Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We are still alive & well!!!

Sorry to disappear on you guys! Last week was just one of those first week of the month freak outs. Because May was such a crazy month with Luke getting sick & myself & the shop not being open because we spent a lot of time at the vet office, well... I fell behind on so many things, so I have been trying to catch up on everything around here.

Luke. Oh my baby Luke. He is enjoying his time at home I think. But, our home is very small compared to the shop. We live on a floating home that is only 800 sq.ft. on the Fraser river. Luke just hangs out in the upper part of the house (400 sq. ft.). Because we have a small dog that would be way too much in Luke's face & the dog would probably loose an eye! Because Luke likes things mellow (I don't blame him!). But, thankfully we have a huge upper deck & Luke has been going out to eat grass and enjoy fresh air ans catching some cool breezes in the night. I do get very nervous about him up there though, because he is very nervous outside (he stays low LOL). If he hears something, he is always on guard. But, he does get to a point where he can relax, but he is very aware of what's going on around him.

Luke spends most of his day sleeping in hiding. He had been finding his way under the bed, even though I had filled all the spaces under it with blankets and such. So we gave up & just took the blankets away from under the bed. And since we did that, he stopped going under there!!! I swear I had to take apart the bed 6 times, at least to get him out from under there. It was such a pain. Silly boy.

His evenings are spent jumping over my face many times as I try to sleep. I don't know why he ends up doing this every night. But I always seem to wake up to his belly dragging across my face at some point through the night. LOL!!!

All in all, he seems to be doing better. His weight is holding steady. But, he is not the same weight he use to be. And he is not as small as he had been when he was taken from the 1st vet's office. He's in the middle somewhere. And no more pink ears with a fever! YAY!!!

Administering his medicine has been a whole other issue. The drops are no problem. But, the powder that is suppose to go into the wet food!!!?? This has not been going well. He ate it for a couple of days. But, then became turned off of the wet food again. So, I have just been watering the powder down and putting it in the syringe and giving it to him orally. He is gaining his strength back this is for sure, because he is fighting me on this one. It's terrible. We have had quite the battles together just trying to get him to be still. I really, really hope these two medicines are helping his gall bladder stones. It's so hard to tell. But he isn't getting worse, so something must be going right. I kept giving him the high calorie paste until it was gone, which was just a few days ago. He didn't mind taking the paste. But, the watered down powder... whole other story! Actually, maybe I should mix it with chicken broth! Why didn't I think of that before?!!! I'm going to try that tonight for him.

Luke has had quite a few visitors at the shop looking for him. It's sad to tell them he is not here, but I am glad that he is just at home relaxing on his own terms & not feeling like he is obligated to say, hello to people when them come in looking for him. Not that he doesn't love people... But, it's better that he just rest. I don't know when I will bring him back to the shop.
I guess after we do the x-ray 3 weeks.
I pray, pray, pray those gall bladder stones have disappeared!

Part of me can't wait to have this blog be about visitors with Luke & maybe pictures of Luke WITH the visitors! It will be nice to have him back here at the shop. I am very lonely, business has been very quiet. I think Luke must be good luck! BEcause things have been dreadful with out him here.

Once gain, sorry for being away last week! Don't worry, we're still here and doing fine.
Also we are working on your little packages for the people who did donate to help Mister. Luke out.

I know some of you said, "Don't worry about it!".
It's just a small token of our appreciation!
We really just want to do it!!!

Thanks so much for being there.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

The results are in!!!

Luke has acute pancreatitis

No tumor. Which is a huge relief to hear.

We went in for the ultra sound and there were 8 other anipals in to get ultra sounds too (4 cats, 4 dogs). I met a sweet 22 year old cat named, Anthony. He was so handsome. He had gone deaf about 3 years ago. He's apparently had a rough 3 years. But 22!!! Wowza. That is amazing! He was in getting his kidney's looked at. I hope he will be okay. His parents were so sweet.

It was hard meeting many others that were there with their babies... So many stories to tell. Everyone was so open, we were all just worried sick over our babies. The love we all have for our animals is so strong. It is clear that most of us would do almost anything for them. Our babies/best friends... life without the is just pure sadness.

Luke went in for the ultra sound & I had to wait out in the waiting room. Thankfully no sedation was needed. He came out & I was hoping we would get the results right away. But, the specialist faxes the findings to our VET. Then our VET contacts us with the results. Which was driving me crazy with the waiting! He finally called me close to 6pm and gave me the low down. It was kind of hard to hear him (my cell phone sucks) So I made plans to visit with him this morning to get all the info of Luke's game plan.

