Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Pablo (left) and Riley, January 2014
In the last couple months Pablo has had some trouble and last week I found out he likely has gastrointestinal cancer.  In February I noticed that he was shedding a lot, even for the mild winter that we had.  He usually has a super thick coat with a full undercoat.  Over a month or so he lost most of his undercoat and a lot of his regular coat.  Soon after he started to lose weight.  He wasn't overweight to start with and went from about 10.5 lbs to 8.5 lbs.  He suffers from allergies and takes cyclosporine (generic Atopica) which sometimes makes his stomach upset, so at first I thought the weight loss was related to that.  But, he was actually super hungry and eating more than normal and still losing weight. 

Last week I took him to the vet for blood work, etc.  She suspected a thyroid problem because his symptoms matched hyperthyroidism, or possibly renal failure.  All of his blood work and urinalysis came back normal.  We then ran the more specific thyroid test and that came back normal too.  Thinking this might be a side effect of his medicine we decided to try taking him off it.  Within 24 hours of no pill he didn't want to eat, so I thought I try giving the pill every other day and gave him one that night.  In the morning he felt better and ate all his meals that day.  Skipped the pill that night and by the morning he was throwing up.  I could also tell he was starting to itch. 

This was Friday, so back to the vet we went because she said to bring him in for a shot if he was itching.  I also wanted to talk about what could be going on.  She was feeling his belly when I mentioned that since our last visit I wondered if he might have a tumor.  She said she was now wondering the same thing, or inflammatory bowel disease.  She thought his GI tract felt thickened.  An x-ray showed that most of his GI tract was thickened.  An ultrasound showed that it didn't look like inflammatory bowel disease, but more like a gastrointestinal cancer.

After shedding some tears, Palbo and I went home.  He's back on daily cyclosporine because he does better on it, and she said it could be helping because it's an immune suppressant like chemotherapy and steroids.  We're waiting to hear from an oncologist about other possible medications.  Although he might not do well with other treatments because he already struggles with his allergies/immune system.  Surgery is not an option because it's not really a tumor, it's spread throughout.

Pablo hanging out in his heated bed this weekend.
Pablo is eating, drinking, and cleaning himself, but he can't eat as large of portions so I'm feeding him more often.  His energy is low, but he's still getting around and very happy for lovin' and extra yummy food.  I'm giving him about 100 ml of subcutaneous fluids a day to make sure he's hydrated and I think it helps him feel better.  He's not in pain.  He's only 10 years old, which seems too young for something like this.


houndstooth said...

I'm so sorry! Nobody wants that news. Here's hoping that he has a lot of good days still in front of him!

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Poor you. At least Pablo isn't in pain. I guess that's the main thing. Like Carrie, I hope he still has plenty of good days to come.

gyeong said...

Sounds similar to issues we had with our last two cats. Glad Pablo is still his happy self through all this.

Claire Krigbaum said...

Ah, sweet kitty boy. I am so sorry he is going through this!
One of my cats was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and we have been up and down ever since. She throws up and stopped eating on the meds so we switched to the prescription diet but I can't quite tell it is helping anything yet. So many things that can go wrong with a kitty :(