indoor critters

January 22, 2019 | Comments Off

Mark insisted on taking pictures with each of the babies on Christmas morning since we were all dressed alike, so, because they crack me up, I’m going to include those here as I explain what’s been going on with each one of my indoor critters. We had a bunch of major issues occur with each of them seemingly all at once, and we were at various vets seemingly all the time. For example, they all had diarrhea at the same time that required a secondary medication to help rid their bodies of it (the typical first drug of choice just didn’t work). But that’s just how they were all the same. Here’s how they’re doing individually.

Let’s start with Samuel.

Christmas 2018

Sam was behaving weirdly. He was hissing, laying/sitting down in the litter, and trying to potty with nothing coming out. There wasn’t a blockage (thank fucking god), and that issue resolved itself. The hissing, though, didn’t. He saw specialists (in internal medicine and neurology), and it was determined that he was having problems with his back. They initially thought he’d be getting surgery. Turns out, again thankfully, that surgery wasn’t needed, but he unfortunately has degenerative disc disease like his mama. This is very upsetting news to me because I don’t want him to feel half an ounce of what I feel. Also, they did a spinal tap to check for viral meningitis, and that came back negative. So they put Sam on Prednisone and Gabapentin to help with pain and any inflammation. He tapered off of the pred pretty quickly, and that’s a good thing because it could cause his diabetes to return. Anyway, as we were lowering him off the pred, he started hissing again here and there. I was scared that he’d need that for the long haul. But the hissing has officially stopped. Also, the doctor said that there is the possibility of dynamic compression, and he recommended laser therapy of the area to help with possible inflammation. He had seven laser therapy sessions and acupuncture. I think we added something else, but I just can’t remember what it was. He hissed the same day he had laser done on two separate occasions, so I vetoed against continuing with that. We also bought an Assisi Loop that we use on him twice daily. If your dog or cat has an issue, this thing could possibly help with it. I’m convinced it’s helping our Sammy. Overall he’s looking better and walking better too. The other night, though, he was making noises while locked in the bedroom with Lulu and me. I had him shut in there because I wanted to collect a urine sample for the vet. I left the bedside table lamp on so that I wouldn’t have to fumble for a light if I heard him in the box. I thought he was hurting again because the sounds he was making were awful! Turns out he just wanted me to shut the light off. Haha. Right after I did that, he came to the top of the bed to cuddle with me. Speaking of cuddling, he loves to snuggle but needs some help getting into the right spot. He lays up against me and next to me, but not always in a comfortable way. I have to shift a bit so he slides into place. He’s definitely calmed down over the years and is far less vigilant than he used to be. He’s a good, sweet boy who loves frying himself in front of the fireplace.

Next up is Oliver.

Christmas 2018

Oliver, too, is in love with laying directly in front of the fireplace. That’s been one of his favorite spots since he has been recovering from two broken hips. He has gotten better and better as time has passed, and he’s still getting better with each passing day! I started bringing him into the master bedroom for a change of scenery (he was staying in the sunroom we emptied out, minus cat beds and a mattress for us). One time he jumped off the bed when he wasn’t really allowed to be making jumps that high. He was fine, but I ordered pet stairs pretty quickly after that. He went to all his physical therapy sessions and was cleared to jump four feet maximum. He did have a setback at one point. I picked him up under his arms to grab him because we were going to trim his nails. He bit me and flew out of my arms after I let go. I was terrified that he had re-injured himself from all that flailing. I had blood dripping out of my thumb for twenty minutes straight. It looked like a goddamned crime scene. He went straight to the emergency vet because he was walking funny, but they called it a setback and said he might have a couple more. They gave him more anti-inflammatories, and he was back to his old self pretty quickly after that. Whew. He’s started jumping on things again, like the coffee table in the sunroom, the couches, and the ottoman. The first time I saw him at the top of his cat tower, I texted Mark because I was freaking out. Of course, he needed help getting down, but I couldn’t believe he made that kind of climb all the way up there! It was truly a memorable moment. Another memorable moment was when he finally let me massage him! He hates those motor sounds, like the hair trimmer, the vacuum, and the massager. One day I was massaging Sam in front of the fire, and Oliver inched closer to us to see what the big deal was finally all about. Now he likes them! He also does this one funny thing when he chases Lulu – he narrows his eyes at her! I’ve never seen a cat do that before. It’s kinda crazy to see. Lastly, his lymphocytes are higher, and nobody seems to know why. They’re recommending that his blood have that special test again that’s like a bone marrow test. Between his anemia issues/blood transfusions, his herpes, and his newest lip issues (like a swollen bottom lip), something is off with his immune system. We are adding immune support and another drug that should help. But then what else is going to happen next? Mark is worried he’s going to be “sickly” forever. I guess he could be. I mean, he seems very unaffected by the lip stuff, but cats like to hide when they’re not feeling well. He’s eating great, playing, and ignoring us – the usual. We might be seeing a holistic doctor for his immune issues. Right now he’s walking, running, and lightly jumping again, and that’s a huge relief. And, as with all of them, we will deal with their issues as they come up.

And then we have Lulu.

Christmas 2018

Lulu started eating less again and lost some weight. Two years ago she had pancreatitis, so I force-fed her. It took a chunk of time, but she got better. Her regular exam and bloodwork didn’t turn up anything, so I force-fed her again until she could see the internal medicine specialist. She said Lulu had high glucose, was anemic, had a heart arrhythmia, and had fluid in her lungs. That doctor said to see a cardiologist, so we did the very next day. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The anemia and glucose issues were related to the disease and resolved after the fluid was drained. There was a mixup on the day she saw the cardiologist, probably because the entire facility lost power during the appointment. They gave Lulu one month of the fluid draining drug and said to come back in a month. Then the cardiologist talks with my regular vet and said it was imperative that she come back in a week so they could check the drainage and put her on a heart medication. That’s a big fucking time difference, dudes. Not cool. So now, in addition to her other regular medications, she’s taking a potassium supplement, a med to prevent clots, and a med that drains fluid. Fluid buildup is basically guaranteed to happen again, and then her current dose will have to be increased. The cardiologist said she could live between six to twelve months, maybe longer. Her heart medication can affect her kidneys, and she already has kidney disease. That situation will need to be checked periodically. Her latest test showed that her kidneys had actually improved since the last draw! She sees the cardiologist again in a few months for a checkup. She definitely slowed down when she wasn’t feeling well. Her water fountain is in the kitchen, and she stopped going down the hall at all (there’s a water bowl in the master bedroom for them to use, too). She stopped grooming and playing. Lulu is once again so energetic, bossy, and playful. She’s also eating like a little pig! I hope she defies the odds and sticks around for more years and years to come.

So we are dealing with some serious issues with our babies. It’s hard. There were a million trips to expensive doctors back-to-back, sometimes with two visits in one week. And I find it all so incredibly nerve-wracking to wait for appointments and to wait again for results. I couldn’t catch my breath for a bit there. Right now they all seem to be doing so, so great. And I am so, so thankful for that. I just wish they could all be healthy forever.

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