Eye Gunk

WMM201

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Thanks for the update, rockitorknockit rockitorknockit ! It is awesome that Oscar is doing well and able to get off his meds. I did read somewhere that as cats go through the tooth lesion resorption process, it can stop hurting after the tooth or root (can't quite remember) is fully absorbed. So, it hurts while inflamed in the 2nd and 3rd phases of resorption, but by the time it gets to like 4th or 5th phase, it doesn't hurt much. So maybe that's what is going on with Oscar? Whatever the reason, it's great that your buddy is purring and active. Gabapentin is super bitter and not a whole lot hides the yuck, even in the compounded liquid form. I know, because my cat gets it daily in the compounded liquid form 😿. She foams and drools but then she smells like a marshmallow (that's apparently the best flavor for trying to block the taste 🤷🏻‍♀️).

I hope you, your wife, and Oscar have some peace and quiet! Sometimes kitties throw crazy and expensive curve balls at us!
 

cat nap

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Hey, everyone. It's been a few days since my last update, so just wanted to share another.

On Thursday I ended up calling the doctor and they agreed we should hold off on the chemo for now, since he was still feeling crappy and not eating well enough.

Since stopping the antibiotics seemed to be improving Oscar's poops but not his appetite, I went ahead and stopped the gaba as well. Not only could I not tell if it was helping him in any way, but he hates receiving it far beyond any other med I've had to force in him. In fact, I have not been able to give him his usual B12 shot because he's now shrinking away whenever my wife or I try to grab him from behind at all.
Are you still giving Oscar the prednisolone ear gel, or tablets?

I wonder if you could ask your Vet,...if she can prescribe an appetite stimulant like mirtazapine,...for those days, when you think he might need a little boost....to eat a bit more?
(Mirtazapine does also have side effects, causing some cats to drool, get hyper, restless, pace, and meow a lot...but if you start off with like a 'sliver' of a tablet, or even smaller 'ear dose gel'...then it may not give him such a rush.):greenpaw:

I read online that with lymphoma, you try and limit the carbohydrates in the cat food, so I was also thinking that perhaps you could try some wet kitten food, which may have more protein, and fats, and less carbs,...to help Oscar eat more. :bluepaw:
I guess it depends on what he is eating now, and which type of foods he likes.

If you can give him the B12, when he's resting, or sleepy, and near you,..but while stroking, brushing, or petting him, then he may not even feel the injection. :lovecat2:
But overall, he's doing better, now acting much more like his usual self. Appetite is improving since the gaba was stopped, poops are slowly improving since the antibiotics were stopped (at least closer to his normal pre-antibiotic). If his tooth is bothering him, I cannot tell at all. He's eating both soft and hard food, and has not been chattering at all. It's almost frustrating - it's like the whole ordeal was completely pointless. Tons of money and grief spent for nothing. I'm starting to wonder if the reason they could not see a reabsorption lesion was not because it's hidden but because there isn't one - maybe he just knocked that tooth really hard but it's actually fine? I have no idea, but I am currently very relieved and pleased that he seems unbothered by it.
Yeah, it sounds really good that Oscar's appetite is improving without all those meds. :)

(I've only ever witnessed my female cat chatter when she saw a bird, through the window, in a nearby tree. It was weird, when I first heard it.)

With your Oscar, maybe it was a combination of him not feeling the greatest, that particular day,...and then somehow his own system did a little 'reset' and adjusted, to where he began to feel better.
Either way, as long as Oscar is feeling better, now, and eating,...then I would take that as a good sign. :caticon: Yay!
The best part is he's been purring again. A lot. When he eats, when he gets love. Stopping the extra meds and maybe even skipping the chemo have really helped him swing up a bit, I think.

I'm going to weigh him maybe tomorrow to see where he is at. I'll also be reaching out to the vet today to see what she says about the chemo, and when/if we should take the next dose.

Thank you to everyone who was responsive/present for me while this was very dark and stressful. I am hoping we've reached an even level again for a bit.
Purring again. That's so sweet to hear. Self soothing and relaxing for us humans, too. :cloud9:
I'm also hoping that Oscar's eating will help him gain some strength,...and that he's reached that even level, like you mention.

