As you guys are aware by now, Leopold Vaughn is one of my fur babies, and he's probably also the love of my life. My cats are my children. I know parents say they don't have favorites, but I don't believe it. My mom only had me, so I know I'm her favorite lol. But, when you have multiple children, you have one that you like slightly more than your other ones. That doesn't take anything away from your love of your other children, but you can't help but have one that's just a little more special. For me, that's my Leopold Vaughn. He was the first cat I adopted after my Reese died, and he was just a wee baby 8 week old kitten, but he filled a whole in my heart that was empty. Reese will always be my love, and no one can replace her, but I'm so grateful that Leopold is in my life.
Leopold is 5 years old, and he'll be 6 in August. He's always been a pleasantly plump sweet boy. He's fun and playful, but his favorite thing to do is sleep in my lap. About a year ago, Leopold started throwing up. I thought it was because he was eating too fast, because, his second favorite thing to do is eat. First it was just occasional, then it become more frequent, then it was basically after every meal. On top of it, he was ravenous. He was starving ALL THE TIME. He would fight me for anything I was eating, even an apple. He won't eat it, but it just showed how hungry he was. However, other than that, he hasn't changed at all. He's still himself, and always has been. We were back and forth to the vet; blood work, urine test, physical examination, the whole 9 yards. They thought it was maybe a thyroid issue (the coincidence right, tell me he's not my cat lol), then IBD. He went on prescription food, wet and dry, and he would eat separate on the counter from the other cats, who were eating on the floor. I would be his babysitter basically; stranding there while he ate, at his own pace, blocking the other cats from getting to him. And for awhile, the diet worked, then it stopped.
We went to our vet, and they recommended a specialist, but in the meantime gave him an anti-vomit and anti-nausea shot that helped him not vomit for a whole week! I took him back the Sunday before his appointment for another shot, which I was pleasantly surprised by how well this shot worked, but our vet said it was just a temporary thing and it's not something he can take forever. Then, when I set his appointment for the specialist, we got a snow storm, and had to reschedule it, so Kevin took him that following Tuesday. I was disappointed I couldn't go, but I knew Kevin would make sure he was in good hands, because he knows how important Leopold is to me. This specialist, for the price of $815, did basically the exact same tests as our vet. Now, after doing hours of my own research, I was already convinced Leopold have IBD, but only in his stomach, not his bowel. All of his symptoms were spot on with everything I read.
When the specialist called me to discuss the findings, he said that Leopold is pretty healthy. He said it could be a few things. IBD is possible, but it could be something called Triaditis, a common disorder in cats that has no cause, and basically, it affects the stomach, liver, and pancreas of cats. There's no cure, just treatment of the symptoms, and the cats can live a happy and normal life. But, there's no way to confirm it, unless they do exploratory surgery, which costs approximately $4,500 just for the surgery, not including any treatments resulting from surgery. If I had the money to spare, I might consider it. But, I don't consider it safe, not knowing exactly what's wrong with him, to put him under and just let them poke, prode, and take random biopsies from inside my cat. His liver is fine, as the blood work indicated. His pancreas is slightly inflamed, but that doesn't mean pancreatitis, it could be from everything going on.
So, the doctor suggested trying the pill version of the shot they gave him, which I found interesting, because my vet said he can't take it long term, but meanwhile, we've had it for almost a month, and have only needed to use 2 pills the entire time. His prescription was only half a pill every day, but he doesn't need that. I'm not going to overmedicate him if he doesn't need it. He's only thrown up three times maybe, since I've been logging everything for him. Once I'm pretty sure was because he ate too fast, and another was because Kevin fed him the wrong food. I've been sticking with a grain free diet, trying to stick with limited ingredient food, and try proteins that aren't typical; like rabbit, venison, and duck. I'm also feeding him 3 wet food meals a day, which wet food is preferable anyway for him. It's a more natural diet for them, whereas dry food is really not that natural. I still make sure they all have crunchies constantly anyway.
He went from being 9.2 pounds when I first started his weight log on 1/10/18, and now he's up to 10.8 pounds! He's putting weight on, keeping it on, and his coat looks better and you can see he's put on some weight! So for now, this medication is working, he's happy, and looking better! I'm so excited to see my sweet boy getting back to his chubby self! However, I still ask for prayers and positive vibes, because he's my baby. <3