Post pituitary surgery discussion of medication and other issues

Discussion in 'Acromegaly / IAA / Cushings Cats' started by sbluhrs, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Jun 7, 2012
    @John Irene and TITAN , @Amanda & Shmee and I have all had our kitties undergo surgery to remove their pituitary gland within a one month period. If you want to ready about some of the issues we have had with the meds they are now on, and a number of other things we have encountered, please go here:

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...r-and-go-otj-with-sophie.205746/#post-2295111

    One thing you need to know about this surgery is that it doesn't fix things immediately and there is also a learning curve with regards to providing your kitty with the proper care afterwards. But, if you have negotiated the waters and have learned the Sugar Dance, you will have no problems learning this new one, as its merely a variation on the same theme.
     
  2. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Well-Known Member

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    This ^ is the thinking that helped me decide to have the surgery. But, I still don’t know if it was worth it for Shmee. At this time I honestly think it wasn’t, but I’m trying my best to hold out hope it will be at some point. Shmee became OTJ, but he’s not my cat anymore. He’s depressed, lays around all day, hardly meows (very different than his old self), and when he does it’s not the same. Literally a different sound. He’s easily annoyed, developed pancreatitis from the trauma and stress of the hospital, always extremely hungry and no one knows why (my vet says “fat cats are hungry”...... but he was never like this before) and will most likely be on the extremely expensive (way more than insulin) Desmopressin for the rest of his life (something that is “very rare”...). If he was younger, and a different personality, this may have gone better. He is very sensitive and I should’ve known him better, that he couldn’t handle the stress. He was so happy before this. Now we are all suffering and I miss him every minute of the day and second of the night, as he used to lay with me almost all his life... right next to me. Now nothing. His eyes are also constantly dilated. Just my two cents... I hope sometime in the future I can update this and say he’s better.

    PS Susan have you tried the refractometer yet? I haven’t. I don’t understand it and Dr. McCue hasn’t called or emailed in quite a while.... I tried to get some pee but Shmee got very mad at me. So I don’t even know if I’ll be able to get a sample like I used to but I have to try again soon.
     
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  3. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    This is a very good info thread.

    Amanda, I also hope Shmee eventually turns around and becomes a friendlier kitteh. None of us really expected him to become so radically transformed. .....I was just in NYC for the last 3 days and was remembering the nice lunch we had together there...when Shmee was having his operation.
     
  4. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    I finally got a sample for the refractometer and got a 1.020 reading. When you first use it, you have to zero it - take a drop of water and focus the lens, then adjust it per instructions to set it at zero. The SG readings are the ones on the left.

    Sophie mostly uses pee pads in litter boxes, though occasionally she is starting to relent and use a regular litter box at times. I just happened to be in the basement where everything is set up and she was peeing in her favorite box on a pad. I grabbed one of the clean cans from our recycling and scooped up some pee before it could sink into the pad. Plenty to create a sample to use on the refractometer.

    I really wonder what the deal is with other kitties who have had the same operation, whether it be at RVC, AMC or in Washington. No one discusses moods, etc in anything that I had read prior to deciding on Sophie's surgery. This is very important information when deciding on a life changing operation like the one our guys went through. I just hold onto the hope that 6 months or so from now, all of our cats - Shmee, Sophie & Titan from the UK - will be in a better place mood wise and back to their normal selves.

    Sophie is still on desmo, too. I use injectable from Wedgewood Pharmacy out of NJ. It costs $86 for the vial including shipping ($56 for the meds, $30 for shipping, shipped overnight), less than the place that AMC got it at in NYC. She is just on a very small amount, so that vial will last me a long time.
     
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  5. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

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    I am really sad to read Amanda's post. We think titan is still improving slowly, learning all the things that he seemed to have forgotten and regaining confidence in himself and us. But it's a slow process and made more difficult by his deafness which mysteriously arose at the time of the operation. He may get back to his former self, or we may just get used to his new self, but at the moment he is definitely a changed cat.
    It would be a good project for a student vet at RVC to do a study of character changes in cats that have been treated.
    Nothing has changed in Titan's medication. He is still on desmopressin, and we judge that he still needs it by the amount he drinks and pees. We have never taken a urine sample; only at the vet who takes it with a needle.
    He is developing a habit of spitting out his cortisone pills and we may have to start crushing them....so far we use a pill pocket when he does that.
     
