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What is this?
Several months ago, I took my Siamese cat Jasmine to the vet for her dental cleaning. While she was under anesthesia, the veterinarian was able to take this picture of a growth on her tongue. They took a biopsy of the lesion to rule out cancer. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that helps to fight off infections. If too many build up, they can cause inflammation. Shortly after we noticed her tongue lesion, she started swelling around her lips. She was constantly scratching her mouth which ended up bleeding, and along her ears that were turning raw. During that time, she was also going outside as it was summer and she loved to explore. She was eating grass, sleeping under a forest of Hostas and getting into who knows what. Dealing with cat allergies can be frustrating and difficult.
The next steps
Jasmine was started on a steroid and we had to switch her to a hydrolyzed protein food. We found the best price at Chewy.com. If you’ve never been to that site, I’d highly advise you check them out. It took me several years before I looked into them, and I really did get a better deal on her prescription food compared to the vet office. They also have non-prescription items. I’m kind of embarrassed I haven’t used them sooner, seeing how I claim to be a crazy cat lady!
Getting back to Jasmine, after several weeks of being on the steroid, her lesion didn’t exactly go down, but it didn’t continue to grow either. We were told to watch her to make sure she continued to eat and didn’t have any problems with bathing herself. The problem, though, just like with humans, being on a steroid long term has potentially negative effects. For felines, this could include problems such as onset of diabetes and kidney disease. I’ve had one cat with diabetes in the past. I really don’t want to go through that again, or have the cat go through it either.
Siamese cats are presumed to be predisposed to respiratory problems and cat allergies, even though that’s not exactly proven in the literature. But, Jasmine has asthma, so I am going to agree with this theory. Yet, since being on medication for her eosinophil, she’s not had any asthma attacks. I would like to also hope the hydrolyzed protein diet is part of the positive change as well.
That Siamese voice!
In addition to having her allergy problems, she is also a very vocal cat. Have you ever heard a Siamese cat meow? It’s a low, raspy “rrroew” as opposed to your typical “meow”. At least, that’s how Jasmine speaks. One night, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I heard a child in my house (I have no kids)! I woke up to someone saying loudly “No! No! No!” in raspy voice in 3 different declining pitches immediately followed by an empty “hack hack hack” then hairball expulsion!
It was terrifying, then hilarious. She decided from that moment on, her precursor to hairball elimination is this little verbal act of declaration. It has, on numerous occasions, allowed me the time to find her and move her onto the tile flooring. As we all know, if an animal is going to throw up or defecate, it’ll be on the carpet for sure.
Have you seen the cross-eyed Siamese cats? Jasmine is a chocolate Siamese, definitely not a show breed. She has too many allergies and a pair of crossed-eyes. When I first adopted her, I remember she would be sitting on the floor rreowing at me, but I kept looking behind myself because it looked like she was looking behind me. Turns out, one eye was, one eye wasn’t! I finally figured out her head positioning as she spoke to me. It was a learning curve. I looked into why Siamese cats are prone to having crossed-eyes and here’s what I learned. It’s genetic. That’s it. For show cats, it is “bred out”. What’s not bred out? The cat allergies.
Jasmine has entered the geriatric stage of life, so I am sure there will be more issues around the corner. Pets are our furbabies and offer us such unconditional love. This one has traveled with me across the country, lived with me in Arkansas, New Mexico and Ohio. Another post I’ll share stories of my days of working as a traveling Speech-Language Pathologist. Jasmine sat up front with me on the long drives, stared out the window like she was a dog, and kept me company when I knew no one. If you have a pet, you know exactly what I mean.
To Wrap Up
If you are thinking about adopting a cat, the Siamese breed are exceptionally smart and great with people, but of course do your own research. Animal shelters are bursting with all breeds in hopes of finding their forever families. I’ll add another post of Jasmine’s journey in the near future. Until then, check back often, and leave me a comment if you will. I’d love to have you say hi!
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