Helping Peter – A Beautiful Cat
27/02/12: Ok it is DEFINITELY time for an update on Peter, because his life has really looked up. Kerstin sent me some videos of Peter playing the days of his operation and he looked great. He recovered brilliantly, much more so than when he had his teeth cleaned here in Spain. I think this is because he is so much stronger now after months of good food. He had 9 or more teeth removed, and his gums are healing well. This was going to be our next step in Spain too. It seems to be the only solution for such bad gums as Peter’s. He has only a few teeth left but can eat fine and is really enjoying his food now, so much so that his weight will need to be watched so he doesn’t become a fat cat again!
Peter actually didn’t go back to Sabrina, whom he didn’t like but stayed in Kerstin’s spare room until Algie moved out of his foster home. Peter then moved to live with Monika, whom he did like, but was only with her for about 10 days before he found his forever home, with a lovely lady whom he also likes very much. “Peter seems to be happy in his new home… yesterday he was sleeping in the bed under the blanket and came out when his new mom came home… then he was hungry… he cuddles with her from the first evening on the sofa and loves her… I will visit him in the next few days… xxx “ She understands all about Peter’s mouth, his FiV and the risk that he may become diabetic again. With good sugar-free food we hope this won’t be the case, but Peter will have his blood tested every 6 months to keep a check on his sugar level.
I look forward to Kerstin’s photos of Peter in his new home, but in the meantime enjoy some of the ones she took of Peter just before his operation. (I like them much more than the ones of him hiding at Sabrina’s.) When she took them, Kerstin had just brought him to her home, and within 30 minutes he had relaxed and was enjoying cuddles and purring VERY quietly. It is lovely to see him exploring and relaxing, but it is also easy to see in the close-ups why he needed his teeth removed. It was during this 30 minutes that Kerstin was able to really understood Peter, as he had been stressed and hiding in his foster home. She sent me an email to say she had fallen in love with our quiet, gentle boy and now knew exactly what type of Mum and home he needed. Everything has turned out brilliantly for Peter, and I really hope his health problems are now behind our lovely boy. We miss him but I am very happy I let him travel when I did. He now has a home he can be healthy and happy in.
01/02/12: All who love Peter, think of him on Friday. He is having his teeth out! He is eating fine for now but his gums are still bad, and removing all his teeth is the only way forward now. Kerstin’s own cat had to have this operation and is now pain-free and much happier, and can still eat well. I will be relived when this is over for Peter. He has not been having the greatest time since he arrived in German, as his foster Mum is a kind but large lady and Peter unfortunately is afraid of her. I wish him well and await good news.
18/01/12: Peter travelled to Germany on the 13.01 transport and is now being spoilt as an only cat by Sabrina, a very experienced foster Mum, with Kerstin close by if there are any problems. I decided to let him travel because of the big improvement in his gums over the past 6 weeks, which I believe may have been because of the Colostrum he has been taking since the end of November, to help boost his immunity. Nothing else had changed and after some weeks Peter was able to eat cooked chicken again, and wet food without a lot of added water. I had also started to give him a slow release painkiller, which will have also helped but Miguel saw a big improvement at his last check and his mouth did not smell as much.
Peter is now a very good weight, and has grown in confidence. The other great news is that his blood sugar level is perfect. Peter is no longer a diabetic cat! He has been mainly eating Hills a/d food for the past 4 months, and is very well. Miguel’s machine for testing blood sugar has a normal range for cats of 5.3 – 8.7 and Peter’s reading was 5.7! He is not even close to being diabetic so, whilst this needs watching, I think his past problems were probably due to the wrong food.
Miguel did think it was time to change his antibiotic so I have sent Metronizadole tablets to start this Saturday, when his last slow release injection of Convenia (Cefovecina) is finished, and then in 2-3 weeks he should probably see a vet again.
He remains a beautiful affectionate, quiet cat, but the other fantastic thing in the last few weeks is that he has started to ‘walk tall’ and he is actually asking for and enjoying his food. The latest news from Germany is that, whilst he is not yet giving Sabrina, the big cuddles Anthea enjoyed, he is very relaxed and has been exploring his new home and playing with the various cat toys. Sabrina has his favourite Greek yoghurt as a treat and all seems fine. Kerstin will send more news when she checks on him this Saturday.
I am happy that his big journey is over and it was time for him to leave Anthea. I hope his mouth continues to improve without surgery to remove teeth. Petra who recommended the Colostrum said that he can take this all his life. If he does need further treatment he is very close to a great animal hospital with a lot of experience of treating FiV cats. We will all miss him here, but I know he is in good hands. I wait for new photos from Germany, but in the meantime here are my last ones taken at Anthea’s the week before he left, and I wish this lovely character cat all the best.
