September 27th 2009 11:45 am
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Hi kitty friends!
Today is a new day and I'm feeling good! My legs are listening to me when I tell them to move! I'm using the litterbox all on my own and only needed a little bit of help to clean up my nekkid bottom (where'd my fluffypants go?!). I even stretched up on the cat tree to sharpen my claws and balanced on my back legs!!!
The neurologist said that I would hopefully improve within a day of taking the medicine and that within a week, there would definitely be improvement if his diagnosis was correct. He also said that within a couple of months, I may be able to walk normally again. Well, he must have been giving me a very guarded prognosis because if I keep improving every day, there is no way it's going to take months for me to walk normally! I am well on my way! And I just know that these legs of mine are going to start jumping soon!
I played a bit with Charlie today. I even gave him a little bit of a chase! And I'm all about my mousies again; having fun like a kitten should! I love my special treats; they are called pill pockets, whatever that means! And I've been HUNGRY! I can't wait until I can jump back up on the counter and supervise mommy while she gets meals ready.
I have new photos in my photobook. This is * me * modeling the latest fashion in fuzzy boots like my pals Calvin and Aldo! I'm also modeling the latest fashion in punk rock hairstyles! It's called the * reverse mohawk! * Here's * another view. * I actually wouldn't recommend this hairstyle; a kitty gets cold!!! And for all of the girlcats and mommies out there, here's a couple of me being * foxy * and * adorable! *
I hope all my friends are having a great Sunday morning, too!
September 26th 2009 9:12 am
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Leo's toxoplasmosis tests came back NEGATIVE! This is great news as it means that Leo's disease is most likely not due to an infectious disease and Lucy and Charlie are (almost certainly) not at risk of contracting whatever is going on with him!!! That was my biggest fear after Wednesday's vet visit. Purrs and Purrayers are working!
Leo did have some very loose stool this morning but made it to the litterbox and did not vomit or lay down in the litterbox when he was done. Talked to the vet; she said it might be a side effect from the prednisolone or, more likely, from the pill pockets which have some ingredients Leo has never had before. She called in a prescription for metronidazole but I'm hoping he doesn't need it because that medicine is horrible.
Besides that, he looks great today! The vet said that if it's the right medicine for him, the prednisolone should start to work in 12-24 hours and it really has! It makes me think the neurologist was right on in his treatment plan! (The neurologist is my favorite person in the world right now!)
Leo is playful today! A cricket got in the house this morning and Leo let me know by pawing at it and following it around. The cricket was rescued and Leo got lots of hugs and loving! Leo is walking more today, climbing the stairs and he even used his front paws to pull up onto the ottoman (so he could check out the laptop and happenings in Catsterland!). He is now walking with his tail extended straight up and his bottom up in the air; the vet said this is probably Leo's way of compensating for lack of balance and muscle control. She said his tail is like a fifth limb!
Keep those purrs coming for our little Leo ~ they are working!
We are true believers in the power of the paw and the power of the purr!
Smiles and hope,
Leo's mom Molly
September 25th 2009 9:41 pm
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Hi kitty friends!
Wow, what a difference 24 hours can make! I am feeling much better tonight. I am HUNGRY. I've eaten all kinds of food today. Tonight, I got a yummy little treat that I've never had before. I liked it! While I was eating it, I tasted something kind of hard and icky but I just swallowed it. Yum. Mommy called it a "pill pocket" and she said "it worked!" Whatever that means...
I have been attempting to walk quite a bit tonight. I even managed to pull myself up two steps, all by myself! I needed help getting down but that will come. And then I played a bit with one of the feather wands, batting at it with my paws and chewing on it. I also did my fair share of snuggling with mommy, kneading on her and headbonking her. She gave me lots of kisses and said they were from all my Catster friends!
I'm feeling playful and hungry and that feels good!
Foxy headbonks and lots of love,
September 25th 2009 9:20 am
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From Leo's Mommy:
Last night was rough for my little guy. He just didn't feel well. I couldn't get him to eat or drink anything, not even baby food. Finally he ate a tiny piece of a chicken treat. I gave him his first dose of prenisolone; the neurologist had given me the choice of liquid or pills. I chose liquid- wrong choice. We had a heck of a time giving it to him and he was foaming at the mouth and hiding.