  6. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry to hear of Titan's issues, including his new deafness. When we first encountered Little Dude as a wild kitteh in the neighborhood, he was fearful of everything. Fast forward 3 months - we had tamed and treated his issues. He was 99% deaf from ear mites, and that was causing the extreme fear because he was "feral" at the time. We killed off the ear mites, and within ~3 more months he regained most of his hearing. His behavior changed significantly after this, and now he is a lovebug.

    I think the major loss of a sense (hearing) could be quite disturbing. I hope the best for all the kittehs here, and I hope Titan gets his hearing back.
     
  7. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

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    Maybe the common factor is memory loss. Shmee reverting back to his pre-rescue character and Titan finding everything unfamiliar.? Titan has been loved and spoiled every second of his life, with only his weaning onto solids causing him a problem. So loss of memory wouldn't cause him as much stress as Shmee.
    How about Sophie?
     
  8. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    If Sophie has any memory loss, I really don't have a baseline for which to determine how she acts now. I adopted her in February of 2017. I don't know her pre-diabetes, etc., so I don't know what her personality was back then. She is basically the same cat that I adopted. My biggest problem is getting her to eat less. She has gained a lot of weight since surgery and is now a little porker. I am now watering down her meals and giving her less food and not letting her get away with eating any of my other cat's meals. Admittedly, we spoiled her a bit during the Holidays with letting her lick plates, but that has stopped.

    My gut is telling her that I won't see who she will be for another 3-6 months down the road, perhaps a year. Her vet thinks that part of it is that her body is still adapting to her new hormone levels and it is just a matter of time. I'll just be happy when spring rolls around and I can take her out for walks on the harness and, hopefully that exercise will make a difference. The runs up the basement stairs help a bit, but she needs more.
     
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  9. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Well-Known Member

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    Shmee wasn’t a rescue, I’ve had him since he was a baby. Memory loss was never discussed with me either. I feel extremely let down by this whole ordeal. Let down isn’t even the right phrase, but I won’t say how I really feel.

    I’m sorry I haven’t been around, I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. Thank you for being so supportive.
     
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  10. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

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    Sorry Amanda. I don't know why I thought he was a rescue... must have confused him with another. Signature is clear enough!
     
  11. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Behavior issues are definitely something that NO ONE ever mentions regarding the pituitary surgery. Seriously, this is an issue that needs to be addressed and people need to be informed BEFORE they have their cat undergo the procedure.
     
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  12. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Did a trial of no desmo this AM with Sophie. This is what I noticed - HUGE behavior change - not sleeping the whole day, engaged in life, did a few things that she hasn't been doing in MONTHS - including kneading. Not quite as hungry as usual, but, unfortunately, drinking a lot and peeing more than is good. So, back to her needle juice of desmo this PM.

    But, I also decided to research the affect of Desmo on feline behavior. Some side effects of it can include mood changes (irritability), and tiredness. Usually, this is seen in high dosages, but, since our cats are not the typical, they might be more sensitive to the drug. That might be why they are more sluggish and crabby. I'm going to ask Dr. McCue, along with our Maine vet about this.

    So, all the behavior issues might be related just to this. Wow!
     
  13. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

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    Very interesting! Titan's still on 3 x 1 eyedrops a day. Still slowly improving, has started resuming play fighting with his sister (led by her) early morning. Think his deafness may be improving. Still peeing and drinking. Still coughing. He is certainly rather sluggish but not at all crabby.
     
  14. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Emailed Dr. McCue today and, amazingly, he got back to me this evening.

    He is amazed that needle juice of desmo makes a difference for her, that such a small amount will keep her regulated regarding her water consumption and peeing. She's a little off today regarding this, but I am chalking it up to not getting 1 shot yesterday, and getting the second very late, but she should be back to her pattern of peeing no more than twice a day soon.

    He didn't have anything to say regarding possible side effects of the desmo re: moods & energy level, but he wants me to continue giving him info regarding our observations.
     
  15. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    OH, and I forgot to mention, Sophie saw her Maine vet last Friday (1/4) and her ears were a little dirty and had a bit more yeast in them than is good. Not enough to need an antifungal, but we didn't want them to get worse. Well, the doctor put her on prescription ear drops that have some steroid. Wouldn't you know, those stupid drops threw her out of diabetic remission - look at her numbers on 1/8 & 1/9 - called the clinic on 1/9 (Wednesday). So Sophie is no longer on those drops and I will just clean her ears twice a week instead. Already she is doing much better. Just seems that she will need an AM shot for a few days.

    I'm thinking that the stupid drops were the same reason why the trial to stop desmo didn't work.

