Friday, June 27, 2008

Mojo Flairs Again

That title doesn't have the same ring as Mojo rides again, but none the less, that's where we are...Mojo's allergies are having a time this year. We have been working with him since he came to live with me 3 years ago. The first year was a struggle as he was in terrible shape, both due to his allergy problems (yet undiagnosed) and his ear polyp (finally removed) and his weight problem (way too skinny). By the end of the first year with me, and before we adopted him, we knew what his allergies were, the ear polyp was removed, and he had gained a bit of weight. Things were looking promising. To recap, Mojo is allergic to the following things:
  • Dust mites**
  • two types of molds**
  • Pines**
  • Red Cedar**
  • White Hickory**
  • Red Maple**
  • Elms
  • Eastern Cottonwood**
  • Bermuda Grass**
  • Kentucky Blue Grass**
  • Meadow Fescue grass**
  • Johnson grass**
  • Red Top grass
  • Perennial Rye grass
  • Sweet Vernal grass
  • Cocklebur
  • Yellow dock
  • Lambs Quarters
  • Rough Pigweed
  • Red/Sheep Sorrel
  • Russian Thistle
  • Fleas
  • Cockroaches
  • Mosquitos

** Means that we included this in his serum. These were the things that we felt he would come into contact with the most in our immediate area. Fleas, cockroaches, and mosquitos can not be included in the serum. Mojo is an indoor only cat, so exposure to these items is minimized.

Basically, you name it, Mojo's allergic! Luckily we are not allergic to any foods, so he can eat whatever he wants!

The second year I had him, was the first year he was on the allergy shots. In a couple of months, he was on the maintenance plan, which is 1cc every two weeks, of his specialized serum. He was doing well, and we were seeing fewer and fewer flair ups and itching episodes. We were thrilled! We continued this way for another year, and again we saw no flair ups during Spring or Fall, which is when most of his stuff blooms. By that winter, which was 2007, we decided to try going to every 3 weeks on the shots. He did beautifully! Things were going well for Mojo, except for a diarrhea problem, until late Spring 2008, when he flaired big time. His mouth is back to itching and bleeding, but at least we were able to catch it early before it got to the point that it was when we started this whole journey.

This is Mojo's mouth on June 18, 2008. It is healing some, and doesn't look to terrible, but there are some erosions on the skin that are full of bacteria, and it itches like the dickens.

We are working to fix this problem by:

  1. Adding soft paws to his feet
  2. He gets 35mg of Cyclosporine every day
  3. He gets 1 antihistamine tablet daily
  4. He has received two antibiotic injections
  5. He now takes 1/2 tablet of Zenequin daily
  6. Wipe mouth down with damp cool cloth when he finishes eating

The mouth is taking it's own sweet time to heal, but the diarrhea that we've been battling for the last 6 months cleared up in about three days of starting the cyclosporine, and getting the antibiotic injection. We aren't sure which one worked, but something did. My thought would lean toward the cyclosporine, since he normally can't tolerate antibiotics.

I know this isn't the most pleasant of posts, but it's written here more so I don't forget. We are trying to determing the next best course of action to take. Right now, I am to send in new photos of his mouth every week to his dermatologist, and she will evaluate what is working and what is not. I hope we can see some resolution soon, as Mojo is such a good cat, and this itching is driving him crazy!

Here's the photo from this week, taken June 25, 2008. This is the day we were given the Zenequin to start.

Mojo is such a tolerant cat, and a love bug. I hope that we can find the right combinations of drugs to help him through this flair. And I hope that we can learn enough this time to prevent it in the future!