Cuddling With Anthea
13/11/11: On Friday Peter went back to the vet for another 14 day, slow release injection of antibiotics. He remains much better than when we started his treatment, but he has gone slightly backwards in the last 2 weeks. Now he is no longer enjoying chicken and tuna, and has more pain again. This is a battle, but not a surprise considering how bad his mouth was, and his FiV status. Now he will have more homeopathic medicine, and another natural remedy to boost his own immunity. Peter himself needs to help in this fight. The good news is that he remains a good weight and seems very contented at Anthea’s for now. Miguel my vet is also still confident that we will crack this. Peter IS probably going to need extra care now all his life, but my aim is 3 fold. I want him to be able to eat wet food without pain, I want an agreed ongoing treatment plan that will keep this problem from re-occurring, and I want to find a good quality, reasonably-priced, wet food that Peter can eat and enjoy, and that won’t risk him becoming diabetic again. Once these 3 things are achieved, then this lovely cat will be read for adoption.
02/11/11: Yesterday I met with Peter’s owner, who is back from Germany. We talked about the fact that Peter really needs to live as an inside only cat from now on, and as she is allergic to cats and would find this very difficult, we have decided that it will be better if I find a new home for Peter. This is a good decision I think and we now have a way forward.
28/10/11: Today Peter went back to vet Miguel for another 14-day slow release dose of Convenia. His mouth is much better, but still noticeably sore. Miguel thinks he will needs at least 2 more treatments to get this under control, and then ongoing treatments to keep him healthy, BUT we are winning. I also asked him to test Peter’s blood sugar level and for now it is mid normal range. The combination of diabetic food, Hills a/d and the fresh chicken he can now eat seems to be working for him. This is all great news AND Peter now weighs 4.8kg which Miguel says is a pretty healthy weight for him and is a gain of 1.3kg in just 5 weeks. Tomorrow I will meet with his owner who is back from Germany to discuss what is best for Peter long-term.
14/10/11: Today Peter was back at my vet to have his mouth checked. The signs are very good. Miguel was pleased with his improvement AND Anthea told me that in the last 2 days Peter has been able to eat a little chicken and some Tuna. He can also eat his wet food without much liquid added so for the first time yesterday she saw Peter chose to drink some water. All of this is fantastic. I think we are winning this battle. He is no longer afraid to eat and is much happier AND he now weighs 4.5 kg. Today he had another injection of slow release antibiotics that will last 2 more weeks, and then Miguel will check him again.
We are also going to give him some homeopathic medicine to build anti-viral bodies in his blood, because Miguel thinks his gum problems may have started with Calici virus. I am feeling very positive for his future. The next step will be to discuss with his owner the chance to re-home him. I have not had a message from her but she is due back to Spain in the next 2 weeks, and Anthea and I plan to talk to her together about what is best for Peter. He IS a beautiful gentle boy and not very demanding at all. He now likes to play a little and he definitely likes company, but he is happy to relax for most of the day. I think he is just so happy to be feeling stronger and more loved.
11/10/11: Yesterday I took more diabetic food round to Peter for Anthea to use as well as his A/D, AND toys! She is trying to feed him smaller amounts 4-6 times a day to help keep his blood sugar level more stable. Thank you to Lancelot’s Mum Petra for suggesting this. Overall he is doing really well now. He feels like he has put on more weight, he definitely has more energy and his eyes look brighter, and Anthea, who gives him lots of cuddles, AND sleeps with him! says that his breath does not smell much at all now. In addition his coat is in much better condition because he is cleaning himself more and taking more pride in his appearance again. Yesterday he had the last of his pain-killers so it will be interesting to see how he is without them.
I have delayed his next vet appointment until Friday, when I will have more news of what we need to do next. For now I am happy that he is eating well and seems very contented and loved. Anthea is a star and has even delayed her little holiday so that she can continue to look after him. Enjoy the new photos that Anthea took of her housemate. I have definitely been replaced in his affections, but that is fine. All I want is for him to be healthy and happy.
A VERY Contented Peter
06/10/11: Today I went to see Peter again and the news is MUCH better. He is eating his a/d food well and the painkillers do seem to be helping. Anthea told me that Peter has started to chase his tail and kick his legs in play, which is a good sign that he is feeling stronger and has more energy. Every night he sleeps with Anthea in her big bed, lying on his back with his legs out to keep cool! AND if she tries to stay watching television too late he tells he it is time for bed! Peter is showing real character.
On Wednesday he will go back to the vet to have his mouth checked again. His 14 day slow release antibiotics injection will have finished working and Miguel will decide what treatment he needs next.
