Thursday, February 18, 2010

unpleasantness

We are on week three of Theo having diarrhea. Thankfully, he hasn't been showing any other signs of problems. His appetite is strong, he has been drinking lots of water to make up what gets passed, and he is as energetic as ever. And I am very grateful that he faithfully uses his litter box!

After many trips to the vet it seems like we have made little progress in figuring out what is going on. One test was positive for giardia while subsequent tests have been negative and other parasite tests have come back negative. We are now trying the more sensitive tests which take 12 days to get results.

Meanwhile we recently switched medications from Metronidazole to an antibiotic (Clavamox) as we wait for test results.

One of the television shows I enjoy is "All Creatures Great and Small," an old British show featuring adaptions of James Herriot's writings. In the show, I have noticed that James often gives his patients generic "tablets" in hopes that they will help. It seems no patient leaves the office without getting these tablets. I have wondered if the tablets are more for the human's needs than the animal's. Maybe the tablets provide the human a sense of hope - hope that the competent, knowledgeable vet has dispensed a viable solution for the animal's ailment. I can't help but wonder if Clavamox is the modern-day equivalent of James' tablets.

Along with his medication, Theo also gets a special low-allergen, extremely expensive food. And, for the sake of convenience, we have decided to give all the cats the special food. This saves us from having to hover over Theo as he eats to prevent him from stealing food he isn't suppose to be eating. If he continues to need the special food we will need to work out a long term plan for the cats to eat separate because of the prohibitive nature of the food ($50 for 10 pounds).

Besides the messy factor of Theo's condition, which certainly has its very unpleasant moments, I am really bummed that Theo will probably miss some Pet Partners/Animal Assisted Therapy Skills class while his condition continues. I will ask the vet for a ruling on the matter in our next conversation.

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