I don't think I've asked...how you chose the name Oscar,...and does it have some special meaning? :cool2:
(the only oscar, that I know if from Sesame Street, and he does not fit your Oscar's description at all.) :blush:
Thank y'all, again, SO MUCH. For your genuine empathy and support. I am impressed with your ability to provide opinions and suggestions while still holding space for me and my worries and emotions. I LOVE THIS PLACE, and y'all are amazing. My wife is also grateful for you. Thank you for not judging me. Thanks for letting me get it out here, and for ALSO trying to help. You are.

I can't recall if I've mentioned this before, but I have OCD. I just feel like I should mention that at this point, since it explains at least some of how extreme this is for me. It's why I am constantly cycling and spiraling, though all of this is stressful for anyone. It's exacerbated. So, I'm working on ways to manage that as well. I had therapy today.
I forgot to mention, from your previous update, that I think it is a lot more difficult when we have some extra human issues like ocd, anxiety, depression, panic,...when dealing with our sick animals. There seems to be a lot of us, here, that have one thing or another.

(With me, I've had to deal with initially panic attacks, then anxiety/depression/fatigue...and also a component of ocd...but more in the 'obsessional thinking/ruminating' part...where with anxiety, my mind tries to look at a problem from every possible angle, and often times, just gets too stressed, and tired.)

Like WMM201 had mentioned previously,...it's good to go to therapy,...when you can find a good therapist, that can help with suggestions of what you can do, while under stressful times,...and in everyday ordinary times, too,...where you feel fine, but can get some coping strategies, or exercises,...to help you get into a more helpful or balanced frame of mind.
Then when you get into higher stress times,...they sometimes can be a little easier to deal with.

(I just wanted to mention it,..so that you don't necessarily feel like you are alone.
And to always reach out, to someone, your wife, therapist, doctor, whoever,...and hopefully, then some practical things might also help, and alleviate the constant thinking and spiral thinking.
'ACT with mindfulness', has helped me,...but it was not easy,..and I've already forgotten many of the 'lessons'...although I have a few books, somewhere.)

You are going through such a stressful journey with your Oscar,...and to also have to deal with our own health issues...makes it even tougher. :alright: :hugs::grouphug:
Yet,..if you can think about it...from a Different Perspective...and actually look at it more like a 'positive, or beneficial trait'...that may be annoying and tiring at times,...yet still is unique...and has it's good parts, too,...in that it sometimes helps us...with some useful thoughts, too. But yeah, not spiraling,...relaxation,...re-focusing...getting some physical exercise,...to focus on something else,...will also help.

I guess as long as we don't follow every single thought we have,..but just let them pass like 'clouds in the sky'...or 'leafs on a river'...flowing by...(those were actually two examples, I do remember from the books)...which are kind of helpful to visualize and practice.
Anyway, rockitorknockit rockitorknockit ..you will probably get even better newer methods, that the therapists, now use, and exercises to try.
When you find the ones,...that work for you,...then that will be good.

Sending you Mega Health Vibes, for your Oscar...that he eats, purrs, and gets a bit stronger,...day by day. :vibes::vibes::caticon:
 
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rockitorknockit

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Hey, everyone. Sorry I left everyone hanging a couple of weeks ago. I've been meaning to reply/update but, ya know... life.

Oscar has been pretty stable since my last update. A few days after my last post I weighed him and he was 9.7 pounds! The most he's weighed in months. I was OVERJOYED, and we continued the chemo shortly thereafter.

He had another dose of chemo two days ago. Now he's doing the thing where he is acting like he's super hungry but it's hell trying to get him to actually eat his food because his food is healthy and boring and just not stinky/enticing enough. He will sniff it all over, almost like he's trying to convince himself to eat it, and then he'll walk away and complain. I'm coating everything in fortiflora, yeast flakes, tuna juice - anything that will help him enjoy it more. They do work but I mean it really has to be coated in that. If I could give him his ultimate favorite, fancy feast savory centers, I have no doubt he'd eat two cans in one sitting, but I can't because it makes him feel like death. It's heart breaking trying to find the line between giving him something he wants and making sure I'm not giving him so much that he feels even worse later. cat nap cat nap mentioned the appetite stimulant, and we do have some, but every time I've given it to him it caused those side effects of aggression and agitation, so I'm just trying to avoid it for as long as possible. I may open a can of a/d for him today to mix into his food.

