Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tawny's Follow-up Visit to the Vet

December 21, 2011--Tawny went to the vet clinic yesterday to have her feeding tube incision checked and to get a blood glucose curve. Dr. Amanda is happy with the way the incision site looks and is healing. Tawny is up to 9.7 lbs, she has gained 3 ozs!

(As few days back, Tawny was started to get infected at her incision site and had pulled one of the stitches, which had to be replaced.)

Dr. Amanda said Tawny has no ketones. They want to do an "in and out" check of her incision site this Friday and another curve in 10-14 days, together with some followup bloodwork to check her liver and other organs.

Tawny is not yet wearing her Kitty Kollars because of the issues Desi has had with the tube. However, Tawny should be able to be fashionably dressed after her vet visit on Friday.

Desi says: "Except for needing to put on a couple of pounds, she looks 150% better. Her eyes are bright, she is inquisitive, talkative and is back to wanting to hold hands. Acting very Tawny-like. She actually purred some this evening. That was very cool."


December 17, 2011--Wonderful DCIN supporters have donated all that we needed to claim the entire challenge pledge, which we have done. Thank you all so much!! We will hold the bit of excess funding we received for Tawny's follow-up visits and a dental when she is fully recovered. No, Tawny, no more long visits with your friends at LVRC.  ~Venita


December 13, 2011--Tawny had to make a quick trip back to the ER yesterday because she came home with a clogged feeding tube.

The final total came in on this 3rd DKA hospitalization--$1,932, which reflects various concessions and a very generous rescue discount from the Louisiana Veterinary Referral Center. Without the concessions and the discount, DCIN and its very generous friends probably could not have afforded this third hospitalization.

Below is the chip-in for this 3rd (and hopefully last) hospitalization. So far, DCIN has collected $702 in donations, most of them through the chip in. We have $1,230 yet to raise.

I have received a challenge pledge to finish off this fundraiser. An anonymous donor is willing to donate $2 for every new $1 in donations, up to a total "take" from the donor of $820, from now until the end of the day on 12/20/2011. That means, if all the rest of us can come up with $410 within the next week, this mystery person will kick in the final $820 of the $1,230 DCIN needs to fully pay Tawny's bill to date.

Will you help? This isn't a requirement of the challenge, but the anonymous donor would like to hear that donations are coming from folks who have not already donated to Tawny's 3rd hospitalization. The donor believes this is a great chance for new donors to "triple the bang for their buck."

Will you be one of those new donors? Your donation of $5 is, in effect, a donation for Tawny of $15.


December 12, 2011

Tawny is home from her hospital stay. This is Desi's post on the FDMB about her condition.

Poor Tawny is so wiped out.
I will call the clinic today for the total, final bill. The last I heard, maybe two days ago, it was $1900 before the rescue discount. Therefore, the chip-in is still open for donations for this hospitalization.

December 7, 2011--As of around 12 hours ago, Tawny was still in critical condition. Let me paraphrase from Desi's updates on the FDMB.

Tawny shows "slight improvement" but is not recovering as quickly as she did the 1st time she was in the hospital a month ago. She is sitting up and visiting the water bowl. Tawny's BGs are "good," holding in the 240 range. Tawny's potassium level is slowly going up and her ketone level is going down.

The vet was hoping to insert an E-tube (feeding tube) into Tawny this morning. Yesterday she was too unwell for the procedure.

The vets are awaiting the results of tests for pancreatitis (fPLI) and toxoplasmosis. Tuesday's treating vet, Dr. Taub, will discuss the possibility of a plasma transfusion with Dr. Arceneaux, the clinic's owner and head internal medicine doctor. A transfusion might could help with pancreatic inflammation.


December 5, 2011--Damn, double damn, and triple damn. Tawny is back at the ER/specialty hospital, ketotic with severe pancreatitis AGAIN. The vet, Dr. Amanda Taub, was calling Desi after me. The vet wanted to call me first because of the money aspect, which DCIN has been handling. I said OK, to get started.

