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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 09:06 AM   #41
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

We (DW, that is) has a cat that's diabetic. DW gives her a shot twice a day and takes a glucose reading. We took her to Galveston with us. When we take a long airplane trip, she gets put in the kennel. Of course, DW worries about her all the time we're gone. I recommend NOT having a pet when you retire, because, like kids, they must be fed and cared for every day. Don't take this wrong, I like the cat, too. But, the animal's care is detrimental to and/or costly to your travel.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 10:30 AM   #42
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Ladelfina...long time no see!

They're pretty much ON a 'raw diet'. Innova EVO dry food is a no-grain, dry alternative "raw diet" style food for pets. Its just protein, including the bones and connective tissues, organs etc. Some vegetable matter and some probiotics. Almost all protein and fat.

Seems to be working for the cats, even the non-diabetic ones. They look pretty good and are holding their weight and the IBD is better.

Still craps on the floor if I let her in though. Did it right in front of me last week, walked up, squatted, pooped and then ran like hell. Did it to my wife a few days later.

The EVO didnt work as well with the dogs. A prodigious amount of very unhappy smelling gas.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 11:44 AM   #43
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I switched my 11 year old cat to Innova dry food about a month or two ago. I got a sample of 2 of the dry foods at the feed store while picking up my bird seed. Gave my cat his choice of the 2 new foods or his regular food, and he picked one of the Innova brands.

The racoons loved his old food...the one that he refused to eat after I started him on Innova. Not sure if he has more energy eating the new food but I feel better feeding it to him. At 11, he sleeps a lot....
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 12:09 PM   #44
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

hmm, well, I tend to look at dry foods the way I'd look at Nutri-Form or Slim Fast bars. They may have "complete nutrition", but if you raised your kid on that and nothing else, they'd probably have a whole host of issues.

There are millions of dollars that go into slick marketing campaigns for processed pet food (and processed human food). No-grain is a step in the right direction, but you are brainwashed fooling yourself if you think any dry food = "raw". Comprehensible only in the double speak world of food processing, where Tropicana is "fresh-squeezed" (rather than "boiled") and "fresh frozen" is a common descriptor.

CFB, just try actual real raw food for a few weeks. Again, what do you have to lose? Read the vet's link which addresses specific issues with dry food. Don't wanna be on a soapbox, but I feel pretty strongly about this topic and am just trying to help -- I'd love to see your kitties happier & healthier, and you spend less time cleaning up poop. Let us know if it works!
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 03:21 PM   #45
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

re all of the above: that's what i like about cats .... no trouble at all!
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 04:27 PM   #46
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I you elect for radioactive iodine thyroid ablation, which is I am sure what they are talking about, this will probably be a one time pill. If it is successful, then the thyroid will probably be entirely destroyed. You may have to supplement with thyroid in the future. I just had this done on myself.

$1,200 seems very high as I paid much less for myself. I would call around to other vets. I would consider calling your nearest Vet College as I know they normally do the best of work at honest prices.

As for me, having raised many bottlefed calfs and animals over the years to ultimately feed my family with them, if it cost that much I would take care of (get rid of) the cat...unless you are exceedingly rich then what does it matter.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 04:52 PM   #47
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway
I you elect for radioactive iodine thyroid ablation, which is I am sure what they are talking about, this will probably be a one time pill. If it is successful, then the thyroid will probably be entirely destroyed. You may have to supplement with thyroid in the future. I just had this done on myself.

Sailaway
This apparently is not the case with felines. The overproduction of thyroid hormone is almost always due to a thyroid tumor. According to the vet where the procedure will be done, the radioisotope destroys only tumor, not the healthy thryroid. So no future thyroid supplement should be required. I certainly hope this is the case as the primary reason we are opting for this treatment is that the local vets will no longer accept our cat for boarding due to his hostile behavior toward anyone but our family. Since we are the only ones who can give him his daily pills (without major injury ) we presently cannot leave him home while we travel and have a neighbor give him food and water. The expectation is that after the treatment we will be able to do that.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #48
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Grumpy, have you tried any other techniques to administer the medicine? For instance, could the pills be ground up and mixed with your cat's wet food? Maybe this would work if the cat were good and hungry.

For our dog, we roll the pill in a small amount of thin deli meat. He is very enthusiastic about this and with other techniques he would try to separate the pill from the food.

Les
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 08:23 PM   #49
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbcal
Grumpy, have you tried any other techniques to administer the medicine? For instance, could the pills be ground up and mixed with your cat's wet food? Maybe this would work if the cat were good and hungry.

For our dog, we roll the pill in a small amount of thin deli meat. He is very enthusiastic about this and with other techniques he would try to separate the pill from the food.