He was really out of it (anesthesia). He perked up about 3 hours later and groomed his front paws. He then stood up (!) and hobbled to the litterbox (3 feet away), climbed in (!), and peed. He was also able to poop a little. Unfortunately, it was really taxing on him and when I helped him out of the box, he started vomiting bile. I'm hoping the medication was already digested at this point.
He didn't want to be held or petted. I slept on the floor next to him (note to self- get air mattress!) all night. He moved around a bit, slept on top of my blanket and finally got comfortable near Sophie on her dog bed. I was pretty worried about him and was close to taking him to the ER vet. But I didn't want to stress him out if it wasn't absolutely necessary and was hopeful that once the anesthesia fully wore off he would start looking and feeling better.
This morning his eyes are definitely a little brighter. When I offered him wet food this morning, he ate nearly an ounce all on his own. I am so hopeful that he can keep it down. He walked (!) from the dog bed to the cat tree (about 10 feet) and rested for awhile. He then walked another 5 feet and laid down again. He's sleeping right now.
I'm excited to see him up on all four legs and feet. He is definitely very wobbly and odd-looking as he walks. His walk reminds me of kittens with CH; he's kind of floppy and looks like he's all legs. But it's better to see him like this than not walking at all.
I was scared last night, still hopeful, but scared to see him so out of it. I'm going to work from home today (hopefully back to work on Monday unless I win the lottery and can be a stay at home mommy!) as I'm afraid to leave him. Lucy's having a grumpy day today, hissing at both kittens and smacking Charlie around. She was great last night and even gave Leo some licks and love. Poor kitty, it's definitely been stressful on the whole family.
I have a call into our regular vet to talk about his vomiting, lack of appetite, and getting a prescription for pills rather than liquid. Hoping that he's feeling better today and will keep food down. He was definitely hungry this morning!
Overall, it was a long and anxious night but today is a new day. We're ready to climb the mountain, one paw at a time (thanks for all the encouraging comments!).
Hazel Lucy's lullaby to little Leo last night ~
Ain't no mountain high enough...
September 24th 2009 7:30 pm
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I'm home and I managed to wrestle my diary away from my mommy. She hijacked it nearly a week ago and I haven't had a chance to meow!
I've been very sick. I still cannot stand up or walk and that is very frustrating for me. I manage to pull my body along the floor about 6 inches at a time but it's really hard for me. Right now I am resting next to mommy.
I went to see a specialist today. Luckily I live in the #2 cat friendly city in the US (thanks for telling me that Samoa!) and the neurologist was able to see me right away. The neurologist mostly sees doggie patients. He was treating a HUGE Cane Corso today; I like my own doggie but that doggie was huge and scary! Mommy made sure to tell the doctor to keep me as far away from all of the dogs as possible. I was the only kitty there. The vet says that if I recover, that I can be their kitty spokescat since I'm so handsome! MOL!
They shaved funny parts of my body. My fur is a mess. Yesterday the vet shaved off my fluffy pants and underneath my tail. Today they shaved my front leg and they shaved all the fur off of the back of my head and neck! I am truly naked!
I hope to feel up to eating and drinking some water later tonight and maybe even use the litterbox, with help of course. Mommy got me all kinds of yummy treats and baby food to help me feel excited about food. I'm normally a big eater and I just know that mommy will feel really happy when she next sees me eating!
I am not out of the woods yet and I have a huge mountain to climb but at least I am finally at the base of the mountain and not wandering around trying to find it! Did that even make sense? Forgive me, I'm a kitten coming out of anesthesia!
I'll start my new medicine tonight. It's prednisolone and we are very hopeful that it will help me get my adorable, stripey, fluffy legs working again. Oh geez, that was my mommy adding all the adjectives! She should go get her own diary!
I love you all and truly believe that your purrs and the Power of the Paw are what made the difference for me today. I'm a Catster miracle in the making!
