Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Feline Dysautonomia?

One week ago my sweet boy Spike started puking. He would eat part of his meal then puke it up right away. After 3 meals in a row of this strange behavior I noticed he was lethargic, his belly was distended and making strange sounds and he was having trouble walking. So, we rushed him up to Hollywood Animal Hospital to see the night vet Dr. Carlos. I'll spare you the details of the hell I was going through for the hour I sat in the room without my cat (they had taken him for xrays and didn't bring him back). When they finally returned, Dr. Carlos told me the horrific news that Spike has dysautonomia and the prognosis was grave. I nearly passed out. This was totally surreal. They sent us home with Reglan pills to stimulate his GI tract which they say was not getting the messages from his brain to FUNCTION and cyproheptadine to stimulate his appetite, but they told us not to feed him that night.
My husband and I stayed up most of the night researching, emailing experts and caring for the cat. In the morning we called all the vets we knew for their advice. We ended up taking Spike down to Kendal to see a neurologist name Dr. Wong. He was amazing. He really observed the cat and interacted with him. Asked a lot of questions, looked at the xrays etc. Finally he said, "I'm intrigued...but I'm not convinced it's dysautonomia". Hooray! Hope! He tried to consult with a colleague in Missouri who has treated about 30 out of 40 cases of feline dysautonomia that broke out in Missouri years ago. It's so rare to find the disease in cats outside of Missouri and the UK that Dr. Wong himself had never seen a case of it! Nor have most of the vets I spoke with. More hope.
Later Friday Dr. Jim Herrington of HAH called and calmed me down a bit saying he really didn't think the cat has this horrible disease. He ordered more blood work, then went on vacation.
We spent the entire weekend keeping vigil with poor Spike. Meds every few hours, syringe feedings, holding him upright to aid digestion etc. Needless to say, I AM EXHAUSTED!
Monday we brought him back to HAH where Dr. Shapiro did more xrays and said everything seems the same keep doing what you're doing yada yada. BOOOOO!
Thank God my friend Holistic Jodi showed up Tues with some mild homemade food and Tummy Relief goop for my kitty. He had started eating over the weekend and was fine until Monday night when he puked 2ce, so, Jodi thought her food might be more calming/easily digested. I think she was right. Today is Wednesday and he's kept everything down so far.
so...I don't know what the hell is really wrong with my cat. He has megaesophogus (why? Who knows? How is that treated? Not pretty) and is very gassy. He's definitely walking a little better and seems to feel a little better but I'm very worried about him. I'm going to put a call in now to Dr. Jim Herrington (from HAH) who is amazing...but he's on vacation. Wish us luck please!!
PS the pic is of Spike taken just a day or 2 ago. He's looking a little better but has food on his nose because he stopped grooming himself when this ordeal started. Not a good sign. And special thanks to Jodi and few other friends (you know who you are) who have been with me through all of this. I love you guys and so does Spikey! Time for some soup!