My Cat Has Gallstones. I Am at a Loss.

dsMy cat is sick. It’s a long story that starts with an emergency trip to the vet the day before I left for vacation, and ends…well…it hasn’t ended yet. As it turns out she has stones in her pancreatic and bile ducts. This is very unusual, and could be caused by a range of things from infection (not a big deal) to liver cancer (very big deal). The only way to know for sure what is causing these stones is an expensive and invasive surgery.

I am conflicted, to say the least.

There are meds that can break up the stones, but she reacted badly to them. She had gotten much better on antibiotics, and when the Ursodiol was introduced, she stopped eating again and had loose stools. We quickly discontinued the meds. She’s back to feeling good on her meds, but the stones will continue to present a problem as long as they are in there. They could move and cause other problems and pain. They could also continue to get infected, wreaking havoc every few weeks or months. And of course, we still don’t know what caused them in the first place so there may be underlying issues.

And there in lies one of the biggest parts of my conundrum. Putting a cat with liver cancer through an expensive and invasive surgery seems silly. It would greatly affect her quality life, and probably not prolong her life in any significant way. (I’ve seen too many people suffer through Chemo to put an animal through it.) On the other hand, if this was just an infection (or autoimmune, or structural) it seems cruel not to find a way to get the surgery and let her go on living her life.

While I flounder around trying to decide what to do, I’ve been trying to explore homeopathic remedies. One woman wanted $500 just for the initial consult but promised she could get good results. She was also about an hour away, and her tone was irksome. But I did find a vet who employs acupuncture (who knows how you get a cat to sit still for that), herbal remedies, and lasers to treat animals in a non-traditional way. The lasers are what appealed to me. It seems like a nice compromise. It allows us to get rid of the stones, without cutting open my cat. If the only problem was an infection, then we’re in the clear. If it was liver cancer, then we’ll have bigger problems down the road. If it was something in between, well I fully intend on keeping her on some of the herbal supplements she’s on to support her liver and its other organs.

So I have so many questions for you, dear readers? Have you ever had a cat with this problem? How did you address it? Have you had good luck with homeopathy or lasers or should I just find a way to get her the surgery?

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