Of Cats, Poop, and Pills

There’s two types of people when it comes to pets: those that get what it means to treat a pet and love it like a human family member and those that don’t. Of course, I am in the former category, so for the sake of those who may read this that fall into the latter, take down that stone wall around your heart. =P

Scamper is going on 17 years old. For a few years now, we’ve been dealing with chronic colitis, which basically boils down to, he doesn’t poop right (aka diarrhea). The treatment included a broad sweep of many different foods, including extremely expensive prescription brands. It ended up at a steroid pill called Prednisone. It did not cure the problem, but it did enable him to make it to the litter box and maintain a good quality of life. So that went on for a while; I’d take him for 6-month check ups and we’d continue the meds. Then a new med came out recently called Tylosin. It only comes in injectable or powder form. It worked wonders on another pet he treated, so he prescribed it for Scamper, who was having increasing number of accidents on the floor. (I bought a 2nd litter box to help.)

I was instructed to give him a tenth of an eighth of a teaspoon. “Say again, please?” Um, yeah. That’s impossible, so I grabbed a balance from my chemistry lab and measured the amount out. I tried to give it in milk, peanut butter, and just straight up dumping it in his mouth. I felt miserable about it. Finally, a colleague at school said that she was also giving Tylosin (and btw, it was working) and had filled gelatin capsules with it to give to her pet. So I tried that. Much more successful, though Scamper has figured out how to push the capsule out. So we get angry with each other THREE TIMES A DAY while I firmly hold his mouth closed until he swallows. IF he swallows. He works it out quite a bit, so now the capsule is sticky, making it even harder to give. I’ve almost cried in frustration several times. I just want him to feel better, but all he understands is that I’m forcing something down his throat against his will.

After two weeks of this, I finally stopped and decided I was going back to the other med. Unfortunately, Scamper developed the drippies the day I stopped. So I filled up a bunch more capsules and started again on a twice a day regime. Talked to the vet this morning, telling him that the Tylosin seemed to have changed the quantity and color of his poopy, but that it is still not solid. It also appears his bottom is irritated. So the vet recommended we do both pills for 10 days. Holy crap. I’m so upset at having to put him through this as it is, and now I have to give him TWO pills twice a day each. In the meantime, I’m also going crazy to the point of tears with all the accidents on the floor.

I know this is not curable; I’m happy if his quality of life is good and if he does his business in the litter box. But I’m not certain about the first now; the second definitely isn’t happening all the time. I don’t know what to do, and since you are probably thinking it, *THAT* is not an option. I’m not strong enough to make that decision. (The following statement is one of those that refer to one of two types of people.) Scamper has in many ways been my anchor. Having gotten him in middle school shortly after I stopped seeing my dad, he has been a unmatched companion. He greets me when I come home, he provides comfort at night when he sleeps with me, and he keeps any loneliness at bay when I’m at home. Why does loving something (or someone) have to hurt so much sometimes???

Of Cats, Poop, and Pills

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