Foxy headbonks and lots of love,
September 24th 2009 1:21 pm
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Leo is waking up from anesthesia. They did the electro-diagnositic testing and a spinal tap. They DID find abnormal responses in all four limbs which is actually good news! The neurologist thinks this is an immune-mediated disease. He thinks it may be treatable! He said that it's possible that in 1-2 months Leo could be almost completely back to normal!!! All their tests, titers, etc. came back normal! The spinal tap was to look for any sign of infection/disease and it came back completely clear and "boring" in the vet's opinion! I LOVE boring!
I am picking my little Leo up at 4 pm. He will start on steroids today and will likely take them for 2-3 months. If he doesn't show improvement in a week, than we go back for an MRI as it might be something else.
The neurologist said that he is almost completely sure that is what Leo has. He said that we don't know why people or animals get it but he thinks it's possibly related to vaccinations. He said no more vaccinations until Leo is off of all medication for at least a year and even then, proceed with caution.
He wants me to stop the anti-biotics, he thinks that is what is causing the loss of appetite and last night's vomiting. He thinks the steroids will help little Leo to be able to walk again and use the litterbox again (tears of happiness).
What an emotional roller coaster! We are not out of the woods yet but the neurologist seemed confident and I'm going to follow his lead. I wanted to jump through the phone and hug the vet!!!
Your purrs are working and if Leo is able to fully recover from this, it will truly be a miracle! Thank you all so much. I will keep you updated once I get the little guy home. I'm going to run to the store and buy more baby food and more of his favorite treats.
September 24th 2009 12:19 pm
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I just got home from the neurologist. Leo is still there, undergoing electo-diagnositic testing and a possible MRI. My head is feeling pretty jumbled right now but I’ll try to summarize what we found out today:
First of all, we are holding on to hope! There IS hope!
Here is the neurologists possible diagnosis, listed from what they think is most likely to least likely but uable to rule out:
* Some kind of immune-mediated disease (This is what we are purring for!) involving Leo's nerves
* Lymphoma or mass/tumor
* Toxoplasmosis, FIP, or infectious disease (does not think it's one of these based on symptoms and bloodwork but unable to completely rule out)
Two neurologists examined Leo. They were unsure as to whether only his back legs and bottom are affected or if his front legs may also be affected (milder than back legs). He has blood flow to all limbs but his reflexes are abnormal, definitely in the back, possibly in the front.
If they find that his front legs are also involved, they think this is an immune-mediated disease. They don’t know why people and animals develop these but for some reason the body starts producing cells that attack itself (he compared it to rheumatoid arthritis in people). This is the best possible outcome. This is what we are purring and praying for. We can treat it and Leo will hopefully still be able to have a good quality of life.
If his front legs aren’t involved, they will do an MRI. If this is the case, there is a possibility of Lymphoma or a mass that is affecting his lower spine and back area.
The vet cannot rule out FIP or Toxoplasmosis but he doesn’t think Leo’s symptoms or blood work supports either of these diseases. There is a possibility that this is all being caused by an infectious disease but the vet feels that is unlikely.
There is a possibility that this is HCM. For those of you that know my kitty family really well, this is the heart condition that my sweet Sally cat suddenly died from a year ago. I hope that this is not what Leo has. However, if he has it, we can fight it whereas with Sally we did not have that chance.
The neurologist does not think this is poisoning or from a trauma or injury. He said if that were the case it likely would have come on much more suddenly, not over the course of 6 days.
I will call them at 2 pm to check on my lovebug. Hopefully he will be able to come home this evening. The vet does not think he is in pain, just frustrated by his immobility. Thinks the decrease in appetite is stress-related.
Leo is hanging in there. He was able to pee this morning when I set him in the litter box (Hooray!) and he meowed at me the entire drive. He also scratched the neurologist but I didn’t blame him; they were really messing with him. It was awful (but necessary).
Charlie is lost without his brother. Lucy seems confused. Sophie gets stressed whenever I cry so I’m working hard to keep the tears and my own stress level to a minimum. I am worried about him but I have hope. I am still in shock that this has happened to my beautiful little kitten who seemed normal, healthy and happy less than a week ago. It’s just unbelievable how quickly something so unexpected can happen. It’s been devastating.
