Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vampire VET

Tanjiro has not been feeling well for awhile now and has been having diarrhea pretty regularly. Recently, Tanji has been noticeably less active and has been gaining less weight than Uschi. We have tried many things, like gradual dietary changes and fecal testing, but nothing has totally solved the issue for Tanj.

This past week Uschi also had diarrhea and Tanj started having more serious issues. Tanji wasn't able to make it to the litter box or outside to his kennel. It was so sad, he would be sleeping and his belly would audibly rumble, he would meow and take off but lose it on the way. He even stopped eating and would run outside at the smell of food and lose it. He was so upset. We headed to the V-E-T for an emergency visit.

We are in our busiest teaching time of the year, teaching two lab classes, so it was a well-coordinated high speed V-E-T trip between classes during our lunch. As lab #1 was almost over, I zoomed out and picked up the boys,...

Since I was alone in the car with the boys
I had to keep them locked in their carrier.

They let me know that this wasn't acceptable.

On the way back into town I called Lesley
so she could meet me on the outside of our office building.
Off we went as a family.

Once at the VET

the boys had a few minutes to stretch

before heading in.

We had our medical records and

a researched list of things we wanted done:

Metronidazole (me-troe-NI-da-zole) (Flagyl rx),
blood tests (CBC & CS), and food options.

Uschi guarded the door.

Tanji got a physical and we went through
our options with the VET.

We decided that Uschi should get a blood test (CBC and CS) also, for a baseline. So we let the VET take them both into the back room in their carrier. It was pretty sad,... we could hear Tanji. I was anxiously pacing around the exam room and Lesley sat leaning against the wall.

Upon returning to the exam room they both seemed fine and calm. The VET said they were pretty good. Tanji "just sat there when getting his blood drawn and only cried when Uschi was getting his blood drawn". I still don't know how they take blood without shaving to see a vein,...?

The bill was a pretty good grounder for us, as was the first two weeks of their four weeks of liquid oral antibiotics/anti-inflammatory (Metronidazole 50mg/ml in malt suspension) we picked up from the custom prescription lab later in the day.

Tanji only gained 0.5lbs since his last visit and now weighs 7.4lbs. I think he lost weight over the past few days. Uschi has gained 1.5lbs and was up to 9.0lbs. So each boy was to get a different dosage of the medication to match their weights. Tanji gets 1.0ml and Uschi 1.5ml twice a day for 14 days then once a day for 14 days, 28 days total.

We first tried to put the liquid Metronidazole in their food,... they didn't touch it. So I have been shooting their dosage into their mouth twice a day. It isn't too bad, for me, actually. The first time was a bit of a struggle b/c I didn't have the technique down and went too slowly.

Basically, I sit on the floor and gently hold them by the scruff of the neck. Then I open the back-side of their mouth with the tip of the syringe (no needle) and move it in/back a little, just to clear the front of their tongue. I then shoot the liquid in quickly, going slow doesn't work. A quick shot and it is over and they are not too phased. They do a quick jog across the room but come right back. We try to get them to drink a little water to wash the taste out of their mouth and give them lots of attention for being such good boys.

24 hrs after their first dosage and both are much, MUCH better.

Uschi was bounding outside, and,...

Tanji is a changed boy,... back to being


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so happy to hear they're doing better. It's always so stressful when the fur children are sick because they can't tell you what's wrong! I keep telling Dax he needs to learn English but he doesn't seem to be listening ;)

Tanj,Uschi&Vladi said...

Tory, Thanks for the words of support, and thanks to everyone else who emailed. The boys are doing MUCH better!!! I think their activity level must have been supressed for a while before hand because they seem much more energetic after just a few days of treatments.

Anonymous said...

i love the boyz and their tales. thank you so much for sharing them w/ us

but i hve to tell you that metranidazole is the more horribly bitter tasting medicine out there. very hard for humans even to take and it made us very sick to our stomachs -- but when we gave it to one of our boyz the vet had us put it in small capsules. went down much easier.

keep us apprised how they're doing...


Tanj,Uschi&Vladi said...

Max, thanks for the comments and insights. We have tried the capsules but they are practically impossible to get down Tanji. The liquid form is pretty simple on all of us, the boys don't really seem to mind.

Anonymous said...

Kelli pointed out your blog to us. We have an infant bengal (Theo) that will come to our house in November. This blog is very nice. Thanks for sharing.

Tanj,Uschi&Vladi said...


Thanks for visiting and commenting. We hope you have as much fun with Theo as we are having with T&U. We hope the blog besides being fun offers some useful information/insights.

Have Fun!!

Cassie said...

They are GORGEOUS! I love Bengals.

I am fostering 18 orphaned kittens from the shelter right now, & imagine giving 18 little mouths a dosage of the Metronidazole every day! Soooo much fun!

Tanj,Uschi&Vladi said...

Wow, I can't imagine giving that many doses,... Just trying to give Tanji a dose was enough. >;-)

Keep up the good work.