A year ago, I changed Cinnamon to a grain-free diet to see if a decrease in carbohydrate content would help her lose weight; I decreased the amount of her dry food to ½ cup per day and increased her wet food servings at the recommendation of our vet (I had noticed some bad breath and was concerned re: her teeth. They were fine, but our vet suggested the dry food could contribute to her bad breath).
In the last couple of months Cinnamon’s water consumption has increased. On the one hand, she was less energetic, which I expected at age 17. On the other, she still had occasional bursts of running spells up and down the hall. She continued to love hanging out on the floor with us as we did our yoga stretches, rubbing against us and purring. She still taunted me by biting my head when I was lying down stretching, inevitably being in the way of me doing my complete stretch. I knew with her age and the increased drinking that kidney disease may become a concern.
The news came back over the phone an hour later as a shock. Her blood work showed an increased number of white blood cells, and a very low red cell count. This means Cinnamon is very anemic. According to the Montrose vet, there was no sign of infection in Cinnamon’s urinalysis, no fever. She believes from looking at the white cells on a slide that Cinnamon has leukemia or lymphoma. Needless to say, this is not what I expected to hear. In addition, she does have early kidney disease. The Montrose veterinarian said we could send the slide to pathology for a definitive cancer diagnosis, but she felt pretty certain looking at the slide that Cinnamon had cancer. She also indicated it was just a matter of what killed Cinnamon first. Ridiculously, in my shock and emotional state, I said she didn’t need to send the slide. I liked the vet when I saw her, but I was struck on the phone by the matter-of-fact way she delivered her information, devoid of compassion.
Hope! A direction! After asking the Montrose vet to prescribe B 12 injections, my husband, Tom, drove back to Montrose to get the B 12 so I could give it to Cinnamon in the camper without moving her. Cinnamon gradually improved over the next few days (which I attribute to being further away from receiving fluids and perhaps to the Pepcid—the B 12 can take a week or so, I understand). I also found a chewable multi-vitamin with iron that may also help her anemia.
Thank you all for your suggestions, offers of information, for caring.