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Old 01-02-2020, 10:12 PM
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Default Update on Laurel's atopy

Laurel's nutriscan showed that she does not have any food allergies or sensitivities, so I took her in to the holistic vet to be tested for environmental allergies today. Surprisingly, they charged me $200 and the conventional vet had quoted me $500.

I have never had to deal with a family member with a chronic illness before, but I am trying to be honest with the doctors about my financial situation. Laurel is not purebred so I don't think looking for another home for her is going to be a viable solution.

She is on cytopoint and yes, I have read all the horror stories on the internet, but at this point she would die without it.

She has had extreme pruritis since shortly after receiving her final puppy shots at 16 weeks of age. Chocolate also has much milder allergy symptoms.

I'm still hoping it turns out to be something simple, like the wrong brand of laundry detergent.
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Laurel: born 9/1/18, 7 lbs, my homegrown
Chocolate: born 10/4/18, 9.5 lbs, rescued from DV situation
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:40 AM
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Both you and Laurel will be in my prayers.
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"There’s no changing people, and we can’t even help people with whom we’re emotionally involved. Let them be, stop expecting things from people who cannot provide those things, and recognize that we can live happy, productive lives regardless of what others, even close relatives, are doing or saying."
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:17 PM
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Thank you. We finally, finally have some answers but they aren't easy ones.

Laurel was tested for the most common local environmental allergens. She is, to put it bluntly, allergic to everything. Immunotherapy could take up to a year to show any improvement and there is a 50% chance of her being completely cured, a 25% chance that she will show significant improvement, and a 25% chance that I will have to be responsible for determining whether she is getting enough pleasure out of life to justify how painful it will always be for her.

I am not currently actively looking for a new owner for Laurel with deeper pockets, but of course that is ALWAYS a preferable option to euthanizing an otherwise healthy animal with a chronic medical condition.

The real shocker, which I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around, is that most of Laurel's allergies are fairly mild and shouldn't bre causing such an extreme reaction except for two of them.

One of them is oak. There isn't a whole lot of oak around here.

The other is cats.

I'm not currently actively trying to rehome my cat. The furbabies are very tightly bonded. Laurel dry nursed that kitten. She was already on cytopoint and I was already trying to come up with the $$$ for tesyting anfd immunotherapy when we adopted Willow, which was why I had to do spay and neuter clinic and all the low income stuff in the first place, or I couldn't have afforded the kitten.

There was already cat dander in my house (but not my car) from the previous cat. Both of my next-door neighbours have indoor/outdoor cats. There is less cat dander in the forest, so of course her allergies weren't as bad when I was living in my car, but the house, and quite frankly the entire county, is too covered with cat dander for Laurel to have reasonable quality of life without the immunotherapy even if i DID rehome my cat.

I would have expected her atopy to go through the roof when I brought the kitten in, but it didn't, it just got slowly and progressively worse as Willow got bigger and bigger. She's almost full grown so we're probably at maximum cat dander right now, assuming I go on a cleaning frenzy after I finish this post and get funds to start immunotherapy asap.

Has anybody else ever been in this situation and decided to keep both pets? I'm getting one of these:

https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/15/dog-h...lkies-7633949/

when I can afford it, but I'm putting it on Laurel and not Willow. Cats aren't dogs and I think it would be cruel to do it the other way around.

She's also going on Benadryl. Her tearstains have gotten a lot worse, cytopoint loses effectiveness over time, and benadryl just plain isn't that dangerous. If it makes her sleepy, I'll only give it to her at bedtime.
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Laurel: born 9/1/18, 7 lbs, my homegrown
Chocolate: born 10/4/18, 9.5 lbs, rescued from DV situation
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  #4  
Old Today, 07:34 PM
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Laurel is wearing the lycra bodysuit now and Chocolate is itching enough that I would have put her on Cytopoint if I was new to this. I'm going to hold off as long as possible, but she will also need to be tested and then go on immunotherapy at some point. Cats aren't immune to allergies either. Every time anyone scratches, I panic.

I bathed the cat yesterday, and it wasn't anywhere near as horrible as I expected. Willow is a weird cat, but of course anyone who loves kitties knows that "weird cat" is a redundancy. I found out about a product called "allerpet" that you put on the cat to make the dander stick to the fur instead of getting into the air. It has good reviews as far as helping people.

Laurel is still itching a lot, but she is so happy and friendly and full of joy most of the time that I think she does get enough pleasure out of life for it to be worth the pain. Chocolate is more delicate because of her previous trauma, so I need to remember that and balance it with the scary stories on the internet about cytopoint.

There is a 50% chance that, after a year of immunotherapy, Laurel will be essentially cured and will live a normal, happy, rest of her life. There is also a somethingorother percent chance that Choccie is only mildly allergic to something that might even be seasonal and that all she actually needs is more regular bathing and grooming and perhaps a bit of benadryl once in awhile.

It's nice to know Laurel can eat anything she wants. We've moved on from prepared raw to grocery store meats and EZComplete. I hope to find better, locally sourced, humanely raised and euthanized meats in the future.
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Laurel: born 9/1/18, 7 lbs, my homegrown
Chocolate: born 10/4/18, 9.5 lbs, rescued from DV situation
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