04/10/11: The last week has been a little mixed for Peter. He seemed to be eating better after his operation, but then he stopped eating completely and would only take milk and fresh chicken stock. I think it was because I tried some new diabetic wet food and it had too many small lumps. When Peter has pain he becomes afraid of his food again. I spoke to vet Miguel yesterday and he is not worried about Peter’s progress but has given me some pain killers for the next 5 days to help ease things. We have also agreed that for now the most important thing is that Peter eats good food.
His blood sugar level was just within normal so for now I have switched him to Hills (a/d) convalescent food. This is very soft and with a little water added is perfect and full of nutrients and energy. The risk of his blood sugar level becoming a little higher, I believe is less than the risk of Peter becoming very malnourished again. When I took this new food last night, after a little encouragement Peter ate 2 whole tins and I think would have eaten more. He WAS very hungry. Anthea and I nearly cried as we have been so worried about him. News from this morning is that he had another tin for breakfast. Now I am more less worried again.
His slow release antibiotic injection lasts for 2 weeks so next Wednesday I will take him to Miguel again to have his mouth checked for improvement. I think we maybe got over-excited just after his operation. This is all going to take time, but at least we still have hope, and Peter is relaxed, loved and eating fine.
30/09/11: On Wednesday night Peter had his operation to clean his teeth and help clear the bad infection in his gums. Miguel our vet said he had seen worse, but Peter’s mouth WAS very bad with puss in places which needed draining. He came through the anaesthetic well but was very tired for almost 24 hours. Yesterday the news was very good. I visited Peter and Anthea told me he already seems to have less pain, and he has been cleaning himself much better than before! He also ate 3 tins of Gourmet food as a big treat. Today he is back on his diabetic food.
He is on 2 antibiotics, and will have his mouth checked again in 2 weeks. In the meantime we are still trying to increase his weight. He HAS put on 0.6kg but our scales were not so accurate. When Miguel weighed him properly before his operation he was only 4.1kg. This is not enough but he is eating well and as his mouth becomes less sore, this will all be less of an effort for him. He has done SO well so quickly. We are very proud of him.
He also seems very settled and happy inside and is now comfortable with the cat toilet. Next I must send a message to his owner in Germany to ask her what she wants to do. I HOPE she WILL let me re-home him, as I don’t think her home is now the right one for Peter. He needs a person with more time to give him the right care if he is to stay healthy.
26/09/11: This afternoon I went to visit Peter at Anthea’s; he seems very relaxed and settled and has found himself a little ‘den’ on her bookshelf where he hangs out throughout the day when not eating. At night he seems to know when Anthea is about to go to bed, because he is always there waiting for her! We now think he would be very happy living in a nice apartment, maybe with a sunny balcony. In the meantime he is eating well and gaining strength. I weighed him again today and was very pleased to see that he is now 4.4kg, a gain of 0.6kg in just 10 days, which is very good on low fat diabetic food. Well done to Anthea, who has taken over his feeds, and is obviously getting plenty down him! We are making good progress. More news after his operation on Wednesday.
20:00 Latest is that Peter has come out and eaten a BIG supper!
22/09/11: Just back from visiting Peter at Anthea’s. All was well last night; Peter watched a DVD with Anthea, slept cuddled up on the bed, and then had a 7am breakfast. Since then he has been sort of hiding under the bed. Anthea says this seemed to to start after he was startled by a motorbike outside. He let me stroke him under the bed, and I think would have been quite happy if I could have crawled under to join him, but showed no inclination to come out. I think this is a combination of yesterday’s stress catching up on him, and being in a strange noisier apartment. We will see how he goes over the next couple of days.
21/09/11: The latest is that Peter HASN’T had his operation yet, but the news overall is pretty good. His blood test results were actually better than expected and most of his functions, including liver and kidney, are in good shape. His blood sugar level is just within normal, so he is not currently officially a diabetic cat, but will continue to have special food to prevent a re-occurence! He is however anaemic so will have one more week of good nourishing food before his anaesthetic. Miguel now seems much more positive about his long term health, and his chances of getting over his gum infection. I am very happy for him. It IS very important that he continues to eat well.
20/09/11: Peter is now booked in to have his first operation to clean his mouth tomorrow evening. Anthea, the kind lady who first alerted me to his problems, is then going to take him home with her for a few days while he recovers. First he will have his blood test health check and I hope we will not have bad news. I will be particularly interested to know what his blood sugar level is as Peter is currently a bit of an anomaly. We know he used to be fat and diabetic, but in the last 12-18 months he has lost a lot of weight due to his mouth problems, so I am wondering if this drastic drop may have had some kick-starting effect on his insulin production, similar in effect to a ‘starvation diet’ therapy being tried with humans.
