So I made him another appointment with my regular vet, who agreed it was pancreatitis, but his intestines felt swollen, so he did an ultrasound, and said he wanted to rule out FIP (my cats started as feral kittens). That had me extremely worried, because the thing last I knew, there was no cure for FIP, and in addition I have another cat and it's contagious.
Paddy is a fairly large framed cat, but he was in the 8 lb range at VCA and down to 6 something at his regular vet.
The vet told me they now have a cure for FIP, but it isn't licensed in the US yet. It is licensed in the UK. Remdesivir, which works for Covid in humans, which is a coronavirus, also works for FIP in cats, which is also a coronavirus. He said he is unable to prescribe it because it isn't licensed yet, but there is a way to get it online, which he explained. He said he was highly skeptical at first, but he checked it out. I think he says it comes from Canada, and US citizens can buy meds from Canada, and he thought they required verification (test results) showing your cat really does have FIP before they will send it to you. It costs hundreds of dollars, and dose and price vary by weight of cat. He said one of his clients had got it for her cat and it had amazing results in just days, and in the end the cat was cured. He seemed very happy to be able to tell me there is finally a treatment for this, after he's faced it in patients all these years. Treatment is 84 days.
So he asked if he should do an FIP test, and I said yes. Then I left, prepared to get Remdesivir for Paddy if the test came back positive. Fortunately for Paddy, Libby, and my checkbook, it came back negative.
So now Paddy is on Reglan for the pancreatitis, and he's eating better and it's helping the diarrhea, and he looks better. You can tell when it wears off, by his face and posture. He's OK with being poked, but does not like the squirt when he gets his injection, but I hope he'll learn to associate it with feeling better.
I wish! I am terrible at hand pilling. I have tried a number of times. The vet makes it look so easy...
He's been doing better, with his stools looking semi-formed, and yesterday I made the mistake of seeing if we could get him down to twice a day on the Reglan. Diarrhea came back and he still has it this morning, even after his dose last night and this morning. He's eating better though. Won't make that mistake again.
Now if you go to Petsmart or Walmart, you can find all kinds of kitty soups and stews and bisques and broths. We've been going through a packet of Hartz Delectables chicken and tuna stew every day here. They make varieties for seniors 10+ and seniors 15+. Friskies makes Lil' Soups, and we tried one flavor and he didn't care for it, but they also have Lil' Shakes that we haven't tried yet. The Hartz Bisque is nearly identical to Gerber turkey or Gerber chicken in appearance and consistency, and he was willing to eat it. We are still going through a lot of Gerber turkey and chicken. The soups, stews, and bisques are not balanced food. They are sold as treats and Purina says on the Friskies Lil' Shakes packet that they are intended as supplemental feeding only. But they are a help when you just want anything they will eat.
He's been having some CatSip, which is milk with 99% of the lactose reduced. It reminds me of Whiskas cat milk, which I didn't see in the store. It is very low fat (1%) and contains taurine, and it has a nice tab that recloses. It is also listed as supplemental feeding for hydration, but that's what he needs so I don't have to give him fluids, and it's helping. My vet said that low fat is important for dogs and humans with pancreatitis, but they've found it doesn't matter with cats. Maybe that is what they've found, but I'm kind of trying to stay low fat anyway.
When Betsy had pancreatitis in 2005, I posted that the food that worked best for her was Authority Indoor chicken and rice. They don't make that anymore as far as I can tell. When I was in Petsmart I just got all kinds of brands and flavors I thought might work for him. The one he's been eating best is ProPlan complete essentials ocean whitefish and tuna. In spite of the name, the first ingredient is chicken. It is low fat (2.0% min). If I give it to him at night, he cleans his plate.