Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mr. Chesterfield Needs Your Good Karma!

Most of you who read this blog know that Todd and I have expanded from 1 cat to having 6 cats over the last 3 years or so. Our most recent addition is Mr. Chesterfield. We acquired him last year in September.

Even though he's only been in our family for less than a year, we adore Mr. Chesterfield. Last week (while I was away in NC) Todd needed to bring Mr. C and Sophie in for a check-up. Both of them are on medications---Sophie for thyroid and Mr. C for high blood pressure. You can imagine how concerned and sad I was Todd told me that the vet said that Mr. C was not doing well. He lost about 3 pounds. He was severely dehydrated. He had ulcers in his mouth that were infected. And his blood pressure didn't seem to be any better either.

Todd (the saint that he is with animals) made three visits to the vet with Mr. C, all during the week I was away. The initial visit with a blood test, then a visit for a urine sample/test, then a visit for an enema. Results of the blood and urine tests showed problems. Low levels of something-or-other. High levels of such-and-such. Whatever they were, they were definitely not good.

Now Mr. C is on a medication for the infectious ulcers, a stool-softener, his BP meds, and Todd has to give him an I.V. of fluids every night at dinner. :-(

The verdict? Well, we have one more visit to the vet today, to see how he's responding to the fluids and such. Probably another blood and/or urine test. Here's what the vet thinks. It's one of the following things:

1) Mild kidney toxicity caused by ingesting some chemical (like soapy water from our shower or worse, a cleaner for the shower). This most likely can be flushed through his system. This is the best-case scenario.

2) Averse reaction to his BP meds. Now, he's been on these for almost as long as we've had him. However, in January when he went in for a check-up, the vet said that his BP wasn't coming down enough so they raised the dose. It's possible that this higher dosage is too much for him and has caused the other problems.

3) Acute renal failure, or cancer, or liver failure. This means euthanasia. :-( :-( :-(

Mr. C doesn't seem to be showing any of the typical signs of a cat with kidney or liver failure. I know because I've had cats or have seen other's cats with these conditions. For one thing, he eats whatever you feed him. He drinks normally. He never throws up. He uses his litterbox without issue. He doesn't seem lethargic or abnormal in any other way. However, I believe that he is OLD. Whatever the folks at Forgotten Cats said was tragically incorrect. I think I recall that they aged him between 5 and 8. Our eye specialist vet said "at least 10." I think he's 15 or 16. I've always suspected that he was an old guy.

Anyway there are 2 things that we noticed that are different than normal.

One, he's been meowing or calling out a lot, especially in the evening. He's always done this. It will be 2:00 am and suddenly you'll hear "Meow! Meow! Meow!" Well last night it was noticeably more frequent and with greater intensity and length of time.

Second, on his right side towards the upper thigh, he is suddenly missing a patch of fur. We noticed it 2 days ago. Last night this bald patch seemed 3 times the size that it was when we first noticed it and the skin underneath was very flushed and hot. Maybe this is a reaction to the anti-biotic? Or maybe he's just stressed?

We have no idea. But all we know is that he's a sick kitty and we want him well again. As soon as I know anything about his condition from the vet, I'll post it here (good or bad).

So please send some love to Mr. Chesterfield today. <3

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