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LaurieR

Bleys (Coot) at Rainbow Bridge 8/30/09

1,366 posts in this topic

I just got a call from the vet and Bleys made it through the procedure. Esophogeal tube is in place and endoscopy is complete.

To say I've been on pins and needles the last several hours would be a complete understatement. I am so grateful that my sweet boy has managed to pull through.

They were able to get a tissue sample from his stomach. While looking at the small intestines, they did find an area where the tissue was friable (which essentially means brittle or crumbly) and they took a sample of that.

They also did a needle aspirate of his liver, because his pre-anesthesia bloodwork showed elevated bilirubin levels.

Now we wait for more labs which will probably not be back until Thursday.

If he's doing well enough with his recovery from the anesthesia, they will feed him later this evening.

One step at a time, one step at a time.

I really can't tell you all how much it means to me to be able to read your messages and to know that you are pulling for my sweet Bleys. Thank you so much for caring and for sending so many positive thoughts and prayers his way.

Laurie

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Major PHEW!!! Thanks so much for the update, Laurie.

Here's hoping that Bleys has a restful night and does well with his first tube-feeding. They usually add in Reglan for vomiting, which certainly couldn't hurt in his case. One really nice thing about the e-tube is that if he needs meds and they're available in liquid form, into the tube they go! If I remember correctly, you had to tube-feed another of your cats so you're an old pro at this.

Is this a 24-hour place where you can call during the night to check on him? We ought to have a hotline: 1-800-ANTSY-MOM. ;)

You tell that handsome boy of yours that he has a lot of people in his corner.

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Laurie,

Thanks for the update--now we can exhale.Well one step down just need to send Hungry thoughts to Bleys.Maybe having food in his tummy will stimulate his appetitie.I know sometimes i have a heck of time getting my seniors to eat,they just don't seem to care about food as much.Then i pull out the secret weapons Trader Joe's sticky tuna food or FF elegant entrees.lol :P

com'on Bleys EAT :lol:

p

and the boys

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My beloved 18-3/4 yo kitty Bleys is very, very sick.

Laurie, I know you're doing everything possible for your Bleys, and my heart is hurting for you. At more than 18 years, he's more than a pet, and I am sending as much good thoughts as possible your way to help him and you.

Take care of yourself while you're worrying - You're a very important person here and home.

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Kim, you are so right that he's a handsome boy and I'll make sure to tell him you said so.

Yes, this is a great 24-hour place and they are used to me calling at strange times. I had a bit of a freakout on Sunday night (er, Monday morning) at about 4:30 a.m. when I woke up convinced that a very, very bad thing had happened while I was sleeping.... the vet tech and vet were both very sweet to me in my panicked state.

I think my hotline number needs to be 1-800-PSYCHO-MOM. (I know it's too many letters, but it's probably a better fit.)

Yes, Caine had a feeding tube for about 6 weeks when his IBD was initially diagnosed. So fortunately the tube feeding won't freak me out (I was pretty stressed when I first had to do it to Caine).

Paula, you are so right about older kitties just not being as interested in food. Well, in my experience anyway. There are probably some old guys out there who are happy to gobble down. I really like the idea of sending hungry thoughts to Bleys -- yes please!!!

Thanks again everyone for your kind words and thoughts. It is really important to me to know you're here.

Laurie

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:cool026:Hang in there Bleys!!!!! You're doing good so far!!! :cool026:

Betcha you can talk Auntie Kim out of a nanner when you feel better.

Celia

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Laurie I am so relieve to hear Bley's is slowly but surely getting better and that the test came back negative. You are doing everything you can and I will continue to pray for you both.

Have sweet dreams tonight Bley's and will check on you in the morning.

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Glad to hear that Bleys made it through the procedure. You're both in my thoughts and prayers, and healing light is being sent your way.

Diane

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I am so relieved that Bleys made it through the procedures--I just knew he would, but knowing for sure is wonderful.

Now the waiting game again...

I do hope results are back Thursday, and I hope Bleys does well with the E-tube and is home in ur arms purring his little heart out!!

Blessings to u both.

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Laurie,

I'm so sorry that Bleys is so sick. I'm very glad that he made it thru the endoscopy OK. I've had 2 kitties get endoscopies. Waiting for the results is nerve-wracking, but endoscopy usually gave us better info than some other diagnostics. I hope this + the newest round of tests will tell you what you need to know about what's wrong with this poor baby. You're doing everything in your power.