SO, he's on the chemo once every two weeks, and he's still taking 2.5 methimazole twice a day, 5mg prednisolone once a day, and cerenia every night (the amount of money I spend on cerenia hurts my soul). He's been on this medication routine for months now.

I weighed him a few days ago and he was back to 9.3. Every dip makes me nervous. And the appetite struggle currently does too. It's pretty triggering for my OCD/anxiety and can influence the entire day when I notice he doesn't eat "right" in the early morning. Hoping this instance is just a direct response to the chemo and he has less trouble again in a few days, but who can ever know. Trying to cope/manage my own feelings. We've had a LOT of really good days with him since my last post - he has seemed happy, not in pain, not overly nauseous. I've been able to rest contented during moments, knowing he's eaten and is enjoying sleeping in the sun on the balcony. I know those moments won't continue forever so, again, trying to take note when they do.

As for his tooth... I guess it's not bothering him. I was interested in what W WMM201 said regarding reaching the end stage and there being less pain. I have not noticed him being in any. The tooth looks the same. I don't know what happened there, but I'm okay with choosing not to worry about it again until it comes up again. There is nothing else to be done anyway.

He has a big appointment this coming Wednesday. We have to take him to the far away vet (an hour) for an internal medicine recheck and a cardio recheck. He'll be there all afternoon, in order to get it all done in one trip, and my wife and I will have to just hang around the city for a while. It's going to be expensive as hell and stressful as hell. He does not do well with those long travel visits. And I am honestly just terrified of more hidden bad news. Every time we go it feels like more bad news surprises us, so I'm just scared. Dreading it. Worried the whole trip and testing is more stressful to him than it is even worth, but wanting him to be checked so we know his meds are okay right now. Most worried about his cardio exam, just because his heart disease is the one thing we aren't medicating and can't easily see. But his breathing at home has been normal, so I hope it hasn't progressed. Praying that the only added stress when we leave is the bill.

Thank you to everyone who may have had even just a passing thought of us. It's somehow so nice to know a stranger somewhere might have had a nice thought of us. Like a prayer up. I'm sitting on my laptop on the balcony right now, and he's doing what my wife and I like to call "shrimping" - he's lying in a relaxed little croissant shape next to me on the balcony rug, with his little pink toes and still-naked pink belly exposed (like a little pink shrimp). I struggled to get him to eat earlier but he had a little and he looks relaxed and adorable right now. That's a good thing.
 

WMM201

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rockitorknockit rockitorknockit this is a pretty positive update for Oscar, overall :) How much Cerenia and how often are you giving it? Maybe he needs more or more often for his appetite, since it looks like he's showing interest in the food but can't bring himself to eat it. Cerenia can be dosed up to 1 mg per pound of cat, and it lasts only about 6 hours apparently. The vet Mumu saw yesterday for her eyes said that Cerenia is one of the safer medications cats get, so it might be worth asking your vet if upping the dosage might help Oscar. My cat Mumu has been doing the same thing for the last week and half with her food, unfortunately, but she's actually gained a little weight so maybe she just doesn't feel the need for as much food? She got put on Cerenia and mirtazapine--just 5 days' worth. The mirtazapine also made her a little crazy, but apparently the dose the vet prescribed (1/4 of a 15 mg tablet or 3.75 mg) pretty commonly causes cats to have those reactions. 1/8 tablet dose (1.88 mg) or even 1 mg dose (1/15 tablet, like a crumb) apparently is just as effective in stimulating the appetite without causing those side effects. Maybe you can try that tiny does for Oscar when it's time for his next dose?

Are there any calming aids that might help Oscar on the car trips? Mumu also has to go on 75 min car ride to her eye specialist and I found that the larger the container she's in, the calmer she is. I use this one: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petco...KsL26jAG49AaI4XDivhoCq3AQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I set up a litter box on one end and a soft pad on the other end, and strap it in with seatbelts through the loops on the back. It takes up almost all the back seat but I transfer her to an actual carrier once we get to the vet. I spray the whole thing down with Feliway spray. On the car trip home (after any bloodtests are done) I put a little dish of food in there for her to eat. Mumu also does well in this carrier which is the one I take her inside the office in: PET GEAR VIEW 360 Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, Black - Chewy.com

It's pretty spacious for her (she's 9 lbs on a fat day) and she can stand up, lay down, etc. I put an extra foam pad on the bottom because it's pretty hard. This carrier is nice because the top part folds down halfway or entirely, and a lot of times the vets can examine her or do some simple procedures without taking her out. This also gets sprayed with Feliway.

