Saturday, 1 March 2014

Tomten - thoughts on inflammation

"drink the wine drink the wine- music, good friends, I'm not dyin' today" ~ Tori Amos

Tomten has been doing the Lazarus cat dance back from the brink for past eight months. He was heading downhill in late June and a surgery was performed hoping the granulomas were from a foreign body like string. However he crashed after the surgery and was very poorly for several weeks.
"Tomten continues to fight but is growing steadily weaker. He has taken to spending the entire day in a pile of stuffed animals in the kids play room. My husband can get him to eat a little bit. He is becoming wobbly on his feet. My husband is still hopeful and when he eats I am too but in my gut I think he is in his final weeks."
But his vets didn't think he was in pain, didn't toss in the towel and a week later on July 26th he turned the corner with last ditch antibiotics, steroids and high energy paste.
 Cassie wrote - "I am scared to to even post this in case it jinxes us but Tom has had a great two days. Since going on the last ditch antibiotics and back on pregnazone (sic) and the high calorie paste he is feeling so much better. He is eating!! He is hanging out with us and Gizmo instead of hiding in the stuffed animal pile. When he got sick last year we did 3 things. Interferone, prednasone, and a course of antibiotics for the herpes which was bad. Since surgery Tom was off the pregnazone and he had antibiotics on the operating table but none since. Keeping my fingers crossed he is turning a corner but too scared to hope. Is it possible he has 18 lives?"
I wonder if I've been underestimating the support antibiotics can provide an ailing cat - even if it's not the primary illness, knocking down the numbers of bacteria multiplying out of their normal range due to host debilitation, may allow the cat enough space to muster his reserves for the fight. "lipo polysaccharides (LPS ) from many bacterial species will initiate acute inflammatory responses in mammals". Maybe we should have tried harder with Mishka's lump.

So his ultrasounds didn't show any other lumps - he went back to happy and active. And Cassie was back to square one diagnostically.
"He continues to do well since the antibiotics and the return to Pred. I caught him playing kitty smack down with Gizmo last night first time in 3 months. I don't know who was happier Gizmo or me. I think Gizmo was letting him win since he out weighs Tomten 3 to 1 at this point. Tomten couldn't have a more loving brother. Now that I have him back again my thoughts are turning to how do I keep him alive and delay the granulomas from coming back. I started doing some internet research trying to figure out what besides FIP causes granulomas and responds so dramatically to antibiotics and prednisone. I came across Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD). The literature says its rare but can cause granulomas."
 Some informational links and my thoughts on IBD and inflammation:
  • - My gut feeling (haha a pun) is that Feline Irritable Bowel its not far off human IBD. What you eat determines the gut microbiome. We have a little human friend who had to have a fecal transplant to get rid of his awful colitis. He is a very sick boy who is now off all his meds! Anyone with Crohn's disease or colitis who wants to get cured contact Dr Borody in Sydney.
  • Although i dont have direct cat experience with IBD per se I noted our other pets have better skin on a proper raw diet, which I imagine reflects the state of the gut as it is basically the same as skin - both are made of epithelial cells. Mishka was the big diet fail - i always thought she'd come a cropper on dry food diet but figured (wrongly) I had time to transition her to a 'better' diet. Wrong again - commercial petfood is just wrong, I had no idea it was all so dreadful until she got ill. Now i know even the tinned food, though 'complete', is still highly inflammatory.
  •  - carageenan is seaweed - not meant to be eaten by cats but it's the thickener in most commercial petfood. It is known to incite inflammation, in fact it's used experimentally to do just that when you need to make a wound to test a cure on!  I have no idea why they dont use gelatin instead, which is anti inflammatory and being connective tissue supplies all the right things for building connective tissue for both humans and animals

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