    Some cats don't seem to be affected much by the drops, others are like Sophie and get a significant jump in BG. AMPS on Wednesday was 384, and she was down to 56 at +8. Just NJ today, and she dropped from 219 to 47 - so really, she doesn't need insulin. Just spot checking this evening and tomorrow AM and she should definitely be definitively OTJ, baring any other stupidity with steroids other than the orals she gets.
     
  16. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Gee, Sophie definitely is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma. She sure is the poster child for ECID. Got results back from Michigan for her IGF-1. It was 0!!! You read that right - 0. Michigan has never had that happen before. Dr. McCue doesn't seem concerned - he just thinks that it shows that there is no problem with recurrence - that, obviously, since the tumor was encapsulated, and the whole thing was removed, along with the pituitary gland, that all is good. One of the vets here in Maine was concerned that this might be a reason to increase the amount of Sophie's steroid dosage, but I guess that is not the case.

    And, on the desmo front, just giving her nj once a day - 7 pm. It definitely affects her personality. She is much more active during the day now as she doesn't get her big nj shot (being sarcastic here) at 7 am. Yes, by 7 pm she is drinking more, but with even just nj twice a day, she only pees once a day, twice at the very most, and it is very concentrated. So the plan is to continue weaning her off of it, encouraging those brain cells that have taken over making the kidney regulating hormone to do just a bit more.

    Oh, and she is off of insulin again. Only needed 3 shots to get her over the hump of the increase caused by the ear drops.
     
  17. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    Those are good results for Sophie. Pretty amazing to have absolute zero on IGF-1. And great to have her off of insulin again. That part should be enjoyable, no more worries about hypos.
     
  18. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    At this point, we are now working on weaning Sophie from Desmo. She is getting 1 shot per day, only needle juice, at 7pm, with her evening meal. Usually she doesn't pee from that time until around 10-11 am the next day. Seriously. Yes, she will pee quite a bit at that time, but, then she pees about once or twice more the rest of the day. Pee amounts are still rather larger than a normal amount, but she is a big girl. She starts to drink more water than usual starting in late afternoon, but that resolves within an hour of getting her desmo shot at 7. The idea is that this will make her brain, which has already started the conversion of some portions to creating the hormones to regulate her kidneys, accelerate that process so that she will be off the Desmo in the near future. Hey, even if it takes another few months, it would be wonderful.

    Some of her bloat seems to be coming off, too. Desmo isn't supposed to cause water retention, except for cases when large amounts are used, but no one ever does studies on cats post pituitary surgery when it comes to this. And, then, ECID.

    Dr. McCue is amazed that such a small amount makes such a difference for her - again - ECID.
     
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  19. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Got the ok from Dr. McCue to go down to 1.25 mg once a day of the Prednisolone. Hoping that helps with her appetite - still wants to eat more than a normal cat still peeing a bit more than a normal cat, but the frequency is going down. I'm going to wait a couple of weeks after the steroid dosage change and then do another trial with no desmo - her specific gravities have been doing well - I just seem to have been able to get some good samples lately, and she doesn't appear to be drinking significantly more than our other kitty, although both are drinking more than normal due to the dryness in the house.

    Oh, and her pee, all around, must be more concentrated as, on the odd occasion when she pees in a box with litter instead of on a pad, it actually clumps now instead of being a sticky, gooey mess. (we use clumping litter).

    She is still a little tubbo - up to 13.5 lbs, hoping that, between the steroid dosage decrease, and the fact that I am making her portions even smaller and cutting out her snacks, the weight will come off and that she will be back to a svelte 12 lbs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  20. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

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    We've had a change in cortisone medication requested by the RVC. Instead of 1 X 2.5 mg of hydro cortisone, they want a quarter of a 10 mg tablet per day. The difference is that the old tablet was designed to stick to mouth ulcers and release the active ingredients topically or locally. The new tablets are more systemic.
    Titan seems to have reacted well to the change and is a bit brighter.
    He was doing well anyway, still improving day by day, purring when fussed, and coming to sit on laps, etc. The latest is a slight improvement in his hearing.
    Still coughing and still peeing and drinking, but he seems quite a happy cat. Now seven months after surgery we are very happy with the outcome!
     
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  21. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for continuing to post these results. It is good to hear that both Titan and Sophie have done so well after surgery. Titan sounds like he is nearly a normal non-Acro cat except for the coughing.
     