The bottom line is that Luke has an over active pancreas. He also has those gall bladder stones. He will be on a special dry food & wet food. As well as a some holistic medicine (see above picture) to thin out those gall bladder stones so they can be passed, or just break down. We are scheduled to come back to the VET office in 30 days for an x-ray to see how those stones are doing. He offered the holistic medicine instead of the "conventional" medicine, because he said there are some risks with conventional medicine. Being that this is his first case in 20 years of a cat with gall bladder stones, he wanted to do more research on the drugs. He was going to be contacting another VET for a recommendation if these holistic medicines to do not so the trick.

For now Luke is on:
Liquid Hepato: It contains a standardized extract of milk thistle along with full complex of B vitamins and antioxidants to help promote normal liver function. The active bioflavonoid complex in milk thistle, silymarin, increases the uptake of hepatic glutathione and stimulates hepatocyte protein synthesis. It's bacon flavored liquid that is to be given orally. Hope he likes it!

Rx Biotic: Which is just a pro-biotic. It helps maintain normal, healthy intestinal micro-flora and normalize bowel ecology. I am suppose to mix a scoop full of this in his wet food. I am not sure if he will take to the wet food. Since he started eating again, I haven't given him the option of the wet food in a few days now. Hoping he will like the new wet food prescribed. Because, if he doesn't I will have to add water to it & give it to him orally. Fingers crossed he likes the wet food!

(If anyone has an experience with these medicine's for their cat or dog, please comment. I would love to know the out come.)

The out come for Luke is pretty positive right now! I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. His condition can be reversed. We just have to hope that those stones will not rupture anything. That with the aid of the meds they will just dissolve and/or pass.

I am so glad that Luke is going to have more time with us & hopefully be able to come back to work someday. Thank you everyone who hung in with us during the last couple of weeks. It was such a roller coaster ride. So crazy. I think I added 50% more gray hair to my head with all the worry.

I am so glad I listened to my gut & went to the other VET for a second opinion. The other VET had me thinking it was a tumor - because he had no clue what anything was in the x-rays. He had been trying to convince me to put Luke down at more than one visit with him. I can only imagine how many people who would have listened to his advice. Terrible thought. To think that your baby could have had their life taken away unnecessarily. When all they needed was someone more knowledgeable & with proper care. I am curious how long that fellow has been a practicing VET.

I totally recommend Lonsdale Animal Hospital in North Vancouver, BC!!! They are such a great team there. They are super stars in my eyes.

As for Atlas over on Marine Drive in North Vancouver. I am not so sure. Maybe a good clinic for a minor concern. But, if your animal is really sick - seek elsewhere! I hate to kind of bad mouth them, but I know I would not return there. I also did find some questionable reviews online about them here & here. But it was a long weekend when we took Luke there. No one else was open.

I am just glad it all worked out for now.

Thank you so much to everyone that helped get Luke to the ultra sound appointment!!!
His bill for the ultra sound was $400.00. His bill for the meds and food was $107.50!
We had just enough to cover that! It couldn't have worked any more perfect.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

You all have been so amazing with all your financial contribution, advice & positive healing vibes you sent our way. We couldn't have made it with out you. We give you the biggest hug EVER!!!
We hope that we can continue the friendships we've made here foreverness!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Ultra sound day!

I brought Luke to work today because we have to leave early to get him to his ultra sound appointment. The appointment is officially at 1:30 , so send us some positive healing love at that time! We got a call to come in at12:30 though, to get Luke's little belly fur trimmed.

He was nervous at first to be at the shop, sniffing around at everything. I had moved his beds around and he was giving me the eye roll about his favorite bed not being is his usual spot. I got the hint, and easily placed his bed back where it was. He hopped on in & is very content.

Our neigbour next door from Bruce Eyewear was very excited to see him at his old stomping grounds! I wasn't sure if he would really be up to saying hello to her. But, she called him over & he couldn't resist! He was going in circles around her legs - rubbing his head on every part of her lower leg! He is such a sweety. I love my Luke!

I'm trying to keep positive. I don't even want to think of anything bad right now.

He seems like the old Luke. Just a little thinner.

Thanks for everyones help that made this ultra sound visit possible!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Luke has been eating!

Sorry about not updating yesterday. I was so busy with trying to catch up with work that I let slide, because I was so pre-occupied with Luke.

