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Pets & IBD

Indulge me, if you will, to go slightly off topic, as I'm sure most of you are sufferers of IBD yourself, but how many of you knew that your pet could get IBD as well?

It was news to me, but my darling love of my life kitty cat Fievel has been through a rough six months and now joins my IBD struggles with his own IBD journey.  Last summer, I noticed he was losing weight, and over time became obsessed with water and food, despite the severe weight loss.  He also had intermittent diarrhea and vomiting and was exhibiting odd behavior signifying GI distress, like gnawing on the plastic part of his litter box.  The poor thing was in misery, but the doctor said to keep waiting, thinking it was a thyroid or kidney issue.  They said to re-test in six months.

Doesn't it remind you of people's struggles to get diagnosed?  So many ups and downs, so many misdiagnoses.  So hard to find a doctor and team of caregivers you trust.

He is currently two months into daily Metronidazole / Flagyl doses, which is a prescription I myself have taken for IBD in the past. When he scrunches up his little face and tries to spit out the bitter blue pills, I too know the awful bitter/metallic taste that Flagyl creates.  I can empathize and be patient, let him know I understand.

He's slowly starting to add back on weight, but just like with us humans coming out of a flare, it's baby steps forward, baby steps back.

Just like with humans, he's at an increased risk for cancer due to the inflammation.  His intestinal walls were quite thickened and his lymph counts were very high.  In fact, for some time they thought it was cancer until the treatment with Flagyl revealed otherwise.

Prednisone is also a treatment option, but goodness knows my little guy has seen the effects of steroids on me, so we all hope he doesn't have to go through the same.

Like his mommy he suffers from allergies and has been put on a special hypoallergenic diet.  Like his mommy he probably misses a little variety in his food life.

As with humans, there's little understanding of what causes IBD to develop.  Is it diet or genetics, a virus or other immune malfunction?  We just know it's treatable on a tried and true method of keep at it until you find what works for your pet.

Life always finds a way to bring a new dose of perspective.  My cat has been by my side through thick and thin for going on 14 years.  He has lain by my side or in the bed with me through endless flares more times than I can count.  He always takes care of me, sensing what I am feeling.  I can only hope and pray that I am there for him the same way.

Thanks for listening, y'all.  If you have fur babies, please send pics or share your stories of how they have helped you through a flare!

The Fievels

Crohnies - and Crohnie kitties and pups - unite!


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