:hugs:

Tracy :heart:

Cody sends soft head-butts and positive kitty thoughts :kittydrinking:

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Sending lots of hugs, love and hungry thoughts your way. Hang in there, I know waiting is HORRIBLE but try and take it one day at a time. Keep your head full of positive thoughts and give Bleys lots of hugs from all of us.

And :hugs: to you for being such a GREAT mom...

Hoping for lots of head-butts and a full belly....

Love Gabrielle, Layla and Nefertiti

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Bleys made it safely through another night. I cannot believe how hard my boy is fighting to stay with us.

He has been fed twice via the esophogeal tube. The first time, everything stayed down. The second time, he vomited and also had diarrhea, but there was no blood in the diarrhea (wonderful news). The vet feels pretty confident that it was just his system reacting to having food in his belly after so many days without. They are going to feed him again a bit later today and will do it extra extra extra slowly (approx. 20 minutes of time to get an ounce or two down him). They will also give him an anti-nausea med (not Reglan, can't remember name) a few minutes beforehand.

Vet said she took Bleys into an examination room this morning and let him walk around to get some exercise. She said he was pretty alert and interested in exploring. She said he wasn't wobbly or disoriented at all and that he purred when she petted him.

We are still not treating him for anything as we still don't know what we're dealing with. Lab results from endoscopy won't be back til late tonight if we're lucky, and most likely tomorrow. I so, so much want the diagnosis not to be something scary.... Bleys clearly is not ready to leave us yet in spite of being such an "ancient coot cat," as we call him.

Hubby and I will be able to visit him a bit later today. We miss our boy so much!

Vet says if they can start getting/keeping food down him, and barring additional complications (or need for further aggressive medical care once we get the lab results back), he may be able to come home tomorrow. This is what we want more than anything in the world!

Thank you again for continuing to send your thoughts and prayers his way.

Laurie

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Laurie, I'm so glad to see this update. I swear, if I'd had the phone # for the hospital I would have called to check on him during the night. Vicarious catmom anxiety! :P

Bleys has a GREAT attitude and, honey, that's something that no damn lab can measure! Teddie and Rocco say, "Don't count us old guys out yet." :banana:

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While we were at the vet this afternoon visiting Bleys, the lab results came in.

Liver aspirate results were nonspecific so inconclusive. The biopsy from the small intestine (where they removed a piece of the friable tissue) shows either IBD or low-grade lymphoma.

Those of us who've dealt with IBD before know that it's very difficult to distinguish IBD from lymphoma with a small tissue sample obtained via endoscopy. The best chance of obtaining a conclusive IBD vs. lymphoma diagnosis is with full-thickness piece of intestine that can only be obtained from exploratory surgery. (We opted not to go this route with Bleys because he would have been under anesthesia for a substantially longer amount of time, and also had a much longer recovery period.)

So since we can't determine whether it's IBD or lymphoma, we treat for lymphoma.

He's already started receiving treatment of prednisone and chlorambucil (a chemotherapy drug).

I am very happy (massive understatement) about this diagnosis in light of how sick Bleys has been. If it was a more aggressive form of cancer, he just wouldn't be with us very much longer.

Of course, there is no way to know how he will respond to the treatment, which will likely continue in some form for the rest of his life, but it's reasonable to expect that if all goes well, he could be with us for many months or even years to come.

Because of his age, we'll be very carefully monitoring his quality of life. As much as I love him, and as much as it will break my heart to say goodbye to him whenever the time does come, we would never, ever keep him here with us when it was obvious that it was too painful for him.

But I hope we have a good long time together before we have to start thinking about things like this.

It was so sweet to be able to sit with him today and hold him and tell him we love him. Depending on how he does tonight with his food (still having some diarrhea, though not vomiting) and of course depending on how he responds to the drugs, he may be able to come home tomorrow.

It made me so sad to see him with bandages around his neck holding the espohogeal tube in place, and with his little tummy and legs shaved, and with needle marks and catheter, etc. Moms sure don't like it when their children have to go through rough times, do they?

I know whenever we can get him home, I can baby him and love him and make sure he gets plenty of rest so he can begin the long process of recovering from his terrible ordeal.

Please continue to send furry purry love thoughts and hungry thoughts his way. He and I both appreciate it.

Laurie

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Laurie,

Just wanted you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your boy is a fighter and I know he'll get well much quicker once he gets home with mom and dad. Stay strong...

