Cross post - Maverick and FHL on Health

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by Karrie and Maverick, Jun 13, 2013.

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  1. Karrie and Maverick

    Karrie and Maverick Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Hi gang. I think of you guys often. I still pop in once a month or so to post to someone dealing with appetite issues. Thank you to those who flag me. I am still active on FAF. It was really hard losing Maverick and not having a sugar cat to stay connected to everyone here. Victoria, Henry and Hefner (still testing completely normal since the day I adopted him) are great.

    My newest family member Gibson - our 12 month old pug is unfortunately is quite defective. He has a shortened life expectancy which hurts my heart deeply but he is a joy. I knew the day I picked him up at 9 weeks old something was wrong. I fell in love the moment I met him.

    Today I posted to someone who has made the best choice for them to euthanize their cat dealing with FHL. I felt I had to post about how FHL is treatable. I felt I came on too strong but I felt I had to post for people reading along. Just like diabetes where many owners do euthanize, FHL can be treated in most cases. I also know that vets often push this. The first thing my vet told me was to euthanize him. For those who remember me, he was a bully and I finally got the courage to fire him and went through five vets trying to find a great one that supported tight regulation. Not all vets have personality disorders but a lot do LOL. We found a great one and a few more since when we can't see her. Maverick didn't get to meet her sadly. I can never thank FDMB enough and will always be grateful for the support and friendship.

    Anyways I found out today that Maverick's profile was set to private. I read it today and wanted to reshare. It was his journey with FHL and he is the reason I try and educate others so they don't have to deal with FHL. And if they do, that it can be cured in most case. Here is a cut and paste of his profile. You can view it now hopefully through my signature.


    In July of 2008 Maverick was vomiting and I realized he wasn't eating. Unfortunately I don't know for how long this was going on as our dog was eating all the evidence of Maverick's decreased appetite/anorexia. Prior to this, we had switched him to a lower calorie food based on our vets advice that he needed to lose weight. We wasted time tempting him to eat, trying new foods, tuna etc. Vomiting continued. He was licking at tuna juice and gravy which I thought was okay he was getting some calories. When we brought him to the vet they did blood work and diagnosed liver disease (feline hepatic lipidosis) and he was starting to jaundice and within a day was as yellow as a banana. Maverick almost died. It was an emotional roller coaster ride.

    The vet first recommended euthanasia which I decided was not an option. I authorized placement of a feeding tube, which he had for ten weeks (norm is 3-4 weeks) and it saved his life. It was a semi-selfish decision. I knew in my heart if his kidney was ok and it was, that he would pull through. But I wanted just one more day with him. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to him that day.

    But from that day forward I risk annoying people, because I tell them about the dangers of a cat losing weight (without being monitored closely to make sure its slow and steady and that their appetite stays strong) just so they can be informed. They may not want to hear it at the time, but I wish someone had told me. If I can avoid one cat and their owner from dealing with FHL it will be worth it. I had written in his original profile "I still have moments of awe two years later hearing his purrs and being able to cuddle him, that he is still with me".

    Cats often stop eating or lose weight from illness. But also due to stress. Such as home renovations, boarding, owners going on vacation, changes in food (or company recipe changes), even changes in litter, and new family additions or losses. Cats are creatures of habit. Things that don't stress us, can stress them.

    FHL is liver failure due to cats biology. Their livers do not process body fat (when not enough calories are obtained through food) like humans do. Their livers can start getting clogged with fat. FHL is also called Fatty Liver Disease. This makes them feel unwell, eat less and it can progress very quickly. Some cats don't get this even with rapid weight loss. But some cats get this from just not eating enough for a few days. When a cat isn't eating it is a clue to get them to the vet. Monitor their weight so you know what is normal. Never put a cat on a reduced calorie diet without close monitoring and ensure that weight loss is slow with periods of maintenance in between so the liver can get a break.

    FHL was a blessing in disguise for us. Maverick and I bonded closely with his 10 weeks of tube feeding him throughout the day. He ended up loving cuddles, slept with me on my bed, loved his belly rubbed and I carried him through the house like he was a baby. I treasured every single day I had with him and didn't take him for granted. I thought he would be with me much longer. But I had 2.5 years filled with lots of love from my big beautiful boy. Since I work from home I called him my office assistant. I got lots more time with him than if I had worked in an office.

    I owe lots of thanks to the Yahoo group Feline Assisted Feeding for saving his life that July (and my sanity), and to the gang on the Lantus Land FDMB. You made the five months we managed diabetes ones I will always remember. It means so much to me that I was able to share Maverick with all of you and be in the company of such compassionate like minded people.

    Karrie and Maverick. August 1997 - April 2011. He will be with me in spirit always, and never forgotten.
  2. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Karrie :YMHUG: I will always remember Maverick, too. When he passed, I was devestated.

    Thanks for putting up with my PMs and emails to come help advise when I see a cat not eating over here on FDMB. I treasure you so much for your knowledge on assist feeding and your willingness to help out :cool: .

    I am so thankful that you wrote this post, as there have been several kitties with appetite problems, lately, and people need to know. I hope you don't mind if I keep bugging you when someone desparately needs help with a cat not eating.

    I hope Gibson is with you much longer than expected. Big Hugs! :)
  3. Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA)

    Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA) Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2010
    Karrie, thank you so much for posting today. I think of Maverick often, too, and am grateful for the advice you so generously give. I'm glad to hear that Victoria, Henry, and Hefner are doing well. Gibson is in the most capable hands anyone could possibly imagine and I'm sure that he knows it!

    Thanks for caring. Visit LL when you can.

    Hugs and scritches,

    Ella & Rusty
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