I know all too well that it's hard not to worry about the kitty before a big trip or a major vet appointment, but try not to stress too much. Prepare a nice set up for him, and that's all you can control until the vets tell you more info. If the cardiology appointment gives you advice on any treatment (if it's even needed), that would be to help Oscar further. Oscar's now enjoying life, and his tooth isn't bothering him and those are great signs! You're doing everything possible for him and he knows it. Fingers crossed that his appointments will have positive news and that you won't need to bring him so far away for a long time after! That would be great for Oscar and the wallet (omg, the wallet!).
 
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rockitorknockit

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rockitorknockit rockitorknockit this is a pretty positive update for Oscar, overall :) How much Cerenia and how often are you giving it? Maybe he needs more or more often for his appetite, since it looks like he's showing interest in the food but can't bring himself to eat it. Cerenia can be dosed up to 1 mg per pound of cat, and it lasts only about 6 hours apparently. The vet Mumu saw yesterday for her eyes said that Cerenia is one of the safer medications cats get, so it might be worth asking your vet if upping the dosage might help Oscar. My cat Mumu has been doing the same thing for the last week and half with her food, unfortunately, but she's actually gained a little weight so maybe she just doesn't feel the need for as much food? She got put on Cerenia and mirtazapine--just 5 days' worth. The mirtazapine also made her a little crazy, but apparently the dose the vet prescribed (1/4 of a 15 mg tablet or 3.75 mg) pretty commonly causes cats to have those reactions. 1/8 tablet dose (1.88 mg) or even 1 mg dose (1/15 tablet, like a crumb) apparently is just as effective in stimulating the appetite without causing those side effects. Maybe you can try that tiny does for Oscar when it's time for his next dose?

Are there any calming aids that might help Oscar on the car trips? Mumu also has to go on 75 min car ride to her eye specialist and I found that the larger the container she's in, the calmer she is. I use this one: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/necoichi-portable-stress-free-cat-cage-3489251?mr:device=c&mr:adType=online&cm_mmc=PSH|GGL|SPP|SBU04|SH10|0|bLzCn1DTVhtU78RWchqwQH|58700007475444208|PRODUCT_GROUP|0|0|pla-1521365426637|132004614867|15085034778&gclid=CjwKCAjw2f-VBhAsEiwAO4lNeJrh3UsyM518UwpGPC7D45PxKj3lXtqphmHKsL26jAG49AaI4XDivhoCq3AQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I set up a litter box on one end and a soft pad on the other end, and strap it in with seatbelts through the loops on the back. It takes up almost all the back seat but I transfer her to an actual carrier once we get to the vet. I spray the whole thing down with Feliway spray. On the car trip home (after any bloodtests are done) I put a little dish of food in there for her to eat. Mumu also does well in this carrier which is the one I take her inside the office in: PET GEAR VIEW 360 Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, Black - Chewy.com

It's pretty spacious for her (she's 9 lbs on a fat day) and she can stand up, lay down, etc. I put an extra foam pad on the bottom because it's pretty hard. This carrier is nice because the top part folds down halfway or entirely, and a lot of times the vets can examine her or do some simple procedures without taking her out. This also gets sprayed with Feliway.

I know all too well that it's hard not to worry about the kitty before a big trip or a major vet appointment, but try not to stress too much. Prepare a nice set up for him, and that's all you can control until the vets tell you more info. If the cardiology appointment gives you advice on any treatment (if it's even needed), that would be to help Oscar further. Oscar's now enjoying life, and his tooth isn't bothering him and those are great signs! You're doing everything possible for him and he knows it. Fingers crossed that his appointments will have positive news and that you won't need to bring him so far away for a long time after! That would be great for Oscar and the wallet (omg, the wallet!).
Coming late now, but I wanted to let you know this post was super helpful for me when you sent it. You have been amazingly helpful through all of this!!! THANK YOU.

