Duke welcomes you to Feline Friday, the end of a long week of vet visits. Both Duke and Annie made the drive to the Hawaii Kai Veterinary Clinic to see Dr. Ann Sakamoto for more than the usual checkup.
Duke was the first. He was going in for a test of how well we’re managing to control his diabetes. It’s a blood test for fructosamine levels. Here’s a description of the test.
Fructosamine testing involves checking the fructosamine level in the blood, and this testing is another way to monitor diabetic pets. Fructosamine is a protein thatbinds very strongly to glucose in the blood. Because fructosamine occurs in proportion to blood glucose, it can provide an accurate estimate of the amount of glucose in the blood. When the fructosamine level is measured, it helps determine the average glucose level for the previous 2to 3 weeks. Fructosamine monitoring is often the preferred method for monitoring the glucose level in cats because it is not affected by stress, which can cause asharp increase in the blood glucose levelin cats.
And then there’s his nagging issue. Duke has had a chronic upper respiratory infection of some kind. We’ve tried several times to combat it, without much success. The lucky thing is that it doesn’t seem to spread the other cats, but for Duke, an ongoing issue.
We were lucky this time. Soon after Dr. Sakamoto came into the room and started to examine Duke, he let loose with a big sneeze and blew cat snot across the exam table. It showed exactly what we’re dealing with, which isn’t always the case.
So she prescribed one of the big guns of the antibiotic world, Azithromycin. It’s apparently a human antibiotic approved for cats and dogs. So Duke gets a daily dose for five days, then one every three days for at least several weeks.
He just started with the first dose yesterday afternoon, and he seems to be doing better already (although this could be wishful thinking). It comes in a liquid form. Luckily, it apparently doesn’t taste bad, because I was able to get the full dose into him. So that’s very fortunate as I look ahead to the longer term.
Duke also came home with a bag of Lysine cat treats, which are supposed to boost his immune system. He likes them, so that’s another plus.
So I’m hopeful that this is going to finally be successful at combating this long-term infection.
And then there’s Annie. In her recent checkup, Dr. Sakamoto noted that Annie has a heart murmur.
According to PetMD.com:
Extra heart vibrations that are produced as a result of a disturbance in the blood flow — enough, in fact, to produce audible noise — are referred to as murmurs. Often, the murmurs are classified according to a variety of characteristics, including their timing. Systolic murmurs, for example, occur when the heart muscle contracts; diastolic murmurs occur when the heart muscle relaxes between beats; and continuous and to-and-fro murmurs occur throughout all or most of the cardiac cycle.
Dr. Sakamoto rated Annie’s murmur as a Grade 2 on a scale of 1 to 6: “Grade II—soft, but easily heard with a stethoscope”
Since Annie is our youngest cat, Dr. Sakamoto recommended an ultrasound of her heart to determine the cause of the murmur.
So yesterday morning, Annie and I left the house early to meet another vet and his portable ultrasound system in Hawaii Kai. The procedure didn’t take too long, and although it required a vet tech to hold Annie partially on her back, Annie was very good about it all.
So apparently the good news is that her murmer isn’t caused by an overall thickening of the heart wall, but by one section that restricts blood flow somewhat when she’s stressed. I couldn’t process all the details as the test was being done, so I’ll have to wait until the results are reported. But Annie bounced back quickly after we got back home, and within a few hours had mostly forgotten the whole experience and was running around the house like normal.
So the cats are recovering. The bank account, not so much. I’m glad the week is over.
–> See all of today’s Friday Felines!
By the way, there are some great portraits of Romeo and Toby in this batch!