We went back to the vet yesterday and saw Tom. I thought it would be a matter of yippee the steroids are working, have some more, but it doesn’t work that way.
To find out for sure what is wrong with Tilly requires a proper biopsy. She reacted badly when she had the minimum dose of sedation so a full anaesthetic would be very risky. And the chances are high that a biopsy wouldn’t be any help anyway.
So first decision – no biopsy. I cannot put her through the risk and the subsequent long stay at the surgery to recover after. Whatever time she has left, I want her to spend at home where she feels safe and happy.
We then had a talk about her quality of life. She is in no pain and is happy enough, sleeping, going for short walks, getting excited when visitors come. We had grandchildren staying from last Friday till yesterday so cuddles weren’t in short supply (and it also stopped me spending hours on the internet searching, obsessing and worrying).
Before any more medication could be issued, she had to have another blood test. Tom phoned later with the result. At her first blood test her liver enzymes were so high, they were off the scale and couldn’t be measured. This time they were very high, but measurable – so they have come down somewhat. Good, yes? The liver support pills are helping.
But – there is always a but – another enzyme has now risen as a result of the steroid. Bad.
She is still jaundiced so Tom has given her Destolit which he hopes will reduce that. He is also hopeful that it will improve her appetite – she went off eating again when the steroid injection ran out. Her protein levels are low too, so she needs more protein.
We are trying her on the Hills i/d which is the same food that Indy had to have 11 years ago when he was so very ill and close to starving to death. It smells and looks far more appetising than the liver diet which she wouldn’t touch (all this food is driving poor Indy mad – he’d eat it like a shot). But does she want to eat it? No. Warmed? No. We are trying to feed her little and often and this morning she had a small bowl of porridge which isn’t ideal, but was all I could tempt her with.
If she’s still not eating tomorrow, I have to start her on steroids.
The best case scenario is that something has damaged Tilly’s liver, but that whatever it was has gone and she now needs support to recover. At the moment all we can do is buy her time and hope it pays off and she comes through.