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  22. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

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    We are delighted with the way Titan is responding to the different hydrocortisone tablets. He is brighter, happier, purrs whenever we touch him. We think he may be doing less coughing. And a few days ago he went out and caught a rabbit!!
    I forgot to mention that his hearing is improving, quite a lot! It is getting to be like having the good old Titan back !
    I also forgot to mention that his hair seems to be growing longer, especially his white hair. Wondering if some of the old growth hormone is lodged in the hair follicles, and whether it will wear off, giving normal hair length in next winter's growth ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    Reason for edit: forgot to mention
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  23. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    What a great report on Titan. I am glad to hear his great progress. He is doing well enough to catch wildlife - that is pretty healthy.

    That's an interesting hypothesis about the fur. Leo is now 2.5 years post-SRT, and his fur has always been pretty consistent. Except for the past 6 months, it seems to be a little slower in growing back.
     
  24. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Sophie has slow hair regrowth on her hind leg that they saved for the catheter they used during her surgery. Her facial hair regrew pretty quickly, and where they shaved on her front leg recently for her check up in NYC, the hair has already come back most of the way, and that is a month ago. I guess the hair follicles in the slow growing area just were traumatized or something and are taking a long time to wake up.
     
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  25. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Just a quick update on Sophie. Still on the same level of thyroid meds - 1/2 pill am 1 hr before meal, 1/4 pill 1 hr before meal pm, 1/4 steroid pill pm, and still on needle juice re: Desmo, once a day. She is definitely starting to act like a normal cat, getting into our faces and demanding that we pay attention when there is something she wants - usually food, LOL. Her weight is doing well, just broke 12.5 lbs the other day after porking up to around 13.86 just prior to her last visit to AMC back a few months ago.

    She acts like the typical middle aged female cat, a little bossy, but sweet and engaged in the world. Loves her special places for snoozing and hanging out, watching the birds, and enjoying sun puddles in the morning. And being our kitchen manager, LOL.

    She will have her thyroid level tested soon. Her coat looks good, and her BG is great - usually in the 70s. It was definitely the tumor causing all the problems with this.

    She'll have one more visit to AMC at the end of September, and, then, the next time she will be back will be after she passes, which could be years and years from now, as they would like her for a necropsy at that time.

    Feel so lucky that I happened to find the info about the subsidized surgery at AMC when I did. Timing is everything.
     
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  26. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    I am so happy to hear that Sophie has done so well after the surgery. I will tell Theresa too, as she has been tracking the progress of the Acro cats through me. Your update will bring some joy to our home. We are happy that some people found the free surgery program and it was successful on some.

    Leoberry lost his fight with Acro and Lymphoma on Friday 7/5/2019, having recently reached his 13th Birthday. This forum and the people here have been our lifeline throughout Leo's 4 year struggle with Acromegaly. His life would have been much shorter without the loving help here. We miss him dearly.
    Leo's departure thread
    and
    Leo's Eulogy 2006 - 2019
     
  27. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Sue, thanks for this update. What an awesome report! I especially like the part about how she is reverting to a normal teenage kitty, :joyful: I hope the work with Sophie and others will mean this surgery becomes a viable options for more acrokitties.
     
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  28. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

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    An update on Titan one year post surgery.
    He is a very happy loving cat. Still drinking and still partially deaf. He purrs well every time he has contact with us, enjoys his food, and has a play-fight with his sister Misty most mornings. HE IS NOT DIABETIC.
    His meds are unchanged, except for some additional blood pressure medication. An occasional tummy upset is helped with cerenia and some probiotic which he loves.
    We owe a huge debt to this forum and especially to Wendy and Jeff. Jeff, I still have tears on my face after reading abou Leo.
     

    Attached Files:

  29. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    That is great news about Titan. What a great success story, except for the partial deafness. I'm really glad you posted the update - so we could have good uplifting news here. Cute pic of Titan too!

    I told Theresa about Titan last year, and just now too. And thanks for the condolences for Leo. I told Theresa of the condolences from across the pond and we had tears too. His passing is still feels recent, but it is now 2 months. He really was a great kitteh and we miss him. I still light the candle each Monday evening.
     
  30. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    What a great Titan update. He sounds like a normal happy healthy kitty. :):joyful: He is so lucky to have found you.

    Thanks for giving us the annifursary update.
     
  31. Cynthia and Merlin

    Cynthia and Merlin Member

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    Wonderful to hear! I wish Titan a long, happy, healthy, and playful life.
     
  32. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Sophie is going to see Dr. McCue at AMC in NYC on Sept 26th for her 1 yr checkup. She will stay overnight and have her scans, and blood tests done on Friday and then we will come home on Saturday. Not expecting anything significant. She is still on her desmo, but only needle juice PM and it seems that she will eventually be off it. She gave me a specific gravity of 1.058 either sometime last night or after breakfast as I found a nice sample in the litter box she uses that has a pee pad that she peed outside of. She is peeing more and more in a regular box, so I have fewer opportunities for a sample.

