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state of the cat - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2009-01-22 22:28
Subject: state of the cat
Security: Public
Location:home
Mood:calmcalm
Music:sky news
Kuron continues to be full of surprises. When we brought him home from the Royal Veterinary Hospital, years of administering steroid tablets ahead of us in an attempt - which wasn't guaranteed to work - to manage his inflammatory bowel disease, I have to admit I felt a bit of trepidation.
Unfounded, as it turned out. He took his tablet twice a day and didn't claw our faces off, although sometimes he did get a bit bored with the whole thing and try to make things more interesting by spitting the tablet out, hiding it in his cheek until he got a chance to spit it out, or pretending to swallow it, concealing it where we know not and then spitting it out several minutes later.
For the first couple of months, the steroids didn't do anything. He kept losing weight, fifty grams here, fifty grams there. And then, all of a sudden, he started putting weight on again - at one point in a massive hundred-and-fifty gram gulp. Although one side-effect of the steroids was that he started losing hair - after a month or so his backside was entirely bald and the places where they'd shaved him in the hospital barely grew back. But we didn't care because he was finally responding to the medication and putting weight on.
A couple of weeks ago he stopped eating the recovery pate and biscuits we'd been feeding him. This wasn't entirely surprising; he's always been a faddy eater and easily bored. We gave him other stuff and he picked at it. What he really wanted was a brand of very fishy biscuits, to which he has been occasionally addicted. We gave them to him because he had to take his tablets with food and it was better that he eat something. Unfortunately, the fishy biscuits constipate him, and inevitably they did so this time. Cue application of feline laxative.
Last week, one of his eyelids started to swell up. Again, this isn't unknown - he had an eye infection when we first got him and has had a couple more since, and we keep eye drops for just this eventuality. However, the lid kept swelling and swelling. We took him to the vet. The eye was too swollen for her to tell what was wrong, so she gave us some ointment and antibiotics and said to bring him back on tuesday, when hopefully the eye would have subsided enough for her to examine him.
And it did subside. However, on sunday he seemed a bit out of it, and on monday he was a bit wobbly and very huggy, which is unusual for him. Tuesday morning he had a little fit, and we took him back to the vet, who immediately referred him back to the Veterinary Hospital.
When they examined him they found an abcess just below the eye that had been pushing the eye up and out and making the lid swell. It was caused by two rotten teeth. He was also anaemic again, but this time he was big-time life-threatening anaemic, so anaemic that they didn't dare give him a sedative so they could give him a scan, let alone sort out his teeth and the abcess.
And so, on tuesday evening the doctor looking after him phoned us and said he was so ill that it might be kinder to him to put him to sleep. She laid out how ill he was, how they could give him a transfusion but it would only be a temporary measure and might not even work, and even if they did sort him out his quality of life, what with the megacolon and the inflammatory bowel disease and the thing with his liver and the thing with his pancreas, wouldn't be so good. Really it might be cruel to put him through anything else. So what did we want them to do?
What the doctor didn't know was that we'd been living with the megacolon for eight or nine years and managing it, rather successfully, with diet. As for the IBD and the liver and the pancreas, they're all really part of the same thing and he was starting to respond very positively to the medication.
So we said, no. Give him the transfusion. Give him a chance. The doctor wasn't too convinced about this, but she said okay. She said he was very very ill and might not make it through the night and she'd phone us if anything happened.
She phoned at midnight and scared the living daylights out of us, but it was only to tell us he'd settled down in intensive care and was comfortable.
Next day - yesterday - they transfused him with a blood substitute, sedated him, extracted the rotten teeth, drained the abcess, and did a whole bunch of tests.
And today? He's eating contentedly, has made friends with the doctor, and his haemoglobin count is up a little. He's still not well, obviously. He's still anaemic and we need to find out why, although he was anaemic last time and it just went away by itself. But compared with tuesday there's been a big improvement. Not out of the woods yet, and things could still nosedive again and I'm cautious about being too hopeful. But I may sleep a little better tonight.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-23 00:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
He is a tough old lad. He can be a total sod, too, when he wants to be, but I don't think he's ready to give up just yet.
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Kat: get well soon
User: artykat
Date: 2009-01-22 23:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:get well soon
I have so many things I'd like to say... he is a very special cat, very loved... and he is incredibly blessed to have you as "parents"... Here's hoping with wild hope that he recovers and is better than ever! Do keep us posted.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-23 00:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Bless you, K. We're keeping our fingers crossed, but things look better than they did on tuesday. The doctor sounded a bit doubtful of our decision then, but when we spoke to her tonight - and they ring us every day with updates, more often if something's going on - she sounded almost sprightly. He's surprised us before; I'm hoping he's going to do it again.
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pds_lit: Arthur
User: pds_lit
Date: 2009-01-22 23:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Arthur
We know what you are going through. Our animals are such a big part of all our lives. I will keep Kuron in my thoughts.