To answer some of your questions - Oscar is taking 8mg of cerenia by pill every night. He's been hovering around 8 pounds for a while so we have not adjusted that. However, now he's heading back toward 10 pounds (fingers crossed). Regardless, it seems to work so well with preventing vomitting that I occasionally toy with the idea of not giving it to him at all because I am not positive he needs it. He has only vomited, like, once in the past several months, and it was because he swallowed wrong. However, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hearing your vet say it's one of the safer meds makes me feel better about just continuing to give it to him (even though it's so expensive, cry). I've questioned the efficacy of it with his actual nausea at times, and for that I do have some zofran on hand when he really looks puny. But now that we've found a food that sits better with him, he spends way less time being nauseous in general (except for those couple of post-chemo days).

I love the first carrier you linked to. It's huge! And could totally sit in the back of my car. The carrier I have is made for a medium sized dog, so it's pretty big. I pack it with towels and always some clothes of mine that are dirty (smell more like me). That way he has space to move around but doesn't get hurt if he gets jostled and falls over on the car ride. Feliway might be something to try - I've never really bothered with it but it wouldn't hurt.

All of this being said - we are post-appointment now. Oscar didn't love the ride there, but he tolerated it better this time than last because he's generally in better condition now than he was last time. There is so much I could say about that day and those appointments and last week as a whole, but...

TL;DR: Both the internal medicine doctor and cardiologist said he looks "pretty good" and... STABLE!!!!!! WEEEHHEEEE!!!! YAHHOO WOOHOO! My wife and I could not be happier. It's made me feel SO MUCH LESS worried.

Internal medicine said he'd gained almost a pound and seems to be doing okay with no new obviously bad changes.
Cardiology said his heart thickening and murmur are identical to his last check 8 months ago, which means his heart disease is not progressing at this time and she considers his gut issues the more focal concern.

Regarding his food pickiness, they suggested just continuing what I'm doing since it is working. Since the appointment, he's been great about eating 3 full cans of biome a day as long as I mix in a half a spoon of a/d, some fortiflora, and puree it all together in a blender (he has always been a boy who hates chunks - he likes his wet food WET and his hard food HARD). He supplements this with some of the hard biome food as well, especially at night while I am sleeping. He's actually eating pretty well, so the cost and effort seem worth it. I am especially pleased the a/d is not ruining his poops.

Two points to consider/worry about now -
They want to try and lower the steroid dose from 5mg once a day to 2.5mg especially due to his heart disease. I am super nervous about this and made another post about it here on the forum.
They really want me to explore getting that loose upper right canine extracted (which requires anesthesia). I have no idea what to do about this but I am trying not to just ignore it (which would be easy since he seems totally fine).

I have to run now but just wanted to share the relieving, good news here. And if anyone has tips on tapering the prednisolone, let me know...
 

Margot Lane

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Makes my heart soar and my eyes water to know your Oscar is doing better. It really sounds as if you have excellent vets. I cannot speak to lowering the pred since my cat doesn't have heart disease, and probably feel they know best on this one, but just to say we tried tapering it from 5mg and he started getting runny poop again, so we’re still on 5mg a day. If it were me, I’d chance tapering it, very slowly, since the heart is something serious to consider, and they have mentioned it more than once. I won’t give ANY advice about the tooth. That’s between you, Oscar and the vet. I would just sit down, weigh all the options, listen every single thing they say, take a deep breath and do what your heart says. All you can do is your best, and I think the vet would not extract a tooth if they felt it was really dangerous.
 

WMM201

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Coming late now, but I wanted to let you know this post was super helpful for me when you sent it. You have been amazingly helpful through all of this!!! THANK YOU.

To answer some of your questions - Oscar is taking 8mg of cerenia by pill every night. He's been hovering around 8 pounds for a while so we have not adjusted that. However, now he's heading back toward 10 pounds (fingers crossed). Regardless, it seems to work so well with preventing vomitting that I occasionally toy with the idea of not giving it to him at all because I am not positive he needs it. He has only vomited, like, once in the past several months, and it was because he swallowed wrong. However, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hearing your vet say it's one of the safer meds makes me feel better about just continuing to give it to him (even though it's so expensive, cry). I've questioned the efficacy of it with his actual nausea at times, and for that I do have some zofran on hand when he really looks puny. But now that we've found a food that sits better with him, he spends way less time being nauseous in general (except for those couple of post-chemo days).