    I know I had read someplace about some cats being off of desmopressin within a few weeks or months of their surgery, but that sure isn't the case for Soph, Titan or Shmee. Would be really nice to have her off the stuff. She is great with her pills (levothyroxin and Prenisolone) in her food, the latter pill only in the PM. So, keeping my fingers crossed that she goes off the desmo at some point and that will enable my spouse and I to finally be able to take a few days away and use a pet sitter who won't charge us an arm and a leg.
     
  33. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    That is good to hear. Sophie has been a good example of a successful pituitary surgery. I hope she continues to be an exemplary case, and has a long life ahead.:bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  34. Cynthia and Merlin

    Cynthia and Merlin Member

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    On
    One year already! Good to hear she’s doing pretty well and you have helped her navigate post-surgery adventures! Sending my very best she has a great check-up and that you and your spouse get some much needed time away without draining your bank account. Sending much love to Sophie.
     
  35. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Well-Known Member

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    No!! :( I am so sorry to hear this Jeff. I’m up crying for you and Theresa. You are such a kind hearted person and I know you loved Leo so so much. I will never forget meeting you in NYC. I wish I could give you a big hug. I am so sorry I haven’t been around. That job I started last year as a travel agent? That on top of my full time job takes up every moment of my spare time now a days..... I’m so incredibly overwhelmed.... it’s not an excuse though. Such terrible news and I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you at the time you needed it the most. I will also light a candle for Leo tomorrow. ♥️ I know that had to be so hard for you.
     
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  36. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Amanda. Our Acro kittehs take a lot from us, and in the end, leave us with the best memories. Thank you for lighting the candle for Leo. I responded on Leo's Eulogy thread too.

    It would be nice to hear how Shmee is doing these days. I hope he is better.
     
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  37. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Hiya, crew! It's been just over a week since Soph and I got back from NYC where she went for her 1 yr checkup. Everything looks good. She is still on desmo, nj every 36 hours. Dr. McCue switched her over to Prednisone, as opposed to Prenisolone, as we can get lower dosage pills. She had been on 1/4 of a 5mg pill of Prenisolone every 24 hours, and now gets a 1mg prednisone pill every 24 hours. He did this because she has the typical rough coat and pot belly of a long term steroid feline patient. He's hoping that her coat will soften and the belly fat will go away, with more muscle on the rest of her body.

    Already her coat is much softer. And, within the past few days, I am noticing that her drinking more/peeing more portion of her cycle is slowly getting later in the 36 hrs. Typically, she will start drinking more at 28 hours in, and it seems that this is getting to be closer to 30-32 hours. Just haven't been able to get a sample.

    We had gone to the 36 hour cycle as she was giving me 1.056 and there about specific gravity at anywhere from 20-22 hours in. Dr. McCue said that when she can maintain 1.025 to 1.040 on her own, we will consider her weaned all the way. With how the steroid had been affecting her coat and making her tubby, and how that is resolving, I'm hoping that this will be the last piece of the puzzle to get her off the desmo. I mean, she only gets needle juice once every 36 hours. Dr. McCue is amazed at her response to such a small amount, but that's how she is . I guess she is just really sensitive to certain drugs and we just have to go with that. Like they say, ECID.

    If you are interested, I've transcribed her blood tests from her visit in her spreadsheet, as the last worksheet.
     
  38. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Still hanging in there. No changes to pred or Levo dosages, but her coat is much softer than it was in the summer when she was on Prednisolone as opposed to the lower dosage of Prednisone. Sill on the nj of Desmo every 36 hours, but I still am hoping that she will be off that. Might take another year, but, its no big deal - 1 shot every 36 hours is much more doable than every 12 hours....
    And, if I want to adjust the shot day by 12 hours due to personal appointments, etc. it isn't a big deal. Did that when we went to visit friends for Thanksgiving and I was able to adjust so that our cat sitter didn't have to give a shot. If she goes for an occasional 48 hr period, not an issue.

    And, we got another kitty 3 weeks ago. Another girl, shelter said she was 5, but vet agrees with me that she is more like 2.5 or 3. Not special needs, but my spouse basically put their foot down that not another special needs cat right now, after all we went through with Soph and Enzo, our epileptic. Everyone is doing well and the adjustment didn't involve any huge problems. The new girl, who is a buff tabby, is named Angie. Her shelter name was Angel, and we like to keep an Italian name trend (Vinny(GA), Rocco(GA), Enzo, Sophie, and now Angie).
     
