Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Second Opinion

Yesterday we met with our regular vet to discuss Harley's diagnosis and treatment plan. She said that while a biopsy may make sense at some point, we're not there yet. First she wants, in a few weeks, to repeat the bloodwork -- since his results could have been due to anesthesia, which the other vet didn't tell us -- and to do a special urine test. Based on those, she'll be able to get a sense of whether a biopsy would be a good idea.

In the meantime, she recommended that we start feeding him a prescription kidney diet (which means feeding it to the other cats, too, since we always have food out). We were pretty apprehensive, since we've had bad luck trying to put cats on special diets, but -- amazingly! -- all three of them like the new stuff. We're delighted. The new food's expensive, but it's worth it to me if it helps protect Harley's health. The vet said it won't hurt the others, and since all cats tend to develop kidney problems, I'm actually happy they'll be on it.

The other thing we've done, a suggestion of mine based on internet research, was to get one of those fountain water bowls where the water's always circulating and is also filtered. That way the water stays fresher, and the cats tend to drink more, which is important for kidney issues. We have the fountain in addition to the old, regular water bowl. So far, Bali and Figgy adore the fountain; we haven't seen Harley use it yet, but I'm sure he'll get around to it at some point.

The third prong of the new treatment plan is for me to brush Harley's teeth with special kitty toothpaste (malt flavored) and a special mini kitty toothbrush. This was resoundingly unsuccessful last night, but I managed to smear a little of the cream on his mouth, so if he gets used to the taste, I'm hoping he'll gradually become more amenable to the procedure.

Wish us luck!


  1. Those sound like really good changes, Susan. I can just imagine how hard it might be to brush a cat's teeth. Mine like to have the whiskers beside their nose rubbed with a massaging finger and I can get to the fangs if I'm gentle. Do your cats like that? Maybe if they do it can be used to get Harley to adjust to having your finger near and in his mouth.

    Hugs and prayers for Harley,

  2. Susan -
    There is a product out there called DentaTreat, which is a powdered enzyme (made from cheese) that helps with plaque. You can simply sprinkle it on the cats' food. Our vet had also advised us to brush some of our cats' teeth, but the cats were pretty resistant. We started using the powder and, at the next dental check-ups, all of the cats had a lot less plaque. The vets were about to do a quick hand-scaling of the teeth.
    Since we had such good results, I thought I'd share that tidbit with you. You can buy DentaTreat at Healthy Tails in the Mayberry Landing shopping center.
    This is not to be suggested as a complete substitute for brushing--simply a way to not have to brush as frequently.


  3. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Good luck, indeed!



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