Millie’s kidneys are OK…

We want to say a very big thank you to all the vets, those with veterinary friends and those who know about and love cats who got in touch with us. We have been overwhelmed by your support, suggestions and love since our first plea for help.

The plan is now to stay at Kota Kinabalu where Millie is receiving private, detailed treatment until the situation is resolved.

A couple of days ago we started letting her off the boat, accompanied by one of us, in the mornings and late afternoons here in Sutera Harbour Marina. Millie loves it and perks right up watching the fish in the clear water.

She loved it so much that last night she managed to squeeze her thin body out of one of the side portlights to freedom. We don’t know what happened, but when Jamie found her this morning (using her tracker) she was soaking wet apart from the top of her back and head. She got a good dunk and wash in freshwater in the sink for her pains. It appears she’s still got that naughty/adventurous streak in her!

Bedraggled after a good scrub

Dr Gillian Norbert-Tikun of Loch 11 Animal Clinic is treating her. Gillian was trained in Edinburgh, is a member of the RCVS and has given us confidence in her attention to detail and knowledge. We spent two and a half hours with her earlier this week, having forwarded her the full history of Millie’s case along with the previous three blood test results, which Gillian told us was useful.

The new blood tests further suggested that it is not the kidneys which are causing Millie’s degeneration. Gillian said there was an indication of jaundice in the blood work she did and we confirmed that although Millie’s mouth and nose are not yellow they have lost her usual pinkness. This tipped Gillian into thinking there could be a liver problem.

Thyroid function, according to the blood tests, is normal.

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We spent a lot of time looking at Millie with an ultrasound. Pancreas is intact, in good order with no sign of inflammation or unusual readings. Kidneys are a good shape. Liver was OK. The gall bladder had a curious white mass inside about the size of a small coin, which made her first wonder if the problem is a parasite. She does not believe it is a tumour. The scan showed no blockage in Millie’s intestines.

Millie continues to refuse all food, but has been tempted by a teaspoon of cooked chicken breast a couple of times.

We have upped the daily water and food intake.

We are now administering Sanylin, doxycycline and mirtazapine. While Gillian is trying to find a safe drug to counter any potential parasite in the liver, she has added a vitamin E supplement, Fenbendazole and Prednisyn to Millie’s regimen.

Later urine samples from Millie were good news re her kidneys, Gillian emailed to say the “…reports for the urine protein level – represented in ‘urine protein creatinine ratio’. Anything under 0.5 is normal. Both of Millie’s sample read 0.2 only 🙂 meaning we don’t have a protein-losing kidney issue (which usually indicates ongoing inflammation and not a good sign at all).”

So there you have it. Our entire focus is on Millie now. Her regimen starts at 07:00 and finishes at 21:00, leaving little time for us to do anything else. But we will do whatever we can and whatever it costs to get her better. Not sure how long the process will take, but we will not give up hope until all avenues have been explored and tested.

Gillian is determined to get Millie well again and signed off her last email, “…thank you for letting us be a part of this. Please send Millie our love! Warm regards, Gillian”

Drying off in the sun

We managed to send copies of the first three blood tests to some of you, but being at anchor between Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah hasn’t made it easy. We’re now in a good place to send those reports + the latest ones from Millie’s newest (and, we believe, best) vet here in Kota Kinabalu. If you would like to see the new blood tests, or all the blood tests + the new tests, please drop us a line to liz@followtheboat.com and we’ll reply when we can.

Once again, we can only wonder at the incredibly kind and generous people who have given their time in to trying to help us.

Thank you,

Liz, Jamie and Millie

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2 Comments on “Millie’s kidneys are OK…”

  1. I wonder if Millie could have been infected by a parasite from one of the suicidal fishes that she eats off the deck. I know that Clonorchis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonorchis_sinensis are common in Asia and they can lodge in the gallbladder of humans…but, cats…I am not sure.

    Edit: “Other definitive hosts are fish-eating mammals such as dogs, cats, rats, pigs, badgers, weasels, camels, and buffaloes.”

    1. I think this is entirely possible. A liver parasite is almost certainly top of the list. We’ll find out more when we see the vet again, hopefully this week.

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