We took Iggy back to Chants Vets Monday before last – 6 Feb, for them to look at his mouth. Sarah was very pleased with his progress, and said to bring him back in ten days so we could look at the options for treating his osteoarthritis. Pete and I do both feel that this is getting worse quite quickly 🙁
The standard treatment feline arthritis is Metacam, but it is a steroid, and thus not great for cats with impaired kidney function – yes, he has this too. She asked us, carefully, if we would prefer him to live a longer life, or a shorter and happier one without pain. It seems extraordinary to me that anyone would give the former answer, and of course we didn’t. But we are first going to try something called Adequan, which is some sort of magic potion which miraculously grows cartilage back (no, I don’t really understand it either). It was developed for horses, and is not actually licensed for use on small animals in the UK, so we had to sign a release form. The downsides are a) it’s £60 for a 5ml phial (!), but he will be on one 0.2ml dose per week in a couple of months (two a week for four weeks, then one a week for four weeks, then one a month), and that – oh dear lord – it has to be injected. We can hardly wait, especially as he was extremely displeased to be given his first dose (by the vet) today. Kevlar gloves may be required.
We’re also starting him on Benzacare today, which is used for the treatment of chronic renal insufficiency in cats. These pills claim to be palatable. We shall see. Half a 5mg tablet daily; perhaps we should keep an ambulance and a blood bike on standby … The vet gave us 3.5 pills, i.e. a week’s worth, and charged £6.81. She is perfectly happy to give us a prescription, so I have sourced them online, at £17.99 for 28, which seems rather better to me. It seems impossible to buy the Adequan except in packs of 5, at about £250 or more, so I don’t think we’ll bother.
We should know within the month if Adequan helps his arthritis, and if it doesn’t, we’ll have to put him on Metacam, with the risk that carries. Ho hum.
Cost today: £87,50. And I have to buy a load of syringes and needles, and we now have a sharps disposal bin in the house!