We had put Pepper's neutering off because of his pneumonia battle, that was inexplicably combined with a persistant problem with loose stools. The need to make a choice to have Pepper neutered became crucial, so the procedure was scheduled to happen after an ultrasound scheduled for this morning, to check a suspected heart murmur. This murmur has now, with the ultrasound, been officially diagnosed as ventricular septal defect. This disease has been progressing quite quickly in the short time we have known Pepper, based upon signs of quick exhaustion, for example, and when the decision was made to go ahead for his neutering, the vet discovered that if it hadn't been done today, Pepper would not have been likely to survive having this procedure done. This was a big day in his little life, and I am very glad it is over as he recovers peacefully between 'Uncle' Hamlet, and 'Uncle' Thumper. The old boys are happy to oblige.
As Pepper's disease progresses, we are adding notes to the bottom of this blog.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Pepper has been with us for a year, now, and his prognosis has him in our lives for another two months. So far he is not progressing to further stages other than being more tired, and we have been thrilled to discover that FortiFlora has corrected his chronic diarrhea better than any other remedy. We wish we had known about this product back when we first adopted Pepper as it would have given him a better chance of absorbing nutrients during the critical growth period in his life. However, it is a blessing to have it available now.
This evening Pepper let out a loud moan that was very clearly an expression of pain. Then this happened a second time. When I found him he was lying out on the kitchen floor and we think he exerted himself too much running up the stairs as he likes to do. We believe he has had a painful angina attack.
After consulting with Pepper's veterinarian, I gave him a half tablet of baby aspirin in a gelatine capsule as he was still restricting his activity level immensely and has been hiding in the box at the top of the cat tree to avoid interaction with "uncle" Thumper. "Uncle" Thumper has, in his turn, not initiated aggressive behavior with Pepper. He has always been fairly sensitive toward Pepper's needs, which has been great considering he is just a cat.
About an hour after receiving the aspirin, which was given to reduce inflammation and pain from the bruising inside his heart, Pepper threw up liquid, and continued to have little bouts of this for another hour or so. Hopefully some of the aspirin stayed down to give him some relief. We think it did as he was more himself later in the day, but still restricting his level of activity.
This morning Pepper got up and had his usual chosen snack of Royal Canin Diabetic DS 44, and then promptly threw it up all around where I was trying to get lunches made for distribution. Grrr! Later he voluntarily ate his capsules of FortiFlora, (it is great to have a cat who pills himself), with no problem, and then chose to climb back into the box on the cat tree. This has recently become his favorite retreat. While I didn't push him to the 'family' breakfast, I did leave out freeze dried fish treats which were gone later when I checked. His paws are now warm from being in the enclosed environment, even though he has had little activity this morning.
As DH has been through heart troubles, he is thinking that as Pepper always has much more problem breathing when he has been at rest for a long period, that the nausea today was caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. I sincerely hope that is what happened as I would like to have some resource available to use when Pepper expresses serious pain. The veterinarian has suggested trying some food first next time we need to give him aspirin, so as to 'fool' the stomach. I am not looking forward to experimenting on him like this as the wretching of nausea must be hard on his little heart, too.
At the moment he is feeling warm and cosy and purring contentedly, hopefully forgetting the pain his body inficts upon him with the angina attacks.
We have stopped the aspirin as Pepper seems to have a major issue with it. He seems to continue to do just as well without it, and if he does develop another angina attack I will be posting to indicate whether this was a wise choice or not.
Pepper seemed to be doing very well with feces stability so we slowly backed off with the FortiFlora, and he continues to do just fine without it. It is wonderful to see the fluid spillage back off as it is not showing up elsewhere instead. We are beginning to feel we will have this little fellow around for quite some time to come if he doesn't overdo the canonball runs around the house the minute human legs and feet are out of the way.
Posted by Pat at 11:07 AM