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The Health Journey Of Thuthan The Cat- IBD, CKD, Arthritis, Sterile Cystitis, Food Allergies, And Chronic UTIs

This is the story of Thuthan, or Thuthan Von Nubbinth, or Susan with a lisp. Thuthan was an owner surrender to a Kansas City shelter in 2019. She had a cleft lip, was declawed on all four paws, a nub tail, and two collapsed ears. She was transferred over to Denver and adopted out through a Petco in short order. Not long after, her old shelter found her on Craigslist beaten, dejected, and abused. She was taken back in and that’s when we met. Thuthan was six pounds, couldn’t meow, and had been through hell. We adopted her thinking she had a rough life but was otherwise healthy. Unfortunately, within 24 hours she was peeing blood and having explosive diarrhea. Over the course of three years our little bean has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, sterile cystitis, chronic UTI’s, and arthritis. She’s had multiple intensive care stays for pyelonephritis (kidney infections) and intense IBD flare ups. Her veterinary staff ADORE her and follow her closely on social media despite her being a well known “fractious” patient. Today, Thuthan is a 12 pound girl with a sizable snack pouch, a sparkling personality, and more love than I could ever imagine. She’s gone viral on TikTok for slapping a salad out of my hand, has stickers that have found their way around the world, a respectable social media following, been painted by a famous cat painter on instagram, and most of all, is the absolute love of my life. She inspires me every day with her fight and grit, and I couldn’t be more honored to have her in my life. She’s my little soulmate. Thuthan Thtrong! Pet Parent- Olivia


Arthritis in Cats

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex condition involving inflammation and degeneration of one or more joints. It is sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease (DJD). Cats with OA experience pain and inflammation in various joints that interfere with daily activities. OA is diagnosed through a thorough physical examination, palpation (feeling with the fingers to localize pain and determine its intensity), and additional diagnostics, including radiographs (X-rays) or other imaging technology. About 90% of cats over the age of 10 years experience OA in at least one joint.

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Causes of Arthritis in Cats

Arthritis can occur without known reasons, although genetics may play a role. This type is most associated with aging. Arthritis can also occur after an injury to the joint. These injuries can be minor in nature, and could be caused by:

  • Ligament injury (such as ACL tear)

  • Immune-mediated diseases, such as immune-mediated non-erosive polyarthritis
  • Tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease

  • Direct trauma (such as a car accidents or a fall)

  • Infection

  • Congenital defect

Arthritis progresses due to the nature of the joint itself. After an injury, the cartilage releases enzymes within the joint that cause further breakdown of the cartilage and collagen, resulting in more inflammation.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition in which a cat’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract becomes chronically irritated and inflamed.  Inflammatory cells infiltrate the walls of the GI tract, thickening them and disrupting the ability of the GI tract to properly digest and absorb food. Cats of any age can be affected by IBD, but the disease occurs most often in middle-aged and older cats. While the cause of IBD is unknown, current evidence suggests that it arises from a complex abnormal interaction between the immune system, diet, bacterial populations in the intestines, and other environmental factors. Based upon similarities to IBD in people and dogs, genetic abnormalities of the immune system are also thought to play a role in feline IBD.

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