Treatment plan--steroids to reduce the pancreatic inflammation, jugular catheter, constant rate infusion of R insulin, placing an E-tube (feeding tube) if Tawny is strong enough for the procedure. The vet said Tawny looks as bad as she did on the 1st hospitalization. Current estimate is $1500 to $2000. I didn't want to set up a chip-in. I just wanted to bury myself in denial. Tawny is such a love, a big piece of Desi's heart, and a favorite of this ER/Specialty clinic. Why oh why does she continue to get so sick??

Desi called me after she spoke to Dr. Taub. Desi has been sitting in her vehicle in the vet's parking lot, sobbing, too emotional to drive home. I assured her that DCIN would do all we could for Tawny. I asked her to find a diner or fast food joint, wash her face, and get something to eat. To let what is now going on with Tawny to fall from her shoulders. LVRC is taking care of Tawny and DCIN is taking care of the money.

Please, again I ask, as I have twice in the past month, help DCIN help Desi and Tawny.



December 2, 2011--Tawny's card to the Louisiana Veterinary Referral Center.


November 20, 2011, very early Sunday morning-- Tawny's temperature finally has been in the normal range since Saturday morning, 11/19, and Desi expects Tawny to come home this afternoon/evening.

Desi visited Tawny on both Friday and Saturday. The pics are here and here. Tawny looks pretty washed out to me, but alive and happy to be with her Mom. ~Venita


From LVRC: Tawny is getting a bit spoiled around here. Here she is, having a meal with Stephanie, our Internal Medicine Coordinator! We felt like she needed to stretch her legs and get out a bit today. She's been in the hospital for a while now battling diabetes, pancreatitis and a urinary tract infection...she deserved a kennel reprieve for a while!
November 19, 2011--I am happy to report that through the blessings of a very generous donor, DCIN has finally reached and slightly exceeded it goal of raising $4,500 for Tawny's hospitalization. I will be shutting down the chip-in. The excess funds will be used for Tawny's follow-up visits.

Thank you to all the marvelous people who continue to pray for Tawny and send her good thoughts and well wishes. The power of this Board is mighty.

Also, a deep and sincere thank you to all who contributed to Tawny's cause. She was and is able to get the help she needs because of you. A special thank you to the folks involved with the Lantus Land Emergency Fund.

My most special thanks to the Louisiana Veterinary Referral Center (LVRC) for its expert and loving care of Tawny, and for accepting payments that are within DCIN's budget by comping many services and providing a deep discount on others.

If you would like to express your thanks to the LVRC for saving Tawny, please post that on the thread on DCIN's Facebook page or on the FDMB here. DCIN will be sending those comments to the LVRC.

An update on Tawny's medical condition as of yesterday is here


Tawny's chip-in does not reflect the $575 donated through the efforts of the folks involved with the Lantus Land Emergency Fund.

11/14/11-- Tawny returned to the Emergency and Specialty hospital yesterday afternoon. DCIN still is far short of the funds needed for last week's hospitalization. Please donate if you can. Every $2 or $3 helps.

From Desi's post yesterday evening on the FDMB:"
The plan was to just go [to the hospital to] get some a/d and some Recovery, so I could get the calories & food into her.

I called LVRC b4 I left the house to give them a report, she still would not eat this a.m., had made no biscuits since Friday afternoon, and had not urinated since yesterday morning.

They said bring her in. And I was going anyway...

The vet came into the room, started to ask what was going on with her, took one look at her, asked me a couple of quick questions and immediately whisked Tawny into the back room for more blood work and immediate treatment. All the people at the clinic adore Tawny and they have gone above and beyond the call of duty on taking care of her. It was like they were so shocked by her rapid decline that they just got right to it immediately.

As I was leaving through the lobby Dr. Hebert, the vet that I think of as "Tawny's vet," the one in the pix with us last week, who was not even supposed to be there today, stopped me in the lobby and said that she had been at some function across the street and had just stopped by the clinic to see what was going on and as she came thru the back she saw Tawny was back and came out to get an update.

All this happened in the space of about 3 minutes, that's how fast they went to work on Tawny once they saw her and how much they care.

So here we go again...

11/12/11--From Desi, on the FDMB:
Tawny is home! With 5 different meds plus her insulin of course.

She is in a room by herself with all her things where I can keep her away from all the other critters until she gets her strength back and watch her closely. I did not like her pmps # at all, 312, which is really high for her and even higher than what LVRC said she had been running, but that could be food related and stress-of-transport-home related--the clinic, the only one around here, is over an hour away. I will watch her closely overnight.