Love to you both!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-22 23:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you very kindly. We're going up to the hospital to see him on Saturday; I'll give him a hug from you.
There was a time, ten years or so ago, when we first got Dougal and Kuron, when we would have entirely freaked out over this. This time there was a brief possibility that he might lose his eye, and we were, `okay, we'll all cope with that.' Four or five years ago, when Dougal was very ill and he went into the hospital, it was all weird and new and intimidating; now we're virtually residents.
That, of course, brings its own dangers. Familiarity makes you blase and you have to watch out for that.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2009-01-23 00:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Huge numbers of fingers crossed for you two (and Kuron, of course). I must say, you're braver than I am: I think I'd have taken the vet's advice and had him put to sleep.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-23 00:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I almost did take the vet's advice. She made the very good point that we might be doing this to him rather than for him, which was something to consider very carefully. Anyway, decision made now, and for once in my life it looks as though it might not have been the wrong one. We'll see.
Many thanks for the crossed fingers.
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Kat: British is my 2nd language
User: artykat
Date: 2009-01-23 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:British is my 2nd language
i'd've taken your route, but Bear would've taken the Vet's. Of course, part of that is financial concern. But I just couldn't put him down as long as he is fighting to live!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-23 22:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't want to give the idea that we were butting heads with the doctor; I absolutely understand why she gave us the choice she did, and once we'd made the decision she never tried to change our minds and she has really been working day and night to look after him.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-01-23 02:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You and Bogna are good parents, and Kuron is very fortunate to have you. You did the right thing, fixing him up and defying the vet's suggestion to put him down. Sounds like he's a strong little guy, and will pull through.

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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-23 22:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
He's indomitable, certainly. As I said, he's still not out of the woods, but he really was on the brink on tuesday night and any improvement is a hopeful sign.
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jmward14: DuzWriter
User: jmward14
Date: 2009-01-23 05:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:DuzWriter
Duzie and I are collaborating on a massive airlift of medical juju. Kuron is a brave little guy, and I know how much he means to you and Bogna. Duzie just wants to prove the vet wrong. It's a species pride thing.
Much love and best healing wishes,
Jean Marie

Edited at 2009-01-23 05:09 am (UTC)
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-23 22:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Bless you, and big hugs to Duzie. We can certainly use all the medical juju we can get. I think the vet's starting to come round to our way of thinking. And I don't blame her for giving us the choice; when he arrived at the hospital he was very ill and if there's anything I've learned about the staff up at the RVC it's that they hate the idea of animals suffering. We're keeping our fingers crossed.
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2009-01-23 08:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That must have been a stressful time for all concerned. Keep us posted on the lad's recovery. Is Kuron the Perian btw.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-01-23 22:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They're all Persians. I posted some pics of them a couple of years ago, here, although it's not a very good one of Kasia.
I will certainly keep you posted. I was talking to the doctor this evening and she described him as a `very unusual' cat.
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