But 2 nights ago Luke ate dry food on his own!!! I was just getting his wet food ready for him. I offered him the wet food whole. But, he was not interested at all in it. So I took his food to go get it ready for the syringe. As I was doing that my daughter decided to offer him a little piece of dry food. He accepted it! So she got a small handful for him & he kept cleaning up the little pile of food. Slowly he was gobbling them all up. We were all very excited! And he has continued to eat the dry food! YAY! I have stopped giving him the wet food completely, because he just wasn't all that into it. I went to the VET yesterday to tell them the good news & she said that was fine that he was eating the dry food & maybe he is just turned off of wet food, because in his mind it made him sick.

I am still giving him the high calorie paste, he is still on one antibiotic medicine & I give him the B12 shot in the morning. Which is now a total breeze to do! I think he only has one more of those shots to take.

I still haven't heard from the VET office about the time of his ultra sound appointment tomorrow. But, they are just squeezing us in at the last moment. Hopefully they will be calling today. We thankfully don't have to go very far for it. Just to West Vancouver.

He is getting around a little easier. The little bugger last night was trying to get downstairs. We have a gate at the top of stairs and he kept knocking on the gate to pull it open. I don't know where he thinks he was going. Because there is nothing down there for him! Silly boy.

I think he is kind of enjoying life laying around bed all day & basking in the sunshine. Everyone needs a break from work, he had been working non-stop for 2 years at the shop. I'm sure he kind of misses saying hello to visitors at the shop, but he has lots of little distractions at home and lot's of constant love and attention. I love Luke.

I am feeling a lot better about his recovery... but I guess we'll just have to wait and see the results of the ultra sound.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Luke today & yesterday night

Not much has changed for Luke. He still will not eat any wet food on his own & another troubling thing is he hasn't had a BM since he has been home (Thursday night). The vet didn't seem to mind this... I just can't wait till Friday for the ultra sound.

I gave Luke the high calorie paste in the syringe last night. The vet said that he would probably lick it off my finger, because animals find it quite tasty. But he was not interested in the slightest. A little later on I gave him the option to eat the a/d wet food as a meal on a plate. But, he just sniffed it and walked away. Which is so out of character for him, Luke loved wet food with all his heart before. I eventually took the a/d food & wet it down and used a syringe to force fed him. He is so over the force feeding. As am I. I hate doing it. I know he hates me doing it too. He is so wiggly & always trying to back up outta of my arms. I want his inner switch to go off so he can enjoy his favorite meal again.

This morning I was to give him his B12 injection. I chickened out after reading a terrible story on the internet last night. A lady actually made the needle come out the other side of the cats skin! So this morning after I dropped my kids off at school I went to the vet, just to double check on the technique to get it done. The vet is in North Vancouver, but we live in Richmond(25km away) My kids still go to school over in N.Van so it's not a real problem. But after I double checked with the vet I drove all the way home which takes an hour in traffic! Such a long haul, but worth it because I was second guessing myself.

I gave Luke another tube full the high calorie paste when I got in, because I had already fed him the a/d at 6:30am. The paste is so easy. I wish the wet food feeding was as easy. I then went and prepared the B12 shot. I was more concerned about the feeling of going through the skin. Yuck. I hate needles period, so to have to do it to another person or animal just gives me the shiveries. I actually started crying I was so nervous. He was fine though, just purring and waiting for the unknown. But, then I breathed in & did it! I do admit to looking away while I squished the plunger down. But, I did it! It was fine. He was fine. Thankfully it's only once a day. And only 3 more shots to go!

Everyone I talk to seems hopeful that the gall bladder thing will be fine. I'm not so sure. I just don't want him to have to have an operation. Finger crossed it all works out.

Luke had a few people in the shop yesterday wondering how he was doing so that was nice. There are so many thoughtful, sweet & caring people out there. I am so glad to have so many wonderful people on Team Luke!

Thank you everyone so much for all your advice. You are all the bestest cat friends ever!

Also the donations have pretty much ceased. Just wanted to keep you updated on that. I am hoping it will be enough to cover his ultrasound on Friday. I'll know tomorrow how much that will all cost.

Gotta go catch up on work now. Have a good day everyone!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The visit with the vet today

Luke went to his appointment this morning at a different vet from the one he was at last week. This vet deals with conventional care & holistic.

Luke was fine for the ride to the vet. We were the first appointment of the day and the only ones there. The visit was brief, but gave me a much better feeling then the other vet. This vet was able to tell me that he thinks that it is his gall bladder that is effected. When looking at the x-rays, he was able to tell that he saw stones. The other vet, just wasn't sure what they were & where it may have come from. So that was a relief to actually be told what things were, rather than being inconclusive. This vet recommended that an ultra sound would confirm what was going on in Luke. I knew that the ultra sound was coming. But, also the vet said he may need his gall bladder removed. I'm not sure the cost of that, but it's got to be pricey. We have raised enough funds to hopefully cover the ultrasound, that will be done on Friday. They are calling me Wednesday to give me all the details of the when, how and cost.