This is possibly wishful thinking on my part, but it would be fantastic if his blood sugar was now normal, as I am struggling to find the right food for Peter. For now, to be safe, he has diabetic food, but this is also weight control and one of the things it is meant to do is encourage fat breakdown! Poor Peter needs to put on fat not lose it. This cat NEEDS calories! hence my dilemma. Diabetes normally goes with obesity in cats. More on this one tomorrow.
19/09/11: PM: This evening Peter did better. After a few big spoons of food fed by me, he took over and ate almost another 1.5 tins on his own. I followed this as always by letting Peter have a treat of a very small amount of Whiskers cat milk. This is probably not great for his diabetes but he loves it and it helps him clean his sore mouth. I had sat down on the sofa while Peter ate his last bowel of thick liquid food, and at the end of it he came to say hello. He likes to pad on my lap and then settle down to a lovely stroke with his arms around me and his eyes full of love sweet boy. I think he knows that I am trying to help him get better.
19/09/11 AM: Not such a good eating morning with Peter. He seemed restless and I know wants to go out. We only got through 3/4 of a tin and it was hard work. Maybe it was also because he ate so much last night, and his mouth was more sore as a result. He kept getting very stressed and afraid of his food, and I had to give him cat milk to get him eating which is not so great for his diabetes. I will weigh him again tonight and if there is any gain, I think I will bring his first treatment forward. We did however have a lovely brush with lots of padding on my lap and purring. He is such a sweet boy.
18/09/11: Peter is just gorgeous but he has a VERY serious problem, and 2 more problems that are also quite serious. Peter’s biggest problem is that he has such a bad, chronic gum infection that he cannot eat without pain, in fact he cannot even lick his lips without some pain. If Peter tries to eat any food with lumps he cries and jumps back as if he has been attacked and becomes very afraid. Because of this Peter, a once big, quite fat cat, now weighs only 3.8kg and his bones stick out. Peter got this problem with his mouth because he is a FiV positive cat which means he cannot fight bad bacteria like a normal cat. Peter’s third problem is that he is also a diabetic cat.
Peter was at one time an abandoned cat, but for the last 3 years he has had an owner. His owner does care about him, and has spent a lot of money at her vet trying to cure the problem with his mouth. In the last months this has become too expensive for her and her vet seems to have run out of ideas. She has been away a lot recently in Germany, and the woman who was looking after Peter contacted me because his mouth had become so bad she was afraid for him. I am now trying to help him.
Miguel, the vet I work with is going to clean his mouth under anaesthetic, and inject antibiotics and homeopathic medicine into his gums. This may need to be done several times and will be expensive, but we have to try because Peter is a beautiful cat and I think cannot continue to live as he is now. His owner had been liquidising his dry food and had stopped giving him diabetic food because, she said, he was putting on no weight. Miguel has told me that this is very dangerous for him.
For the next 5-6 weeks I am looking after him. I am now not letting him outside, which he is getting used to, because I am worried about further infection, and as a FiV cat he really should be an inside cat. 2 times every day I go to feed him which takes almost an hour. He needs encouragement but he is doing very well after just 3 days. He now gets Hills w/d wet food for diabetic cats and should eat at least 1.5 tins each day. This takes time as I must add a lot of water so that his food is more like human baby food or it is too painful for him to eat, but he enjoys it and today was a great day. Peter ate 2.5 tins! This is fantastic as the plan I have with Miguel, is that I will feed him well for a week first to make him stronger for his anaesthetic.
His first operation on his mouth is booked for Thursday, and before this Miguel will do some blood tests to see how healthy Peter is. We need to check his kidney and liver functions among other things and also his blood sugar level. I am hoping that the results will not be too bad, because Peter needs to be able to fight this gum disease a little himself, or there is not much hope.
He does not seems to be a very sick cat, apart from his mouth and being too thin, but Miguel is very worried, because his mouth is SO bad, and because he is now maybe 8-9 years old. I am praying for him, because Peter is such a beautiful cat. I have already fallen in love with him and wish I could take him home. He is very loving and affectionate and I hate leaving him alone so much, but we have 5 healthy cats. I am hoping that I can find somebody to take him for a few days after his operation, because he may be ill after the anaesthetic.
I will keep updating this post on Peter’s progress. I have this feeling that he is going to need a lot of care for the rest of his life, but I think he is worth it and I really hope that with the help of Miguel and the agreement of his owner, Peter’s life will be a lot better soon.
Watching the Camera