In February 09, this crust started breaking out on her face. It started on her chin and moved up to her nose and then her ears. I took her to the vet, who really didn't know what the heck was going on, but she was given a steroid shot and an antibiotic and it cleared up.
She had another outbreak 6 months later, same treatment given, it cleared up.
She had another outbreak 4 months after that, but this time the (new) vet cultured it. It came back inconclusive and he did some research and determined that he thought it was pemphigus. Everything I read about pemphigus generally fit with what seemed to be happening with Sadie, so we treated it as usual (steroids + antibiotic) and she cleared up.
She had one more outbreak about 3 months after that and then didn't have another one for a year.
We are still fighting this one and have been for a month. Now our vet has moved away (and I want to cry, he was amazing) and there are 3 part time vets rotating through the clinic.
Sadie was first treated with just a steroid shot by vet 1. It began to clear up then started progressing again.
She was then given a bigger steroid shot by vet 1 with a round of antibiotics. Sadie, who has never been difficult to give a liquid medicine to, refused to take the antibiotic (I'm pretty sure I'll have scars on my arms as a testament of her refusal). But the sores were clearing up, so I thought we'd be ok. Then the sores got worse again.
Back to the vet, this time we saw vet 2 who was pretty convinced that the antibiotic was the missing key to getting her well. He gave me pills. He showed me how to get them down her. It looked easy. It was not. I didn't successfully get one down her throat (well, I did get one but she went and hacked the thing up as soon as she was out of my arms).
I took her back to the vet again. I don't have time to stay with her this time, so I drop her off. Vet 2 calls me, can't believe how awful she looks, does NOT think what she has in pemphigus. He thinks it is fungal. All they have the anti-fungal med in is a pill. I told him to keep her over the long weekend (this was Friday) to get her started and he said he'd call in to our local compounding pharmacy to get a liquid made. Liquid wouldn't be ready until Tuesday and would cost about $60 and could they let the groomer clean her up. Sure.
So dh goes to get her on Tuesday and vet 3 is there. Vet 3 is a cat specialist (maybe not a designated specialist, but he worked on specifically cats for 40 years). He thinks Sadie has ringworm. This is odd, he says, b/c older animals (including people) don't typically get ringworm. It is even odder than none of your children have it. Something is seriously wacked with this cat's immune system. Vet 3 thinks that Sadie has some sort of undiscovered kind of feline cancer or autoimmune disorder.
If you made it through that, you get a cookie.
So I don't know what to do. Sadie is acting ok, certainly not her usual self though. She ate dinner last night but refused breakfast the last two days. I've only seen her come out of hiding twice since she's been home (she's been out to the litter box only once that I've seen). I'm having trouble getting the antibiotic down her (it doesn't help that dh is an ass about vet care and gets fed up with helping me in under 2 minutes; I'm going to hook my sitter into helping me today). The antifungal should be ready today, also a liquid. I'm going to get some topical antifungal as well.
We can't afford to shell out much more money. We've unloaded close to $300 or $400 as it is.
I'm tempted to put her down. Is that terrible of me? I want her to live, but not like this. And if she's got some sort of terrible autoimmune disease or cancer, it is just going to get worse.
Talk me through it.