So, Connie came to take us today.
But something very funny happened before we embarked on our journey to the vet's.
My husband carried Tiger and put him into the carrier which we've cleaned. I carried the carrier out of the house and heard Tiger growling when I placed it down. Why would Tiger growl? I just ignored it. Maybe he is just stressed.
When my husband carried the carrier, it felt really heavy.
Has Tiger put on so much weight?
Anyway, he put the carrier into Connie's car and that's when Connie said, "Why are there two cats inside the carrier?!!"
Ha ha.....it was so funny!!
Another tabby cat had earlier got into the carrier and kept really quiet!
It was Heidi!
No wonder Tiger (or was it Heidi) was growling!
And no wonder the carrier felt SO heavy!
So, with that little prelude done, everyone was in good spirits and we went on our way, still laughing.
When we reached the clinic, we saw two sporo-cats outside the clinic. It was sad...they looked quite serious and one was already there when Tiger made his first visit 40 days ago. This cat didn't look as bad then, but he looked more serious now. Poor things. I later found out that this cat only came in with 2 sores initially, but is not in a very serious state.
We waited for our turn...
I had already been updating the vet regularly with photos and the vet was pleased to see Tiger. He examined Tiger's sores very carefully and slowly, making sure he did not miss out on anything.
The vet was happy to see that the initial sporo sores had dried up. He checked the ones on the left front paw and the two legs. Then, I showed him the ones on the hip.
Now, here's an unexpected news...the vet thought that the ones on both hips were not sporo sores but something else. It could be due to fur mite or simply Tiger licking and biting until these sores surfaced. The sores on the hip certainly did not look like sporo sores as sporo sores start as a boil (it bulges up) then it bursts. So the vet checked thoroughly for mites or flea dust. He couldn't find any.
The same goes for the dried sores on the armpit.
So he took some samples of fur and checked under the microscope. After very careful examination....
"No, no sporo spores at all!"
So, the likelihood of these sores being sporo sores is extremely minimal. 90%+ these were not even sporo sores to begin with, but are probably sores which surfaced due to Tiger's biting and over-licking because of the itch.
Oh goody, goody, goody!! My untrained eye didn't know and I had assumed all these sores which surfaced on Day 7 and Day 9 were sporo spores germinating from the inside.
And that's because I had not understood how sporotrichosis spreads. Apparently, it does not spread from the deep muscle. The spore enters the body THROUGH an open wound and lodges itself in the deep muscle. Then, it germinates from there and surfaces on the skin as a boil which later ulcerates and bleeds. Then, how does another sore appear? Through another open wound.
In very bad cases, if the spores have got into the bloodstream, then it can be carried to the lungs and the lungs will have sporotrichosis as well. And this may result in sneezing and the infamous clown nose.
In sneezing cases, the spores are present in the sneeze and if it is inhaled by another cat, it can spread that way too, ie. from the mucous membranes.
However, the above is only what I understand. Please check with your vet for more accurate details.
So, back to Tiger, the sores on the hips and elsewhere (which sprouted after the original sores) are probably NOT sporotrichosis (this is music to my ears) but the initial sores on the left front paw and two legs ARE sporo sores.
However, having said the above, it still isn't time to celebrate yet.
And why so?
1. These other sores on the hips could become open wounds if Tiger continues to lick them or if they are not treated. Then sporo spores can get in through these open wounds. Now, that would be a disaster. So we now need to take care of the itch and the excessive licking by applying Revolution spot-on or Frontline. The vet says I may even have to consider doing it 2 times a month, if once is not effective enough. We need to control these sores from getting worse.
2. I asked how much longer I have to keep giving Tiger Sporonox and the vet says it is recommended to continue giving Sporonox for ANOTHER 30 DAYS AFTER the last sporo sore has completely healed. Oh wow...that's a long time to continue giving, but is necessary as the vet says relapses could happen and he has seen it happening.
I also asked if a liver function is needed to check the condition of Tiger's liver. The vet doesn't think so because Tiger's appetite is good and let's check his weight...
Tiger was 5.6 kg when he came to the clinic 40 days ago.
Today, Tiger tipped the scales at....5.9kg!
The vet said most sporo-cats lose weight but Tiger has put on weight instead, which is good, as far as the sporo treatment is concerned. However, he should not put on too much as obesity could lead to diabetes which is life-threatening.
Moderation is the key then, as always.
In any case, the liver function test is not necessary.
So, now, we continue with the Sporonox until all the sores have healed and we will continue for another 30 days. Then, we pray sporo will be totally gone from Tiger....forever.
And of course, we are continuing with all our supplements (Biopure, Omega-7, Transfer Factor and Vetri DMG). I believe all the supplements have helped though I don't have any proof of this.
We only have about 2-3 days' more of RetroMAD1 and the vet says RetroMAD1 can cause the body to product antibodies against the drug so we can stop taking it already. Moreover, it isn't so easy to get RetroMAD1 now.
So, we are going to monitor all these original sporo sores now, day by day.
So, we came home with the encouraging news...
And we were greeted by...
Heidi even went into the carrier and sat for awhile, after Tiger came out!
Hey, you shortchanged me of my joy ride in the car!
Back with Tabs in the room.
And all tired out from the adventure today.
We continue looking forward to the day when Tiger is finally sporo-free.
Thank you very much for all your kind wishes for Tiger's recovery!