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  39. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    That's really great news all around. I'm glad to see these great results from the surgery, and also hearing that Sophie is doing so well these days. Leo's fur degraded on the Pred too - I guess it happens with a lot of kittehs. I bet Sophie's new friend will be great at keeping her snuggled in the coool months.
     
  40. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Sounds like Sophie is doing well. Did the pot belly go away with the change in steroids? My two non diabetics that were or are on pred did not have coat issues. Might be the raw food diet helping out.

    Good luck with the new girl cat!
     
  41. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    She is getting less dumpy. It's a process......
     
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  42. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

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    Jun 7, 2012
    If you want to check out how she is doing with getting off of the Desmopressin, check her spreadsheet. Slowly getting closer and closer to possibly going to 48 hours.
     
  43. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    So far Soph and our other special needs, Enzo, are co-existing nicely with the new girl, Angie. Angie definitely is keeping them on their toes and it is good, because they are both more active, keeping an eye on what the little twerp is doing. Actually, Enzo and Angie have become close to partners in crime, chasing each other around from time to time and having to make sure that they know what the other is doing. Everyone has their favorite places, and Angie's most favorite is on the couch with my spouse. She will also venture onto my lap from time to time and likes to supervise us when we are in the bathroom. Sophie and Enzo are a bit more reserved.....
     
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  44. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Wonder of wonders, Soph is definitely starting to get some brakes on her appetite. She no longer haunts us when we are eating dinner and I don't have to immediately clean up the second we are through. Yeah, she still haunts my spouse at lunch time, but Ivy does spoil her and give her tidbits of cheese, and she does like to hang out while I eat my bowl of steamed veg, as she likes to like the bowl afterwards to clean up any small bits of leftover butter and cheese if I put some on it. But Dinnertime is so nice and calm now. Everyone gets their cat food, and then they go chill out.....
     
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  45. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Great updates on Sophie. She is doing so well. One of the best success stories on this subforum.

    One of our cats (Scoobs) used to love cheese and butter too. And he wasn't diabetic. He also liked whipped cream.
     
  46. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    I know that we are lucky with how Soph is progressing. Some people don't have it so easy (well, it hasn't been easy, but the progression is rewarding). I just wish I could see more people whose cats have had the surgery relate what the process was AFTER the surgery - that is what I had the most questions about. Everything seems so easy - cat off insulin in a month, off desmopressin in a few weeks, yada yada yada. Well, that isn't how it is. Its a process, it takes time. I don't expect her to be off of desmo for a while yet, but I am optimistic about how she is doing with it. We have people whose cats have gone into remission using Lantus and diet changes, etc., and lots of info on this but nothing about what happens post surgery, so I am sticking with this thread in hopes that some who are considering the procedure will have a bit more info to help with their decision making.
     
  47. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Hi everyone, sorry it’s been so long for an update from me. I’m up right now in the middle of the night because I’m waiting to test Shmees sugar in about 20 mins. He is back on insulin... His blood sugars have been very high for a while, since about November. Dr. McCue thought at first that the Prednisolone was making it go high, but after months of it being very high (and me emailing him three times without a response so finally calling him) that he said we need to put him back on insulin. To my surprise.. I was mostly ok with this. Weird to think, but I wanted something to try to make him feel better, and I remembered what insulin had done for him in the beginning, and knew this would really help him. I think it has already. It’s been a little over a week now? And he’s already about to go under 100 I think tonight. So I’m happy because I know he is feeling better.

    He is still not the same Shmee he used to be.. which I’m sure is one reason it’s hard for me to come back to this board.. it makes me think of the old shmee, and I miss him. Anyway.. he is doing ok. He is definitely not as mean/moody as he was months after the surgery. He was incredibly hungry for just about this entire time after the surgery... Dr. McCue didn’t know why. My regular vet found an article about sometimes in humans with brain surgery’s something happens where your hunger drive is just constant. Still not sure about that. Back then (months after the surgery) his blood sugar was fine, so it wasn’t because he was diabetic.

    He is coming around very slowly. He is acting a little more lovey now, will come up in our laps sometimes. He looks so different.... he has a lot of brown / reddish tones in his fur now... Dr. McCue doesn’t know why. My regale vet said she thinks it could be from the thyroid hormones. I will upload photos eventually. He just had another dental and had to have another three removed! Back when he had diabetes he had seven removed! My vet said this gets more common with older cats (he’s 12), and we will need to do cleanings more often..

