a gentleman enjoying the morning sun

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!

4 Responses to “update on the old man”

  1. Of course you’re doing everything you possibly can for your dear Iggy, regardless of cost and the problems involved in medicating him. I wish him well with all my heart. Here is the most lovely poem about an aged cat:

    I want him to have another living summer,
    to lie in the sun and enjoy the douceur de vivre —
    because the sun, like golden rum in a rummer,
    is what makes an idle cat un tout petit peu ivre —

    I want him to lie stretched out, contented,
    revelling in the heat, his fur all dry and warm,
    an Old Age Pensioner, retired, resented
    by no one, and happinesses in a beelike swarm

    to settle on him – postponed for another season
    that last fated hateful journey to the vet
    from which there is no return (and age the reason),
    which must come soon – as I cannot forget.

    Gavin Ewart (1916-95)

  2. I could do with some of that Adequan myself. Fingers crossed that it does the trick for the Excellent Cat.

  3. Age is the enemy, for people as well as for cats. There are no cures, only an intricate game of keeping the subject as comfortable and as able to enjoy life as possible.

    When Artemis became ill with the illnesses of old age, I asked myself what I thought she would choose if she could understand all that was involved and make a decision herself. Of course, I could never know for certain – the question is far too hypothetical – but it was a way of reassuring myself that I was making the right choice. Like you, I opted for the shorter happier life.

    That in no way softened the blow of her eventually death but it gave the small satisfaction that she had enjoyed life for a while longer and departed before the suffering became too great.

    Need I say that we spoilt her and indulged all her whims in the meantime?

  4. Two months on, how is Iggy now?

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