To date we have raised $500!!! Which is a so amazing. Without your generosity, there would be no next step for Luke. I am tapped out fund wise after last week's stay at the vet. I am very thankful that we can get the ultra sound and then make a decision from there. I am taking it one day at at time.

The vet prescribed a B-12 shot for Luke for the next 5 days. I have to inject him with that. (Nervous about that one). We also got the high calorie paste in the tube, that someone had actually mentioned to me in the comments or maybe it was twitter. Also another type of wet food a/d to give to him to force feed him. I really wish that switch would just click in him and he would eat on his own. He loves to eat in real life, it was the best parts of his days.

I do feel better about this visit today at the vet. But the sound of an operation is just something I can not handle the sound of right now. I want to think positively and just hope that maybe he can be cured by medicine? (naive possibly)... I'm going to be doing some internet research on the gall bladder situation.

On the ride home, so many things go through my head about how to deal with this. The sadness sets in... I don't want to have just had 2 years with Luke. I want more time. I really want more time with him. It breaks my heart every time I think of the possible loss. I just now try to stay away from those thoughts.

Yesterday, I bought Luke a little can of fancy feast to see if he would be interested in it. He actually licked it & picked up a couple of pieces, but then that was all. I was so hoping he would just dig in. I also bought him some turkey baby food. It was slim pickings at the Superstore for tasty meat selections. Luke actually put up a bit of a fight when I fed him this. But, it seemed like such a tastier option than watered down wet food. But I am a human... he is a cat. I am just going to stick to the high calorie paste that vet gave us & the new wet food. But I am hoping he will just want to eat someday soon on his own.

I had mentioned that I will be putting a little package together for those of you who have donated. I am sticking to this plan. I will be going through all the donations this afternoon to make sure I have everyone's address! So you may get an email from me today!!!

So now we just wait.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Luke at home day #2

Hi everyone! Sorry for the delay in today's update. It was my daughters 8th birthday!!!

Well I got home yesterday Luke was hiding. Not just behind the headboard of the bed anymore - but actually under the bed. Remember the picture of him hiding his head under the bed?!! Well some how the little bugger squished his body through that SMALL crack and ended up stuck under there. There are drawers under the bed, so there is some space beyond the drawers where he was able to stand up. So when I looked under the bed... I could see him standing up just sitting there. It was quite the rescue process to get him out, removing the mattress & then a board & then trying to squeeze between other supporting boards. Thankfully cats are so pliable. Poor guy took the longest pee after he was rescued out from under the bed!

Luke was under the bed for so long during the day, that I did force fed him water. Just to be sure he was hydrated. I still have to force feed him his food still too. He was kind of sniffing it out today, so close! I so thought he was going to go for it. But, it was a no-go. I put a little on his nose, he would lick it off - but he had no initiative to feed on his own. Why???!!! Why won't he do it? But, will help himself to water?

I can feel his weight dwindling. I am going to increase his food by one more feeding tomorrow. He keeps the food down & the water (I know this is a good thing). He uses the litter. But, I just don't know why he won't eat wet food. I am getting much better at the force feeding, but I hate doing it. He does not really approve of being force fed. It is pretty cute though, when he lets me pat his chin clean after he eats. I also forgot today to pick up the kitty milk. I really want to get some. Especially since it seems he will go for a liquid.

My poor Luke. I kind of feel like I am taking care of a senior citizen.

We have now filled all around the bottom of the bed with blankets and such to prevent him from getting in there again. Because last night he did try and go behind the headboard and he just sits there. Like he doesn't know how to get out and he has to be pulled out. Poor guy. I actually had forgotten how much he loves to have a little kitty cat den, like at the shop. At the shop he has this bench that we have curtained off with his bed under it, so when he needs to seek solace - that is his "go to place". I made a a little cat den for him now and he is pretty content in it. But, I think he forgets to come out - even to get water it seems. He just isn't himself. He use to come when you called his name, but now he just looks at you. I kind of place him in places on the bed or in his cat den. He'll just stay there until he needs to go to the litter box or the water dish. But, that really isn't the case with the cat den... he will just hide in there. I wonder why he'll jump off the bed to do his business & get water, but not when he is in cat den?

I can't wait to take him to the vet on Monday. I am hoping they will have some answers.

Thank you so much for your continued support. You are all the bestest. I tell Luke that there are many friends rooting for him to get better from all over the world!!! It's truly amazing.

The total in contributions is $400!
Thank you so much.

Hugs to everyone!