My Name is Leo

An adored cat deals gracefully with a jaw tumor while his owner quietly falls apart.

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Location: Philadelphia area, Northeast, United States

Monday, May 15, 2006

16 Weeks Post-Diagnosis

I just realize I haven't kept the medication portion of this continuing saga up to date.

Shortly after my "mystery solved" post, I called the vet office and told them about the scratching. They suggested I half Leo's prednisolone dosage and give it to him twice a day, as opposed to once.

It may have been a total co-incidence, but it worked -- Leo did stop scratching his chin. But the fur hasn't grown back yet, as evidenced by the bald patch you can see on his jaw tumor in the photo below.

No cat was harmed in the taking of this photo! He actually loves it when I pet him like this, pulling his ears back with my hand -- always has. My little knucklehead...

The theory on halving the pill was that it would keep the level of prednisone more even in his bloodstream.

However, a new development -- his drool (which usually hung down in strings from the side of his mouth) turned into a constant wet spot in front of his mouth. Also, it looked very much like mucus -- usually the dripping drool was clear. And sometime in the middle of last week, it started smelling really putrid.

His behavior remained pretty okay -- although maybe he seemed a bit more tired than he has been. He was eating great though.

I continued him on antibiotics (clindamycin) even though his course was set to end on Thursday -- because his bad breath seemed to indicate some sort of infection.

Saturday evening, he was lying on my chest with one paw kneading each of my shoulders...his face was a couple inches from mine and the drool smell was so freakin' nasty. And if you try to wipe the mucus drool off he freaks - I tried tissues, a slightly damp washcloth and a dry washcloth -- even the gentlest brush on his face totally pissed him off.

All to say that yesterday I decided to go back to the one whole pill a day prednisone routine, since it was the change in medication schedule that preceded the change in drool.

This morning he was feeling great (if great can be defined by waking your human at 5:30 AM with incessant meowing at her bedroom door for a half-hour and when that failed trying to head-butt your way into the room.)

He didn't have any mucus drool coming out of the front of his mouth (although I could catch a whiff that the inside of his mouth still isn't smelling sweet.) And he was super affectionate and wanting mucho attention, as evidenced by the rollover below.


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