I don't think she feels as good as she did yesterday when I visited her in the hospital. She seems more lethargic and is not walking around as much as she did yesterday morning when I visited her at the hospital. She has nibbled a little on her food tho so that's a good sign. No biscuits in the litter box yet however. And she is drinking, with a 312 BG it is no wonder. I have set out both her regular LC Friskies favorite and the same stuff that she was eating at LVRC so hopefully she will switch back over on her own and her #s will come down.

Her meds are: Famotodine, Metronidazole, Clavamox, Metoclopramide syrup, Mirtazepine and of course insulin.

Her dx from the LVRC report reads: Diabetic ketoacidosis with hepatic lipidosis and a urinary tract infection; possible cholangiohepatitis.

She has a check up in 2 weeks. I pray that she will not have to go back b4 that.

She seems OK but not as bright as I had hoped, I guess I just thought she'd be so happy to be home she'd be prancing around meowing with her tail in the air and her happy face on. Guess that will teach me to think.

I am watching over her closely and will check on her every couple of hours overnight. I really want to get a mid-cycle #.

Please keep the prayers and healing vines coming, I am concerned about her tonight. She just seems so weak.

Sorry for the long post but I have to tell you that the vet tech today said that when Tawny was in ER and so critical there was another cat in the kennel next to her that was also very critically ill overnight and when the day staff all got back to work the next morning they could not believe the difference and the vast improvement in Tawny. But the really weird thing was that the cat next to her made an outstanding improvement that no one expected overnight too!

That was the power of this board, the healing prayers and vines and snowflakes and love you all sent to Tawny actually carried over to others too! Gives me goosebumps. Please keep them coming, she, and I, still need you all.

Desi, Tawny, Tinkerbell, et al


11/9/11, 11am Eastern time--Tawny is eating on her own!! She is walking around, being friendly, meowing, and making biscuits!!

I spoke with Dr. Hebert. The placement of an eating tube is on hold for now. In fact, the vet pulled the nasal tube so that Tawny could better swallow the palatable dry (sorry!) food that the vet finds many recovering cats will eat well. If she continues to eat well, the clinic will transition her back to diabetic food.

If she continues to eat through the day, she may be switched from R insulin back to her Lantus. Otherwise, her treatment continues as it has been.

The vets did a liver aspiration yesterday to biopsy some cells. The results of that aspiration and the fPLI are due back later today. Tawny's urinalysis showed some rare bacteria, so it may have been a urinary tract infection that threw her into crisis. The central line in Tawny's jugular wasn't working properly, so the vets replaced that with a long catheter in her rear leg for blood draws. She must look like a poodle. Dr. Hebert is going to try to post some pictures of her today.


11/9/11-- I spoke yesterday afternoon to Dr. Arceneaux, the practice owner and an IM vet. He said that Tawny was clinically better, but clearly moving towards hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver). Her billirubin is increasing, and her potassium is not yet normalized (this has to be done slowly). Potassium needs to be normal for Tawny to be a surgical candidate to put a Peg or E-tube in. However, they did place a nasal gastric tube and are giving her Clinicare through constant rate infusion.
Healthy Tawny

Her care on IV fluids, etc., remains the same as the day before. The results of her fPLI for pancreatitis should be in today. The vet also is thinking she may have triaditis--dysfunction of the pancreas, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. One of the treatment medications involves steroids. (Lordy, when will someone come up with a good NSAID for cats??)

The Lantus Land Emergency Fund (LLEF) is participating with DCIN in helping Desi pay for Tawny's hospitalization. This is the post on the FDMB. LLEF has raised $300 in addition to the $685 DCIN has raised. Our heartfelt thanks to the LLEF in putting out the word about Tawny's need. We all want her home as soon as possible.

The Louisiana Veterinary Referral Center (LVRC), which has posted about Tawny on its Facebook wall, is giving DCIN significant discounts on its services. Even with that, the bill this afternoon stood at $1900. It appears that the bill will be about $3K for Tawny's care.


11/7/11--I spoke to an Internal medicine vet, Dr. Hebert (pronounced in French...Abear), at the ER and specialty clinic. It appears that Tawny's problem might be with her liver. Bloodwork values indicate that, but an ultrasound was "boring." YEAH for boring.