I love the first carrier you linked to. It's huge! And could totally sit in the back of my car. The carrier I have is made for a medium sized dog, so it's pretty big. I pack it with towels and always some clothes of mine that are dirty (smell more like me). That way he has space to move around but doesn't get hurt if he gets jostled and falls over on the car ride. Feliway might be something to try - I've never really bothered with it but it wouldn't hurt.

All of this being said - we are post-appointment now. Oscar didn't love the ride there, but he tolerated it better this time than last because he's generally in better condition now than he was last time. There is so much I could say about that day and those appointments and last week as a whole, but...

TL;DR: Both the internal medicine doctor and cardiologist said he looks "pretty good" and... STABLE!!!!!! WEEEHHEEEE!!!! YAHHOO WOOHOO! My wife and I could not be happier. It's made me feel SO MUCH LESS worried.

Internal medicine said he'd gained almost a pound and seems to be doing okay with no new obviously bad changes.
Cardiology said his heart thickening and murmur are identical to his last check 8 months ago, which means his heart disease is not progressing at this time and she considers his gut issues the more focal concern.

Regarding his food pickiness, they suggested just continuing what I'm doing since it is working. Since the appointment, he's been great about eating 3 full cans of biome a day as long as I mix in a half a spoon of a/d, some fortiflora, and puree it all together in a blender (he has always been a boy who hates chunks - he likes his wet food WET and his hard food HARD). He supplements this with some of the hard biome food as well, especially at night while I am sleeping. He's actually eating pretty well, so the cost and effort seem worth it. I am especially pleased the a/d is not ruining his poops.

Two points to consider/worry about now -
They want to try and lower the steroid dose from 5mg once a day to 2.5mg especially due to his heart disease. I am super nervous about this and made another post about it here on the forum.
They really want me to explore getting that loose upper right canine extracted (which requires anesthesia). I have no idea what to do about this but I am trying not to just ignore it (which would be easy since he seems totally fine).

I have to run now but just wanted to share the relieving, good news here. And if anyone has tips on tapering the prednisolone, let me know...
Amazing update!! I am so glad Oscar is stable and looks good to the vets, is putting on weight, and even did better on the car ride!! What a fantastic bunch of news! Like Margot Lane Margot Lane said, whether to extract the tooth should be guided by you and the vet and how Oscar is feeling. If the specialist vets feel like he would be safe to undergo this procedure, then it leaves you the option to make the decision when you feel comfortable. And for the questions about the prednisolone, if they are concerned about it for the heart issues, then it's probably worth trying. The dosage can always be adjusted if need be (always under the advice of the specialists). But this is so great!! So happy for you and Oscar!
 

cat nap

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Internal medicine said he'd gained almost a pound and seems to be doing okay with no new obviously bad changes.
Cardiology said his heart thickening and murmur are identical to his last check 8 months ago, which means his heart disease is not progressing at this time and she considers his gut issues the more focal concern.
Two points to consider/worry about now -
They want to try and lower the steroid dose from 5mg once a day to 2.5mg especially due to his heart disease. I am super nervous about this and made another post about it here on the forum.
They really want me to explore getting that loose upper right canine extracted (which requires anesthesia). I have no idea what to do about this but I am trying not to just ignore it (which would be easy since he seems totally fine).
Such a great update on your Oscar. :) :thumbsup::yess:

With the tapering of the pred, I would ask the Vet Specialists,...if it could be done with the slowest tapering method possible...so that Oscar's body has time to adjust.

Also, since both Internal medicine and Cardiologist, are at the same place, then perhaps they can consult, and come up with a specific personal plan for Oscar, to not disrupt...any of the gains which have helped Oscar to become Stable.

Tell them your concerns about 'how best to slowly taper Oscar', and what that would potentially look like, too.
And if they can 'explain different scenarios for you',...so that it makes it easier to decide,...plus it makes it easier to understand how a 'slow approach'...would be different than a quicker one.
Basically, you are just explaining your worries and concerns to them, since Oscar is stable,...and how slowly tapering his pred would affect him,...and what to look out for.
 
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