|"I'm just trying a new hair style."|
At about two years old Pablo developed a skin condition that caused him to scratch his chin until sores formed and lick and pull his fur out on his belly and sides. The picture above is from this past March when he had an outbreak and you can see that he had licked most of his fur off his sides. His belly was also bare and his chin had sores. After a year or so of trying medicines and the condition coming and going a few times I had him tested for allergies. It turned out that he is allergic to many different pollens, some foods, and his number one allergy is apparently to dogs. That's right dogs. I felt bad, but Zephyr had joined the family by then and was not going to be leaving. I felt a little better when I remembered that Pablo's condition developed before Zephyr came and it didn't get worse after.
|"This is my bed, crate, and house for that matter." This is a picture from May and his fur was filling in.|
Things got worse in February. Not only did he have the allergies and skin trouble he had slowly gained weight even though I cut his food, and he did not seem happy. Pablo can be a bossy, cranky boy who often has the dogs afraid to pass and barking for help. He is also demanding and doesn't hesitate to tell me when he needs some lovin' or food. He had become more cranky, demanding, and frankly very annoying. So, yet again, off to the vet we go. I took him to the vet that originally treated his condition (a vet I had seen for over 15 years) because I figured she was familiar with him, even though I had mainly switched to another vet. Plus, the Ovaban has to be compounded, because it's not even sold anymore, and they had it. Blood work showed that he was hypothyroid. The vet said she had never actually seen a cat that was hypothyroid, but did not suggest doing the more sensitive thyroid testing. I had asked about the Ovaban side effects but that didn't seem to be given much consideration. She did suggest adding thyroid medicine though. This was all in between struggling to get ahold of her and one very short phone call. Can you tell I was getting annoyed and didn't trust the information?
|"I'm getting a furry belly and I feel so good I think I'll kill this bird." Pablo hasn't wanted to play like this in years.|
New vet also said that she had never seen a cat that was truly hypothyroid and suggested the more sensitive thyroid testing. She said she'd seen cats who's thyroid was sick from another condition and the sensitive testing would show if that was the case. I had not started giving him the thyroid medicine. In the mean time we put him on a really strict novel protein diet for allergies, while also giving a different steroid shot. Still a steroid, but maybe not as bad as the Ovaban that we suspected was causing the thyroid problem. And yes, the other testing showed that Pablo's thyroid was not truly low, but euthyroid sick. She also told me a medicine used for dogs, Atopica, had been approved to treat this condition for cats and she could find out about it and order it for us to try. Apparently the other vet hadn't learned this yet as I had asked just the week prior if there were any new medicines that might treat this.
|I haven't seen that happy look in his face for years.|
The shot helped, but Pablo was still a little itchy and I really wanted to get him off the steroids and to try something new. I really thought that his bad mood was related to the thyroid illness and Ovaban. Atopica is actually cyclosporine, an immune suppressant, and the funny thing is I know that sometimes it is used to treat encephalitis in dogs. Our vet found out about getting us the best price for cyclosporine, actually from Target for us, and called in the prescription. It took a week or so for them to get it in.
|"Hey, you're a nice guy, it's time for you to give me some lovin'. Here, let me lean into you to make it easier."|
|"Ah, the nice summer warmth. I'll take a stroll a little later, too."|