|Purred: Wed May 14, '08 3:08pm PST |
|I am so sorry you have gotten this diagnosis. It was quite devastating for me when I found that Abbie had Lymphoma.
I administered her chemo at home where I also had a 3 1/2-year-old daughter. I spoke with several vets, a pharmacist and a representative from the drug company to confirm that the drug would not be present in Abbie's urine or feces. All of them told me that the drug was fully-processed and used by the body and would not be present in the litter box. I was not only concerned about my daughter, but my two other kitties who shared the box.
I was told that I was to never actually touch the medication, though. So, I would take Abbie into the bathroom, close the door, put rubber gloves on and then pill her. It was scary a few times when it got stuck in her fur or when I messed up on the pilling and it got mushy in her mouth. I gave her a bath in the sink, washed everything completely, and then kept Abbie in the bathroom for several hours until I was sure she had digested the medication.
Once I got better at pilling, it went much more smoothly. Even then, I would leave her in the bathroom for an hour before letting her out - just to be sure that she wasn't going to throw up the meds. I would then dispose of the gloves in a plastic grocery sack which I would then place in a garbage sack. I would not touch the garbage sack with the gloves, so that when it was closed, my naked hands would not come in contact with any residue.
It was a very nervous time for me. I am obviously, from the above description, a little OCD. I also have panic disorder. But Abbie was my baby. However, I had a human baby, too, who I am highly over protective of. I did everything possible and spoke with as many people as I could to be sure I was doing the right thing. It was still a very anxious time for me.
I will say that I was able to get her into remission and she was putting weight back on and feeling so much better. The meds, themselves, are not given on a daily basis, but on a 21-day cycle (I think). You give the meds for three days and then no meds for 18 days. Then you have to take the kitty in for bloodwork before resuming the treatment. It's a pretty involved process. There were also B-12 shots, medicine to help control her runny poops, medicine to reduce the acid in her tummy, and prednisolone, which you start them on at a high dose and taper down.
She, unfortunately, developed bone cancer in her jaw and I had to make the decision to put her to sleep. It was so sad, because here she was in remission, on so much fewer drugs, and doing so well, and then her bone just crumbled. There was nothing more I could do.
All of that said, I was not breast feeding at the time and I don't know what chance of exposure you would have - even if you followed my over-the-top safety procedures. If your vet has warned against it, then I would be inclined to say that it isn't safe for you or your baby.
Have you checked with your vet to see if it would be possible to let your kitty stay there and receive treatment for the days he needs the chemo meds? And is there someone who can help you scoop the litter box if your husband is out of town? (Although, I feel pretty comfortable with the litter box situation being okay.)
It's a lot to go through. And, while there can be some great results, there is no guarantee. Having a baby is sometimes very difficult, itself. What with the lack of sleep and the anxiety over whether you are doing everything correctly (at least that is the way it was for me). I just can't imagine going through this with a small baby. At least my daughter, at 3 1/2, could understand. She knew that if Abbie threw up she couldn't go near it until I cleaned it (with one of those small steamers). And there was a lot of poop and throw up to clean. I just loved Abbie so much I felt I had to give her a chance to stay with me - and feel better - for a longer time.
Feel free to p-mail me. I'll share any information I can - and offer as much support as I can.
P.S. If your husband doesn't normally travel, you could consider letting Bear stay at the vet and receive treatment while he's out of town, with the understanding that he'll take over all the meds when he returns - or hire a vet tech pet sitter to come to your house and take care of Bear's needs while your husband is away.
Edited by author Wed May 14, '08 3:19pm PST
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