Dr. Hebert asked permission to put a central line into Tawny, to make blood draws easier. DCIN agreed to that procedure. A central line can stay in a cat up to a week.

Tawny remains lethargic with a low body temperature, 98.7, for which she is on a heating pad. The clinic continues her on IV fluids supplemented with dextrose, electrolytes, and ABx, and a continuous infusion R insulin. Her BG values are good--in the low 200s to mid 100s. For her inappetance, Tawny is getting an anti-nausea medication and Pepcid. She is drinking water and sniffing at food.

The vet is giving Tawny another 24 hours before we talk about a feeding tube. The clinic prefers a stomach tube, whereas DCIN's experience and preference is for an esophageal tube (E-tube). Either tube would require quite a bit of attention from Desi, which she is willing to give.

The vet is saying that the total cost of Tawny's care could be $3 to $4K. However, Dr. Hebert is checking with the front office about discounts. ~Venita

11/6/11--Dear Tawny is in the ICU in Mandeville, LA, with DKA. Please help DCIN help Desi and Tawny. Prayers for sure; contributions toward the cost if you can. ~Venita


Update 1/18/11--Desi and I had a chat yesterday, and Desi is going to tell Tawny that she is home. Among the things Desi said to me...
Tawny is welcome here always. I believe that she's happy here. I don't think she'd sleep right up against me with anywhere from 6 to 8 other cats on the bed if she wasn't. I feel like it might really be a shame to uproot her if it wasn't absolutely necessary or if she wasn't going to that absolutely perfect furever home, especially since there are so many other DCIN kitties out there who do need loving, caring fur-ever homes.
Thank you, Desi, for giving Tawny "that absolutely perfect furever home." Welcome home Tawny!!

DCIN will be continuing to supply Tawny with insulin and diabetic supplies. And Tawny's dental already is in the budget,


Update 12/10/10--From foster Mom Desi:
Tawny is indeed a unique and very special cat. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She sleeps next to me every single night now, usually curled up against my shoulder and cheek. She is so soft it is just incredible. This morning I woke up with no less than 8 cats on my bed, with Tawny in her usual place curled up against the side of my face!

She is doing fantastic with her numbers re her diabetes. 2.75u BID seems to be her best dose right now, when she gets her regular 12 hr shots at this dose her #s will run high greens (81 last nite!) to high mid 100s (158 at +1 last nite). This has been her consistent pattern for about 2 weeks now.

Tawny has gone outside a couple of times over the last month or so but stays very close to the house and seems to have decided she prefers being an indoor cat these days. I have lots of windows and deep windowsills and she seems content to lay in the sun inside when she is not trying to tell me something, which is usually that she is hungry or it is time for her shot! Yes, she still comes and gets me, meows at me until I start to follow, then turns and runs into "her" room. That's still our Tawny: Tawny the Lassie cat!

Update 11/1/10--Because Tawny's +9 blood glucose level was over 400, the vet (who had never seen Tawny before) was uneasy putting her under anesthesia. The vet also said that although a dental would likely help Tawny's regulation, and was needed because of plaque and mild gingivitis, it was not an emergency situation.

So DCIN is holding off on the dental, but hopes to have it done within the three-month window this vet allows for bloodwork. Tawny also was put on a course of Clindamycin (an antibiotic) for oral bacteria and the vet recommended an insulin dose increase from 2 to 3U of Lantus. Desi (the foster Mom) and I agreed to increase Tawny's dosage, but more slowly using the Queensland dosing protocol developed by Roomp and Rand.


Update 10/25/10--I spoke to Desi last week, and she tells me that Tawny is the sweetest cat. A recent dose increase to 1.75U of Lantus has brought her from the mid-200s down to the mid 100s. Tawny will be getting a dental procedure this week, just in case there are oral health problems that are affecting her regulation.


Update 8/5/10--From Desi:
Tawny is bright, loving, alert and gets along well with other critters, be they male or female cats, or two large dogs (a collie & a shepherd mix), tho having only been in her new foster home a week and a day she is still giving the dogs a wide berth!

