Gabby has been a part of my life for over 6 years now. Rescued from the streets of a small neighboring town and taken to a veterinary clinic, she was a skinny mottled cat, and she looked at me from the first as though she were madly in love with me. How could I not take her home?
I don't know Gabby's age, because she is a lady, and she won't tell! She weighed only 5 lbs. when we met, and she just topped 8 lbs. at her heaviest.
Attention! Medical talk ahead! Skip if you're delicate!
Update - August 15, 2003
Those who are familiar with Gabby's story know she has some kidney damage, including some calcification (see the stone in the above x-rays). She lost weight over the last year, down to a frightening 5.1 lbs. just about 8-10 weeks ago. Although she appeared to be feeling better, and repeated blood tests showed her kidneys to be functioning fairly well (given their condition),her appetite was low, and she kept getting thinner.
Eventually another symptom manifested. There is no pretty way to say this: she developed loose bowel movements. Gabby tested negative for parasites, and a swab test told her doctors she seemed to be forming the bowel movements all right, so it was not simple diarhea.
On a hunch, her new, holistic veterinarian decided to treat Gabby for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, a proliferation of the "bad" bacteria we all carry. Treatment for this is several weeks of Metronidazole, a truly vile tasting antibiotic.
Almost immediatly, Gabby's appetite picked up, and her BMs got better. She went from eating the minimum for a 5-lb. cat (according to package directions), to the maximum for a 10-lb cat. I'm happy to report that on her last weigh-in on August 1, she was back up to 7.6 pounds, her normal weight for the summer. After six weeks, we stopped the Metronidazole, and, unfortunately, within a week the symptoms began to reappear. We started another 4-week course, which she is just about to finish. The loose stools disappeared quickly.
Unfortunately, for the past several months, Gabby occassionaly has a little blood in her urine, and the cause of that is still unknown. Her new doctor thought it could be caused by pressure from her intestines, as SIBO causes some inflammation and thickening of the intestinal wall. I saw a little blood in her urine just a few days ago, so I'm monitoring this closely, keeping my fingers crossed, and remembering her in my prayers daily.
To all who have prayed for her, thank you. Please, keep it up! Together, we will do all we can to help this little kitty. Although she is not in perfect health, she is doing very well under the circumstances. Again, I thank you.