Typhoon celebrated his fifth anniversary at Chez Herd last month, so yesterday was time for the annual Little Prince Vet day.
Some quick background for newer readers (and refresher for the long timers) – Typhoon has had a long history of refusing to eat. All the usual tricks failed. He would reject all kinds of kibbles, canned foods, and raw diets. He refused lots of various human foods including chicken, hamburger, steak, and pork. He was, quite literally, starving to death and refusing to eat to solve it.
About a year ago, we opted to try a course of steroids to medically induce him to eat. The results on his weight chart speak to the success. Based on his body frame, his healthy weight should be between 50 and 55 pounds. For the first time in his life, he has broken the 50 pound mark.
The challenge has been that we have been unable to wean him back off of the steroid. Every time we attempt it, he reverts back to starving which isn’t an option. Best guesses are that he either has a severe case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (but we don’t have other symptoms) or the adrenal gland is not producing the natural steroids necessary. Getting a definitive diagnosis would require him being off the steroid before tests, which would just put us back in crash mode. Fortunately, a viable treatment for either case includes steroids, so we don’t have to know which it is.
So, in summary, the steroids deal with the symptoms and makes him eat, but the bad news is that there are long-term side effects to prolonged steroid use.
We have been successful in reducing the amount of steroids and we will continue reducing – slowly – to see if we can find the proper equilibrium point. We mapped out a strategy and goal today (along with an alternate goal in case the first option doesn’t work). Paws crossed we continue to have success but can lower the steroid intake further.
By the way, one of the visible side effects of the steroid intake is his bare belly. He was shaved for an ultrasound March 23, 2017, and that is all the hair he has regrown so far. Fortunately, he doesn’t seem to mind rolling in the snow with it, so it is just a looks thing.
We celebrate the fact that he is eating regularly, looks forward to his meals, and continues to gain weight. Sometimes, you take what you can get.