It was very important that my food cabinet was restocked, but it’s even more important to say Happy Father’s Day to my Dad. He’s the bestest Dad ever and I’m glad he’s mine. Mom got him some candy and a book for Father’s Day, but I decided his gift should have some fun ribbon attached to it.
I watched him open his gifts, then we played with the ribbon.
Remember, ribbons and strings can only be played with if your humans are supervising.
I hope all of you kitties with Dads had a great Father’s Day and let your man-human know how much you love and appreciate him.
After yesterday’s frightening sight of only 1 can of food in my cabinet, I was relieved to see 60 cans of chicken deliciousness. Yummm!
This is not an advertisement for Wellness cat food, but it is my favorite. The cans on the right are grain-free chicken and the cans on the left are grain-free/fish-free chicken. I have other brands of canned food, but since I’m on a limited diet to try to narrow down what my itchy-fur biting might be caused by, they’re on the other side of the cabinet and you can’t see them. My dry food (Merrick brand) is stored in the refrigerator so it stays as fresh as possible.
Some of you commented that I had 4 plates in my cabinet. Actually, I have 14 plates, including a new one Mom got me when she restocked my cabinet with food. Since chicken is my favorite food, I thought it was fitting to have a chicken motif plate.
Do any of you have a plate collection? Or do you eat from a dish that gets washed after each meal and reused?
Here I am enjoying the last of the morning sunpuddle before the sun goes higher and the windows are closed up for the day. It’s going to be over 100 degrees today, so that’s too hot to enjoy afternoon sunpuddles.
Sadly, my sunpuddle time was cut short by a trip to the vet for a checkup about my itchiness and hairloss. A few weeks ago I posted about trying a medication called Apoquel to help alleviate my itching. It’s not working as well as we had hoped so we’re trying a slightly different approach for a couple weeks. I’ll continue the Apoquel and an antihistamine once daily, but we’re adding some oral steroids (prednisolone) to see if that helps calm things down again. A steroid shot worked really well a few months ago but we opted for pills this time because I’ll readily eat it crushed up in my canned food. Mom has to call the vet in 10 days to report on my progress. This isn’t a long-term solution and our next step is going to a dermatologist to see what ideas or suggestions they have. Mom is not eager to have me undergo allergy testing because I’m very shy and get easily stressed at even simple vet visits. But that may be the only way to get more information about what’s causing my itchiness and hairloss. We’ve been dealing with this for almost two years, so we’re running out of options with our regular vet and I’d like to figure out what’s wrong and be able to grow my furs back!
Raven went to the vet again to try to get better control of her itching & hair loss. She got a steroid injection last month, and it worked well for about two weeks. As the drug wore off, she started licking & biting again and gave herself a few more bald patches. She’s also trying to barf up a hairball, but her 5 a.m attempt at that was unsuccessful.
You can see in this photo that the underside of her tail is missing a lot of fur. Her lower belly and back legs are also missing quite a lot of fur. Luckily, she does not have any rashes or sores on her skin.
Even with some missing fur, she’s still a beautiful kitty and she looked gorgeous in the late afternoon sunlight.
The vet and I had a lengthy discussion about options for treating Raven.
Do nothing and let her be itchy, eat her fur, and be “naked”. This eliminates any risks from medications, but leaves her uncomfortable and at risk of getting a hairball that could cause a blockage in her digestive system. We ruled out this option because none of that is acceptable.
Treat with steroids as we did before. Steroids are effective, but they come with side effects and long-term risks. We could use either a long-acting injection or daily pills. Both carry the same long-term risks and the injection has additional short-term risks (you can’t reverse it if something else goes wrong). We ruled out this option because I’m not comfortable with the long-term risks of steroids, particularly inducing diabetes. I have had a diabetic cat and it’s not something I want to risk with Raven.
Treat with cyclosporine (drug name Atopica) that suppresses the immune system. It has been in use for many years in cats and can be very successful. But suppressing the immune system leaves the animal susceptible to other infections. It can also cause vomiting, and apparently tastes horrific and can become difficult to give. We ruled out this option because I felt the potential risks outweigh the benefits for Raven. To me, this was using a very powerful drug to deal with a non-critical problem. If Raven also had skin sores, I would give this option more consideration.
Use a newer medication called Apoquel. It is a small pill given daily to suppress a specific part of the inflammation response. Unlike cyclosporine, it does not suppress the immune system, and it does not have the risks that steroids have. Apoquel is approved for use in dogs and is working quite well with minimal side effects. Apoquel is not approved for use in cats.
We decided to go with Option 4 – Apoquel. Since it is not approved for cats, we are using it “off label”, but that’s not uncommon in veterinary medicine. It’s also the first time my vet has used it in a cat, but he feels it is working very well in dogs and thinks it will be tolerated just as well in cats.
Neither my vet nor I are entirely comfortable being on the “cutting edge” of new drug therapies. We prefer to use drugs that have been used for a couple years so that the long term side effects and risks are better known. But we agreed to take a leap of faith give Apoquel a try. We’re hoping it will give Raven relief from her itchiness and fur ingestion, and she’ll tolerate it well. Paws crossed that the next few weeks brings less biting and some fur growing back.
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I started the Indulged Furries Website long before I began blogging so there's lots more information about how we kept our senior pets happy & healthy and how we dealt with a variety of health issues. It's the more serious side of our online life.