Les
Les,

The cat only eats dry food and he "snacks" a little bit at a time throughout the day. Therefore, it is not possible to control the dosage that way. Also he shows no interest in people food or kitty snacks (we've tried putting his pill inside one). Actually, I have no difficulty giving him the pill by hand. I just put him on my chest, pry open his mouth, pop in the pill and hold his mouth closed until he swallows. He has learned from experience that "resistance is futile" so he is pretty cooperative. That all applies to me or DW but anyone else risks a severe scratching or bite if they try to give him his pill.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 11:07 PM   #50
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Grumpy, my thought was that even though the current pill delivery works for you it does not work for caregivers e.g. your daughter or others. You have plenty of time to experiment and develop a method. I can relate to the fact that your cat likes dry food and that is certainly easy and nutritious, but it is probably not the ideal food to hide a pill (or ground up pill) inside. The best time to introduce your cat to a new dietary delight is when it is not stressed by other things. If the cat does not go for the wet food right away there is always the "this is all there is" tactic. Perhaps your cat could be trained to go between dry and wet. Most of our pets are terribly spoiled when it comes to food. Now if you had a Corgi like ours there would be no problem as he will eat anything (including horse manure, used tissues, you name it).

On the other hand there is always the $1200 solution. I agree with another poster that it might be wise to shop around. We were told that our dog might need an MIR and spinal tap totalling about $3500 (we chose not to do it). Only later did another vet casually mention other alternatives like going to a nearby city to make use of the university verternarian center there -- the cost was at least half off.

Just my thoughts and perhaps others have some experience along these lines.

Les
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-30-2006, 10:40 AM   #51
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Just an update on the cat. I got the results of the blood test of the cat's thryroid level (after being off the medication for 7 days). It was 25 - what the vet called "extremely high". With a level that high the cat may require two treatments with the radioisotope. They do give a break on the price of the second treatment if it is needed - half price. The cat has not been fun to live with off the medication - very hyper, meowing all the time, eating prodigiously and throwing up frequently. I can't wait to get the treatment done and hopefully have him back to somewhat normal. Contrary to what Sailaway posted above, the situation with cats is not parallel to humans. The treatment will only destroy the tumor, not the healthy thryroid tissue so the cat should not require supplemental thryroid hormone after the treatment. The treatment is scheduled for June 5th. I will let you all know how it goes.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-30-2006, 04:19 PM   #52
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
We (DW, that is) has a cat that's diabetic.* DW gives her a shot twice a day and takes a glucose reading.* We took her to Galveston with us.* When we take a long airplane trip, she gets put in the kennel.* Of course, DW worries about her all the time we're gone.* I recommend NOT having a pet when you retire, because, like kids, they must be fed and cared for every day.* Don't take this wrong, I like the cat, too.* But, the animal's care is detrimental to and/or costly to your travel.*
I agree, I wouldn't recommend cats for retired life. Our cat has also had diabetes for the past 3 years. We tried shots but he would get sick and wouldn't eat. The vet said to stop the shots and get him eating again. We found that if we feed him every 6-8 hours, he's fine as it regulates his blood sugar. The vet said to keep doing it if it works.

So for the past 3 years we've been feeding the cat 4 times a day. This makes it hard to travel as the cat isn't kennel-friendly and it would be too much of a burden to ask someone to stop by to feed the cat 4 times a day. And I always thought cats were low maintenance* . Anyway, we won't be getting anymore animals after this one.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-02-2006, 06:13 AM   #53
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Grumpy,
Best of luck with treatment #2.
We got some bad news yesterday about Katie, our mixed breed dog. She's 9 and the smartest, best dog I've ever had. She began to lose interest in food a few weeks ago, and after many trips to the vet we found out she has advanced cancer in her digestive tract, liver, lymph nodes, etc. She's losing weight, and it's clearly just a matter of whether to keep her as comfortable as possible for awhile, or to put her to sleep.

The whole family is very upset

I'm glad we have animals in our lives, but it is hard to let them go.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-02-2006, 07:15 AM   #54
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Peter, Becky, Prancer, Critter

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-02-2006, 05:46 PM   #55
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
I'm glad we have animals in our lives, but it is hard to let them go.*
Amen to that Sam ... I'm sorry about your Katie.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-02-2006, 06:34 PM   #56
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Sorry to hear about Katie. Best of Luck in these trying times.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-02-2006, 06:50 PM   #57
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Awww Sam, I'm so sorry about Katie.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-03-2006, 10:08 PM   #58
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Sorry about your pup Sam.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-04-2006, 12:15 PM   #59
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I'm so sorry about your Katie.
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:22 PM   #60
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Thanks for all the thoughtful notes.

Here's a big downside of ESR vs ER: I am away from home this week (I had to be--I made the committment for this work months ago and there's nobody else to do it, and we'll have a "team failure" if I left.) Katie is slowly sinking--she's not in pain, but she's now refusing to eat all food and growing weaker. My wife is taking care of her, and trying to make the best of the time remaining (today she took her on a car trip to see the local groundhogs, which always get's Katie's pulse up). I think Katie will die on her own before the week is out, and it is possible my wife may need to have her put to sleep. That's a trip to the vet we should be taking together, but I'm hundreds of miles away. I'm starting to reconsider some things I thought I had decided upon . . .


lg4nb,
FWIW, I think you did the right thing for wolfpuppy. We have the option to put Katie through chemotherapy--it had the potential to extend her life for 2 to 6 months, but will not cure her (the vet says there's no record of a single dog being cured through chemo). It would cost about $1500. She'd be sick the entire time, and the result would be the same, but just months later. I care too much to do that to her--or to put the rest of the family through this for that long. If I thought it had a 50% chance of making her well, I'd spend the money in a heartbeat.

Again, thanks for the kind words. I'll check in again and close the loop when this ends.

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