    He has been surprisingly good with me poking and prodding him. I’m so proud of him. He lets me get his blood sugar without a problem and will even purr when I put him in my lap to do it. (I need to update his SS).

    For now, here is a photo of him sleeping on me as I wait to test him here in a few mins. I really hope I can come on again soon and read about best one else and get caught up. I hope everyone is doing well.

    upload_2020-3-6_1-27-46.jpeg
     
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  48. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Hi Amanda. Good to hear from you again, but sorry to hear why. Scheme looks very comfortable on the bed.

    How high did his sugars get? Did he have any other signs like peeing and drinking? His coat looks pretty good.
     
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  49. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Hi Amanda. I always wonder how things are going with you.

    Just a week or two ago someone posted about the fur turning red. Or maybe it was the FB page. It was a simple remedy. Maybe post the question in both places.

    Shmee looks very comfortable. Could the teeth have caused his sugar to go up? I thought since gland was removed diabetes wasn't possible.
     
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  50. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Hi Amanda - overall a pretty good status for Shmee. Maybe he has pancreatic (normal) diabetes now. I'm glad to hear his mood has settled and that he is more affectionate now.

    Dental issues happen with lots of aging cats. Our kitteh Little Dude was a rescue cat, estimated 5-8 years old upon adoption in 2016. He had teeth removed then, and more teeth removed last year from adsorption. My point is that cats don't have the cleanest mouths and tooth loss happens. In case anyone needs a dose of cuteness, here is Little Dude from this week.

    Little Dude rolling around on the deck
     
  51. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    I tested him a few times within those few months and it was around 350. Yes he was drinking and peeing A LOT. But he also is still on desmopressin and has the water concentration issues from the surgery, so Dr. McCue didn’t want to call it diabetes too early I guess. Plus he was on an increased dose of Pred. because we took him to the ER maybe 5 months ago or so after having bad diarreah, and the vet said he thinks he has either small cell lymphoma or IBD. But the weird thing is... I’m still not convinced of that because this happened right after he threw up A LOT of plastic... he was just so hungry that he started eating plastic, and he got into thick larger ziplock bags. I think his stomach hurt for a while before he threw it up because it was so much. Anyway I assumed that was the reason for the diarrhea as well, but the ER vet said they were two completely different things and he thinks he has small cell lymphoma or IBD... still not convinced because since then I have tried to reduce his Pred. Back to his normal amount and he hasn’t had any diarrhea at all.

    Very interesting about others experiencing the color change! I will try and find that. I asked about the teeth problems and his BGs, and both vets sensed to think it wouldn’t make it go as high as his was, but it could’ve definitely had an impact on it. I waited to start him on insulin until about five days after his teeth were done, just to see if his blood sugar would go down at all, and if didn’t so I started the insulin. About the tumor - it can grow back.. :/ and the only way to tell for sure if it’s back is to get another IGF test, but I don’t want to spend the $300 to do that test again. He could’ve also developed diabetes... he got very big after surgery and just didn’t want to get up at all. He was always just lying by his food, not in a very good mood. Didn’t (and still doesn’t) want to play at all. Didn’t really move around. He does move around more now, not a lot, but definitely better than before. I don’t think it’s acromegaly again, because so far the insulin is working well. Today he is up to 1.5 and got down to 76. So it seems like his dose won’t have to go as high as it did before with the tumor.

    Soooo cute!! Glad to see Little Dude is doing well! Such a soft belly. You’re right about the regular diabetes, this is a definite possibility.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  52. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Coat colour change, from black to red, can be a result of poor absorption. ie. from IBD or small cell lymphoma. Seen it now three times in a row with black and whites. :rolleyes: GI issues are quite common with acros, both Neko and Leo for two, I could name others. If he had an ultrasound, they would have seen bowel wall thickening, though the pred can disguise it. You can't really diagnose whether it's IBD or small cell, until he's off of pred. It is good to know what you are dealing with, as the treatments are different, though pred can be one of the things given for both.

    Glad to hear his numbers are being well controlled this time.
     