There has been no fighting of any kind whatsoever tho as Tawny adjusts to her new surroundings altho there has been the occasional hissing match, none of which have lasted longer than about 15-20 seconds, usually ending up with either a mutual rub (Tawny & Angus) or a tail-in-the-air stalking off (Tawny & Tinkerbell).

Tawny is a sweet, soft, caring cat who would make an excellent lap cat. She is easy to test, does not complain, and usually curls up in my lap for her ear poke. She is communicative but not overly talkative and she loves to hold hands. She spends most mornings lying either beside me on my desk or between my computer monitor and my keyboard (that's always fun!) when I am doing the books for the store or catching up on FDMB news.

Tawny is welcome in my home for as long as she needs to be here, however, she needs and deserves a loving, warm and friendly furever home when she can cuddle and be cuddled to her, and her new family's, hearts' content.
Tawny's blood glucose spreadsheet is here.


Update 7/27/10--
Tawny's up north foster home is not able to take her after all, so she is moving about an hour north to near Bogalusa, LA, to live with Desi (DD and Tinkerbelle on the FDMB). Desi is an experienced diabetic caregiver, and is excited to have this opportunity to give back to the Feline Diabetes community.

Tawny remains a DCIN foster, meaning that DCIN will pay for her insulin, supplies, vetting, food, everything. What Desi is putting up is a huge heart, TLC, experienced caregiving, and a safe and welcoming home for Tawny.

But Tawny still needs a home and a person to call her own. These are tough times, but that special person has to be out there somewhere.


Update 7/11/10--We will be moving Tawny to a different foster home up north near the end of the month.

Why? Because of the oil spill and the moratorium on off shore drilling, people are leaving Southern Louisiana and abandoning their dogs and cats at high kill shelters, which are overwhelmed with animals. Tawny is being fostered by a family in Mandeville, LA, that is very active in fostering shelter rescues. Tawny is taking the place of another animal from one of the shelters that Bob and Ana normally would be able to foster.

It will cost DCIN several hundred $ to move Tawny to another foster. This is money that would be better spent sending her to a purrmanent home.

If you have been thinking about adopting Tawny, this really is the best time to speak up for her. A move and adapting to another foster home is an unnecessary bump in her journey to a furever home. (The new foster home IS NOT going to adopt her.) Paying twice to move her is an unnecessary use of DCIN funds.

Tawny was fully vetted a couple months ago, is healthy and adaptable to nonaggressive cats and dogs, and is a good candidate to go OTJ with proper management. She comes with some diabetic supplies (meter, strips, lancets, and syringes) and a promise of four pens/cartridges of Lantus.

This is the latest report about Tawny that I got from Bob, 7/6/10.
Tawny’s BG readings on Saturday were 283 in the morning and 263 in the evening before she ate. We didn’t have that much fireworks in the neighborhood this weekend so that wasn’t a problem. Tawny has adjusted very well with us and shows no signs of distress or of any other problems the previous owner said she had. She loves wet cat food and has made the transition from dry to wet food remarkably well. Tawny knows she will be getting a shot before she eats so she jumps on the clothes hamper we have in our bathroom to get her shot w/o any problems because she knows she’ll be fed right after the shot. She gets two cans of Fancy Feast classic daily and she not only eats that, she will also eat what she can that our small Persian leaves of his food which is the same that Tawny gets daily. She gets along well with our other cats and I don’t think she would have any problem with an adopter's cats.

As a final note, we have enjoyed having Tawny around and have learned a lot from both you and her. She is a really nice and sweet cat and deserves a home where she will be loved and taken care of for the rest of her life. We keep our bedroom door closed and the bathroom door open where she stays so she had access to our bedroom and she likes sleeping on our bed during the day. Whoever gets her will get getting a wonderful cat.


Update 6/29/10--I got this message from Bob today.
The oil spill and the moratorium on off shore drilling has adversely affected Southern Louisiana as you can probably imagine. From what I hear, people are leaving in droves, either due to being laid off or not being able to work. The problem associated with this exodus is that people are leaving their dogs and cats at high kill shelters and they are being overwhelmed with animals. While we want to work with Tawny until she gets stabilized, she is taking the place of another animal from one of these shelters that we would normally be able to foster. While there is no need to panic, I guess what I’m saying is that there is now a need to focus on getting her adopted, sooner than later. Is there anything we can do on our end to speed up her adoption process? Bob


Update 6/10/10--Vicki's thank you note.