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By the way, I should clarify for the sake of other IBD kitty parents that it's not standard protocol to treat possible IBD with chemotherapy drugs without a confirmed diagnosis. But in Bleys' case, where he had such a sudden and drastic onset of whatever's going on, and was on a very scary downward spiral, we are going to assume the worst case and treat aggressively.

In my IBD kitty Caine's case, where we also had a probable but not definite IBD diagnosis, we treated with prednisone only. He was much younger and the onset of symptoms were a bit more gradual, so we felt we had a bit more time to try prednisone alone. Fortunately with Caine, he's done great these past 5 years, especially once I got him on a raw diet.

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Laurie,

Well glad to hear that Bleys is doing much better and may even be well enough to come home Soone.That would be great!!. He will do much better when he is at "his home" with "his Mom" :kittydrinking::kittydrinking: Come on Bleys eat!

Maybe somefood from home will get him going.kitty treats or his favorite food.

Oh Laurie if you want you could always post the vet number here and the rest of us could check on Bleys---oh about every 30 mins or so ;) lol

p

and the boys

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Oh Laurie if you want you could always post the vet number here and the rest of us could check on Bleys---oh about every 30 mins or so ;) lol

Haha, the people at my vet's office probably wouldn't be too shocked if I did this -- they're already used to being contacted constantly by me at all times of the day and night, so what difference would 150 or 200 more calls a day make? :)

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Haha, the people at my vet's office probably wouldn't be too shocked if I did this -- they're already used to being contacted constantly by me at all times of the day and night, so what difference would 150 or 200 more calls a day make? :)

Not only that but we cover all TIME ZONES :lol:

p

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Hi Laurie,

I'm so relieved that the outlook for Bleys is much better now. I know how difficult it is to diagnose IBD. Cody went thru all that a few years ago. Finally was diagnosed with IBD after the vets ruled out a lot of other things. Even though they determined that he didn't have lymphoma, he got treated with chlorambucil for its anti-inflammatory properties and did OK on it. I hope it works for Bleys too.

Sending lots of good thoughts his way :kittydrinking:

I hope Bleys can come home soon

:hugs:

Tracy, and Cody too :heart::kittydrinking:

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Laurie, you know what struck me about your note? If you'd never had a sick cat before, the word "lymphoma" would prob. strike terror in your heart. But having been through the panoply of "stuff" with your babes, you know that it could be much worse. And for that I'm very glad -- that you're taking this presumptive diagnosis in stride and moving forward with confidence. :claphands:

I'm also glad that Tracy added Cody's positive experience with the chlorambucil. Teddie hasn't had that particular drug, but if Bleys does as well as she has with chemo, he'll be fine. Plus the pred should make him feel better. :)

Not only that but we cover all TIME ZONES :lol:

We sure hope that Bleys is home with you soon, but until then Paula and I are on East Coast duty! ;)

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Laurie I am so happy to read that Bleys is doing better! And I hope to hear that he is going home with you very soon. I know how wonderful it is to bring them home and spoil the heck out of them.

It's funny but before my Sylvia was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and I read up on it, that word sent panic through me, but now when I hear of a kitty having lymphoma (instead of one of the other cancers) I let out a cautious but gentle sigh of relief. Lymphoma is SO treatable.

I hope Bleys responds quickly to the chemo treatment....sending gentle hugs to you both..

Laura

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I am so glad that Bleys is doing better. When he gets home in your capable hands I know he will feel good again and be happy. I am sure the medicine will help. All positive thoughts and prayers for his continued life with you.

Take care and God bless you and Bleys.

Love,

Lori, Princess, Queenie, Dutchess, Sylvia and Prince in spirit :rose::stripekitty::stripekitty::brownpup::brownpup::wolf:

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But having been through the panoply of "stuff" with your babes, you know that it could be much worse.

Kim, you are so right. Initially I did gulp a bit when I heard the word "lymphoma," but considering all of the most likely diagnoses based on his symptoms, this was actually a relief because we should be able to manage it to a great degree.

Bleys gets to come home today!!!! :cool026:

We will go meet with his doctor between 3:00 and 4:00 to receive all of our care instrux and meds. And then it's home finally finally finally with our sweet coot cat.

He hasn't had any additional vomiting or diarrhea since about midnight last night, so his system is starting to settle in terms of not rejecting solid foods. And the meds are clearly working in his GI tract/bowels in terms of decreasing inflammation.

Thankfully, both my hubby and I work from home. He is going to require round-the-clock care for some period of time, and I don't know how in the world we would do it if we had jobs that we had to commute to.

I will post again later when Bleys is home again.

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