Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vet bills and strep throat

A little while back, I wrote about my cat being ill.

We were having a rough stretch. One which may be coming to a close (knock on wood!).

Turbo (aka "The New Kitten") first had an irritated intestine (I will spare you the sign that told me to take him to the vet) and was put on an antibiotic for 10 days; just when those 10 days were up, his right front paw was swollen and I had to take him back in. More antibiotics and diagnostic cultures. When that antibiotic was done, the paw was swollen in a different area; I took him back in. They put him on a different antibiotic. The cultures were negative, so no answers as to why the paw is swollen. Fast forward to today, the paw is still swollen, and I need to take him to a dermatologist (A VETERINARY DERMATOLOGIST... OF ALL THE...), but you'll soon understand that I am taking a break from vet visits and vet bills. He is a very lively kitten (one might call him a maniac), so the paw doesn't seem to be bothering him. Still, this task is on my list.

While all this swollen paw business was going on with Turbo, we noticed that our 11-year-old cat Dino was not acting right. He wasn't sitting in our laps, he was just staying to himself under a chair in the living room or under our bed. Then we noticed he was walking really shakily and slowly, the bones in his back were very sharp when I petted him, and he was throwing up fizzy bubbles. I decided to keep him in my room with his own food and litter, to see if he was eating. This experiment shows that he was NOT eating.

I took him to the vet. They wanted to run a lot of tests. I picked a few of them. They gave me some pills to give him - including an appetite stimulant and anti-nausea medication. Shortly thereafter (I had only given him one dose, and it was impossible getting that pill down his throat - I'm not sure I was successful), they called me report that all of the tests had come back negative; they wanted more tests. They scared me with this fact: cats go into liver failure very quickly if they don't eat. I gave Dino 24 hours to see if the appetite stimulant would get him to eat. No dice.

Back to the vet. We decided to admit him for hospitalization so that they could put him on an I.V. They ran more tests. The money was flying out of my bank account.

After Day 1 of hospitalization (I pre-paid for 2 days), they called me with an update. The tests were negative. They could do another test. He still wasn't eating. I had some questions for them: "What would you recommend if I don't have any more money?" and "If we were to do this other test, and it came back positive, what would we do to treat it?"

The answer to both questions was "keep doing what we're doing." Well, that answers that! We did not do the other test.

I went to visit him during Day 2, and brought him some tuna. He was SO HAPPY to see me, rubbing all over me and climbing in my lap for scritches. Then he ate a bunch of the tuna! Hurrah!

He has been home for almost two weeks now. He seems to be almost back to his old self. I've been feeding him "the good stuff," and he is eating more and more each day. He sits on my lap when I watch TV, and he has started wrestling with Turbo. He just LOOKS BETTER. They suspect it was pancreatitis, but we didn't run the further tests to know for sure. I have been spoiling him ever since he got home!

When Dino had been home for about 5 days (he was eating pretty well but was still weak and was keeping to himself), Middle Girl and I came down with strep throat. The ten days of antibiotics and feeling crummy are nearly over for us.

Quite a run we've been having!

Let's hope it's in the past (KNOCK WOOD!)

Now, about that Veterinary Dermatologist...


smalltownmom said...

You've had a rough time, both cats and humans. Hope you all keep feeling better.

Ree said...

You mean I could have been a veterinary dermatologist????


LemonySarah said...

Around the Lemony home, antibiotics are the 5th major food group.

Welcome to the club!

alison said...

Poor kitties! My friend across the street has a cat who had pancreatitis a couple of years ago. Miji is just fine now.

Are you sure veterinary dermatologist is a real job?

Oh, and thanks for visiting my blog.

LemonySarah said...

Oh, barbra, I need your email address! In case you don't have mine, you can find it on my blog's sidebar.