Piper - Update 5

This is an update on the story of the gorgeous little Piper as we try our utmost to unravel her medical mysteries. See her story here: Piper - Fundraiser

Hello to all of you. It has been a long time between posts and though things have been quiet online, a lot has been happening behind the scenes with Piper.

Piper has had her ups and downs throughout this time and quite a few avenues have been taken.

She did do very well with her acupressure and started acupuncture in late January. She was (and still is) having intention tremors and has been quite unstable when walking and falling to the left.

After three sessions of each, her carer could see some improvement though unfortunately the amount of sessions needed with Piper's current state to have a measurable effect was far too expensive.

During this time, Piper also had her 6 week follow-up blood test after starting the medication for her liver. The results sadly showed no improvement in any of her readings and it was thus decided to take her off the medication as it was serving no purpose other than stress as she hated taking it, to combine acupuncture with hydrotherapy and take her to a medication specialist referred to us by another rescue group.

Piper and hydrotherapy unfortunately were not a great match. Though initially she was doing okay with the vest, once she was taken into the bath she started to get stressed even without water in it and would not walk on the treadmill. After a discussion with staff, it was decided that Piper would commence physiotherapy instead.

In late February, Piper was seen at Melbourne Cat Vets and after her numerous results and reports from both her vet and the previous specialist were reviewed, it was decided to start Piper on treatment for FIP (feline intraperitoneal peritonitis). FIP is a fatal disease unless treated and though we had initially been lead to believe that FIP had all but been ruled out, there is actually no truely definitive way to exclude it other than to treat for it.

"When in doubt, treat the cat" - FIP Cats Australia.

Piper is such a frail girl that ruling out what we can with medication rather than putting her under more general anaesthesic, through further diagnostic testing and/or turning to more invasive procedures, is the wiser option.

Piper is doing well taking her new medication and though we have not seen a vast improvement in her, it will be a few weeks before we know if it is having any impact. As a support, Piper started physiotherapy fortnightly with the addition of daily home exercises and although there were improvements while she was having acupuncture, that has been put on hold until there has been a significant improvement in her mobility.

Her first physiotherapy session went better than her second, though she did get extremely frustrated at times.

The improvement from her first session was wonderful, but like with all of her treatments, it wasn't long before she started to show signs of struggle again. Piper had not been doing great with her daily exercises (some she absolutely loves, others result in her getting grumpy and biting her carer) and while both Piper and her carer have persevered, Piper is still struggling with her mobility. She was fitted for a wheelchair at her second session but that did not go well as the ones designed for cats are far too fiddly resulting in her squirming out of it so she may be fitted for one for a dog if they make one small enough at her next session. She has been given a new exercise plan with some new equipment and will now be having physiotherapy twice a week with a senior therapist.

There are many signs of the old Piper shining through, from being willing to chew her food again (her food was having to be pureed for a few weeks), drinking while standing and even playing with toys again. All of this, no matter how small it seems, is progress and her carer believes that once she gets some strength back to her little body, she will be unstoppable. Though very much a mystery case, Piper is determined, a bright and alert girl, curious about everything, it is just her little body that is letting her down and the frustration shows in her. It is now and remains a waiting game, but hopefully, we will start to see some wonderful progress in the coming weeks.

Piper has a follow-up appointment with Melbourne Cat Vets on Tuesday where her medication is discussed again.

Helping Hands Animal Rescue is once again asking that if you are able to help with the cost of Piper's medical treatments, that you please make a tax-deductible donation.

The cost of acupuncture is $150 a session, physiotherapy $126 a session and the FIP medication (84-day course) comes in at $808.17 every 25ml (dosage 1ml per day) as it is a compounded medication.

We sadly have no more funds to put toward Piper and have had no further donations since our last post leaving the donated total at $1855. Piper deserves every chance at a wonderful life and has shown she has a lot of fight in her. Please, help us continue to help her. If you can't donate, please share.

Direct Deposit

Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633 000
ACC: 180 952 418

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live, the people of the nation and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

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