and greenish gums.
She took some blood for testing and antibiotics were prescribed.

The tests showed her liver enzymes and bilirubin were highly elevated, indicative of liver disease, and a probable cause was given as "the cat might have eaten something poisoned, or a plant that was toxic, or come into contact with some other toxic". 
I don't use toxic sprays in my garden or around the home because of my cats, I'm quite "green" with my home cleaning products, but I presume she could have gone into the park across the road, or a neighbour...

A day or two later after some stressful syringe feeding she started eating again.

She had lost an enormous amount of weight for a cat - around 800 gr - in a period of about 2 weeks, as she was only eating 1/3 of what she would normally eat. She's just skin and bones now!

I contacted a Naturopathic vet in Perth, who recommended I give "Baby" some milk thistle tablets to help with liver regeneration. This is good for people too, specially for people who take lots of medication or drink heavily.

Baby seemed to recover and for about 2 months she was ok, eating normally, etc.

Then suddenly around the 20th of November, she stopped eating once again!
For 2 or 3 days I syringe fed her, with a special "recovery tinned food" from the vet.
This time it was even more stressful, she would scratch me, she looked scared, her ears were flat, her eyes bulging, ever time I came with the syringe close to her mouth...
I usually needed my husband's help to hold her, while I wore garden gloves so as not to get scratched and had a couple of towels dry and wet to clean her up, as she spit half of the food out.

On Saturday 22nd November I took her back to the vet.
The jaundice was back, and new blood tests revealed the levels were high again.
The vet recommended Baby do a scan, which was booked for Wednesday 19th, so a cause could be found for this problem.

The sonographer brought a portable machine into the vet clinic, the cat was given a mild sedative so she could have her belly shaved, but she was still very alert and not at all happy with the the fact she had to lie on her back with 4 people holding her while the sonographer did the scan.
The scan showed she had a blockage on her bile duct to the liver, the mass could be cancerous I was told, but only a biopsy would be able to confirm it was a lymphoma. 
The vet suggested I could take the cat to a Veterinary Oncologist and get his opinion on what type of chemotherapy could be done.

I'm no medical expert, but I know chemo destroys the bad cells as well as the good cells, so I'm not too keen on that type of treatment, and also I just can't afford to go through the expense of chemo for a cat, plus the stress the animal would endure (as well as stress to me).
I told the vet I was keen to rather try Natural therapies and she agreed I should give it a go.

So after I got home, I researched on the net to see what was available in natural therapies.
I know the Naturopathic vet in Perth has some cancer treatments she describes on her website, but they are expensive. 

A lot of sites recommend the Indian spice "Turmeric"as a cure for cancer, but when someone (or the cat in this instance) has a bile duct blockage it shouldn't be taken! This is because it's a liver supporting herb which encourages bile production, so contra-indicated as the obstruction prevents the bile getting through.

Then I came across a site from a shop in Perth - HAMPL - that sells homeopathic medication for pets and ships all over the world.
I sent them an email describing my cat's ailments and I got a reply suggesting a couple of herbal medications she should be on.
Today I picked up those bottles from their office and I've started Baby on them.
The main one for the cancer is Cat's claw, plus other liquid drops for liver detox and lymph detox. They included a booklet - The Natural Animal Health Guide - which is very informative and has suggestions for a natural pet diet.

Once of the main problems for liver toxicity according to both homeopathic vets I spoke to, is the fact that the dry and the tinned food we feed our animals consist of a whole lot of fillers - such as corn, wheat, sugar, salt, Omega 6 bad oils, and a whole lot of other rubbish.

Apart from the food, we poison our animals with various annual vaccines (not in my case, as they only got their baby vaccines), flea sprays and flea collars (don't use them either). 
All of the above are responsible for a whole lot of problems with our dogs and cats, from - skin allergies, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney and liver diseases and finally cancer.
Our animals aren't meant to eat carbs, they're mainly meat eaters.

So I'm now slowly changing my cat's diet from tinned food to a raw diet.

Baby stopped eating again yesterday, and today I had to syringe feed her, but I'm hoping the drops will make her feel better again and she gets her appetite back.

Baby - healthy and slightly overweight

Baby resting in bed with a shaved belly

What are your feelings about Chemo for pets? Have you used homeopathic  meds for your cat or dog? Were you happy with the outcome?
I'm really putting my faith in these, as I don't want to lose another cat, but these last months have been a bit stressful...

PS - December 2014

Baby is slowly recovering, the homeopathic medication which at first I felt was actually making her worse, as she just vomited daily (maybe that was the detox process), actually started helping her feel better.
I still syringe fed her for another week or so and eventually one day she just went to the food bowl and started eating a little bit on her own.
She now seems to be hungry all the time, I discovered she loves tinned sardines, and she has put on about 900gr in 3 weeks.
Considering she had lost about 2,2kg in 2 months, she still has a big to go to look like her previous self. Although she doesn't need to put on all the weight she had before, as she was a bit overweight.
I'm glad she is better and happy and my faith in the homeopathic medicine has been rewarded.


  1. Bem..., de fcato, que tempos complicados. Desconhecia por completo este tipo de tratamentos naturais para os animais. Acho que faz em tentar, Sami. Pode ser que a Baby melhore sem ter de se sujeitar à quimioterapia, que é uma terapia tão agressiva. Vamos rezar para que a Baby melhore e a Sami possa relaxar mais um pouco. Deve andar cansadíssima, claro...Consigo bem imaginar o stress e o sufoco. Vá contando dos progressos da Baby. Sim, ela vai melhorar. Fingers crossed! Beijinhos às duas!

    1. Pois tambem nao tinha conhecimento deste tratamentos para animais, mas felizmente na internet encontra-se tanta informacao interessante.
      Vou tentar este metodo e ver o que da. Obrigada Sandra xxx

  2. Oh my! what a lot of problems she's had. No I've never had to try chemo on a pet, I know it can make humans feel wretched so I should imagine it would be the same for animals. It looks as if it may be coming up time to make some hard decisions Sami, that's the only downside of having pets, generally we outlive them and then have to make these very sad choices.

    1. Thanks Grace, if she doesn't recover and start eating, I'll have to make that very hard decision and let go...

  3. Oh gosh Baby looks so much like a cat I once had. I hope this natural treatment works, and that next year is a better year for your pets.

    1. Thanks Gill, she is so weak at the moment not eating much from the syringe either...I'm so sad. I really hope I don't have another year like this again!

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  5. Poor Baby. Hope he recovers soon.

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