Update 6/9/10--Two recent Tawny Updates from Bob. Please let's get this girl a home!!!

From 5/27
We thought we’d fool Tawny yesterday morning by mixing a tiny bit of wet food with her Science Diet m/d dry food. She went straight to her bowl when we put it down, took one sniff and walked away. We left it there until yesterday evening and when it hadn’t been touched, we changed it out to dry food and she started gobbling it down. She is one smart cat and getting her converted to wet food looks like it’s going to be a huge and long term challenge.. Bob
From 6/7
Tawny is slowing but surely making the transition from dry to wet cat food. She is a really nice cat and gets along with Isabelle and Tiger (both Persians) that share part of the bathroom with her. Are you getting any interest in her from potential adopters? My friends in rescue here say there is no chance of her being adopted in this area so we’re depending on you to find her a permanent home. Bob


Update 5/24/10--Tawny has been in foster care with Bob and his wife for a few weeks. She has been switched to Science Diet M/D dry food because she refused to eat wet food. She has been treated for another UTI and for flat worms. Bob says:
Tawny is getting into a good routine now. She loves the Science Diet m/d dry food and we’re feeding her ½ cup daily to maintain her weight according to the instructions on the package. We tested her yesterday morning (she had just eaten) and the reading was 243, the same as it was on Wednesday when we started the UTI treatments. She is eating and drinking and using her litter box so we feel she is settling down; getting adjusted and getting comfortable with her surroundings. We had a storm here on Saturday and it didn’t bother her at all, unlike what her previous owner said. She comes running when we open the bathroom door so hopefully she will start showing signs of remission one of these days.
Folks, I would really like to get Tawny in a purrmanent home ASAP. Bob isn't in the diabetic cats network, and I feel like having him do anything other than a temporary foster is an imposition. I also feel, as did the vet who treated her before she got to Bob, that with a proper diet and close insulin management, she is an excellent candidate for going OTJ. Someone will have to really work with Tawny to get her off dry food without her going on a hunger strike, but it is most likely do-able.


Intial post, May 4, 2010--
This is Tawny, a brown tabby Maine Coon mix. This is her Petfinder page.

Detailed info about Tawny is pending, but here is what I know. Tawny is said to be around six years old, and she has been with her current owner for 1.5 years. She was spayed when she was found, but not eartipped, so she was a stray, maybe a throw-away.

The vet says that Tawny is sweet but shy, and can be intimidated by alpha cats. The current owner tells me that when Tawny is intimidated, she has been known to not eat (although that might also be linked to her recent transition to an all wet food diet) and to urinate inappropriately (when the alpha cat has used her litter box). The current owner says that Tawny "follows me around rather like a dog would; she’s bright; she LOVES to be petted."

Tawny was recently vetted and treated for a urinary tract infection (with antibiotics) and for coccidia. Her fecal exam also showed a small amount of mange mites, but she is not being treated because is not having any hair loss. Once Tawny's diabetes is under control, the vet believes that Tawny’s system will be able to clear the mites.

Tawny is up-to-date on vaccinations, is FIV and FeLV negative, and was treated for fleas in late April. Tawny has been an indoor/outdoor cat, and her current owner says "she LOVES the outside. She loves to walk around outside and look at everything and chew on grass and lay on concrete and enjoy the wind and the sun. She’s a Maine Coon, after all, and loves cold weather. So I hope [her new owner] would eventually allow her to enjoy “her outside love”. Her spirit would be hurt if [s/he] wouldn’t let her."

Tawny is being rehomed because, even though her current owner loves her, she is not able for several reasons to treat her diabetes. For the next couple of days, Tawny is being taken to a vet for a daily shot of Lantus and SubQ fluids if needed (the vet is donating these services). Then Tawny is being moved to a foster home near Mandeville, where a very kind gentleman named Bob will be learning how to treat Tawny's diabetes.

Tawny was switched to low-carb wet food last week, and her blood glucose (BG) levels are lower than they were the previous week, both on a BG test and a fructosamine test. The current vet believes that Tawny is a good candidate to be diet controlled.

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