Thank you so much for the rosettes, gifts, messages, and especially the purrs! I’ve read each one and it means the world to me and Leo. I really felt the purrs and positive energy while at the neurologist’s office; I knew Leo and I weren’t alone. Please keep purring! He needs all the purrs he can get. We’re holding out hope for a miracle!
September 24th 2009 8:22 am
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Leo made it through the night. He ate some baby food but then vomited. About 3 hours ago he ate some of his wet food and he's eaten a couple of his favorite treats. He has not been able to move or even stand up. I've set him in the litterbox but he hasn't pottied for a long time.
Lots of loving last night and today. Even tough guy Charlie gave his brother some licks and love this morning (as he tried to steal his treats!). I was holding Leo earlier and he was purring and trying to knead and nurse from me and a blanket. Very sweet. He's still such a little guy.
We are leaving for the neurology appointment in a few minutes. I've got my list of questions and things I want to tell the Doctor (don't want to forget anything as my brain is feeling a little foggy and overwhelmed at the moment). Got my kleenex.
Thank you for all of the rosettes, gifts, and especially the purrs and support. We are so hopeful that today we will find some answers and get some help.
I'll update once we are back home.
September 23rd 2009 4:46 pm
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Leo is not doing well. We just got home from the vet. He has an appointment with a neurologist tomorrow morning at 9:15 (they couldn't get us in today). The vet he saw today thinks he might have toxoplasmosis and she's concerned that it has caused brain damage and neurological problems (it's hard to even write that without crying). His back legs are so weak and now his anal muscles are involved and very weak which is why he is having trouble in the litterbox. They shaved his fluffypants and tail so that it's easier for me to clean him up when he poops.
The concern with toxoplasmosis is not just with Leo but that it is infectious and if Leo has it, then Lucy and Charlie have been exposed. As some of you may know, Lucy is on an immune suppressant medication for her allergies. Unfortunately, that puts her at greater risk. (more tears)
If it is toxoplasmosis, it's treatable so he hopefully won't get any worse. Leo has started the antibiotic for this illness, just in case. They took more blood to check his titers but that will take a couple of days for the results. Unfortunately, if it is toxoplasmosis, it's possible that the neurological problems are irreversible.
If it's not toxoplasmosis, it's possibly some kind of spinal injury/slipped disc that didn't show up on the x-ray. If so, that may be treatable with an operation. But the vet was pretty sure that whatever is going on, it's almost certainly neurological. It may also be from FIP. Poor little kitty.
We stopped the pain medication; it's possible that was making it harder for him to walk and regain his balance. He's still not eating but he was hydrated according to the vet. She told me to feed him baby food. For those of you who know about feeding baby food to cats, I need some help. I grabbed a couple of jars at the convience store. Gerber Stage 2 Chicken w/ Gravy. Ingredients are Chicken, Water, and Corn Starch. Is this what I should feed him? If not, what should I get him?
Now we are waiting for our appointment tomorrow. The vet is concerned that he may start having seizures but hopefully we make it through tonight okay and get some help tomorrow from the neurologist.
We will go to the neurologist in the morning. Probably have an MRI at some point. I'm totally freaked out about the whole thing. This just came out of nowhere. He was fine and then he just stopped jumping. And 5 days later the vet is thinking brain damage. So sad and so very scary. He's the sweetest little guy and it's very hard to see him unable to walk or move around. I'm a complete mess.
At the vet's office, he kept headbutting me and purring. He's such a little lovebug, even with all of this going on.
Thanks for the purrs, prayers, and support. Catster friends are the best.
September 23rd 2009 12:37 pm
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Update from Leo's mom:
Things have gone from bad to worse today. Leo can barely walk, he's lethargic, and refusing to eat (except he did eat a couple of his favorite treats- hoping that is a good sign). He's not able to use the litterbox on his own. Right now he is sleeping next to me. We have a vet appointment scheduled and will be taking him in a little while.
I am really, really worried about him. Kind of hoping that maybe this is a reaction to his pain medication but I think that's just me, trying to downplay the seriousness of whatever is going on with him. I did an internet search, trying to get some ideas about what this could be. The results were not promising and actually, really scary.
X-rays and blood tests were mostly normal- what could this be?
Please purr for little Leo.
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