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  53. John Irene and TITAN

    John Irene and TITAN Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Hi Amanda
    Sorry to hear that Shmee is back on the insulin, but relieved to hear that he is responding. I still remember vividly the feeling of panic when Titan seemed not to react at all to the insulin doses.
    Good luck with the new way of life.
    Titan is still OK. He is quite fat and enjoys his food. At 15 years old he is not as fast as he was, and nothing like as fast as his sister. He purrs a lot and seems happy. But he still drinks a lot of water and pees buckets. In fact he seems to be be drinking more than ever. We are a little concerned about his kidneys. Yesterday Irene did a blood glucose and it was 5.6, right at the bottom of the blue zone, so we are not concerned about that.
    We are 20 months or so post surgery, and very grateful for all the good times we have had together since then.
    Greetings to Sue and Jeff and Wendy !
     
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  54. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Wendy is spot-on about the intestinal issues - acro causes lots of problems there. Leo had thickened intestinal walls, and of course small cell lymphoma.

    Titan's report - so glad to hear he doing so well. The time sure passes quickly - wow, 20 months. I'm a bit surprised he is going thru so much water. But that's a small issue compared to the larger acro issue that got resolved. You are so right - 20 months post-surgery is something to be happy about.

    I guess since you guys and Titan are on an island - your relative isolation is somewhat of a good thing for Covid controls.
     
  55. Wendy & Eric

    Wendy & Eric New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Hi All, Eric is coming up for a year now post his pituitary removal surgery at RVC. He is doing well and leading a normal life, his coat has returned to the silver grey and all the redness in his fur has gone, his coat feels much softer. He still takes a half of a 100mg desmopressin tablet every 8 hrs, I tried to reduce to every 12 hrs but his drinking and urinating increased. In addition to this he has a quarter of hydrocortisone 10mg tablet and .08ml Levothyroxine every 24 hrs. I have just had his T4 tested which is showing high, my vet said 137 (I didn't catch units?), so I'm waiting for RVC to advise adjustments to meds. We are due to go to RVC for ATCH test in August so guess they will check T4 again then.

    Eric was diagnosed with Cushings and was never diabetic.

    I hope you don't mind me joining in conversation as others have said it is good to hear how your kitties have progressed post op.
     
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  56. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Thank you Wendy for stopping in and giving us an Eric update. Stories of surgery for Cushings are rare, so it is good to hear this success. :joyful:
     
  57. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    That is great news about Eric. Especially about his fur and general health. i'm glad the surgery went well. There have not been many surgery cases reported in the U.S. because of the expense.
     
  58. sbluhrs

    sbluhrs Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    So sorry to see that Shmee is back on insulin and still not himself. Hang in there. But good to hear that Titan is doing ok. And I didn't know about Eric, so good to hear that his surgery went well.

    Sophie is, as always, a mystery wrapped up in an enigma. Healthwise, she is doing quite well - we're stabilized on thyroid and steroid levels, since we saw Dr. McCue last year. She is on needle juice of desmo every 36 hours, but my gut is saying that she just needs to take her own sweet time with this. She is starting to use the litter box instead of pee pads, although she continues to stubbornly poop on the pads. Her coat is much thicker and lush than it has ever been, but its taken a good year for it to get this way.

    The major change, though, has been her personality. She is actually becoming quite affectionate and likes to sit with my spouse on the couch in the morning. We also brought another cat into the household (another girl) in December, and they are getting along fine. It took a while before Sophie learned that she wasn't allowed to steal Angie's food, but she now understands that she has to wait and, if Angie leaves something, she can have it.

    Her weight is stable at 12.5 lbs. She had been looking porky, but, with the decrease in steroid, she is more muscular, though not svelte, but she is a big girl and doesn't look fat. She gets a third of a can of Fancy Feast pate four times a day and gets a half of a freeze dried chicken neck as a treat a few times a week. My spouse does spoil her and gives her a bit of lunch meat or cheese while she is making her lunchtime sandwich and we give her the butter dish to lick clean. But, no more issues with counter surfing, though she does like to watch while we cook. Still, we don't have to be anal anymore about cleaning everything up before we actually eat. Amazingly, she does finally seem to have some brakes on her behavior when it comes to food.

    Its been almost 2 years, though. I often get discouraged with the fact that she is still on desmo, but I just have to keep reminding myself that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Like we are going through now with the Covid-19 process.....
     
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  59. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Wow, it has been 2 years already. And almost 2 years for Shmee as well.

    Nice to hear this great report about Sophie. Overall, those sound like pretty minor issues. And the eating issues (begging etc) seem to happen with non-diabetic cats too. Scoobs (GA) used to beg and try to get food persistently, and he wasn't diabetic. It is great to hear that Sophie's personality is affectionate as well. You are lucky - she is getting along with the new kitteh. We still have Chinus and Little Dude, and Chinus is so mean - she really doesn't like our orange puffball Little Dude.
     
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