Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Happy birthday!

Well, not yet, but it's coming and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm getting....Are you ready for this?  It's big......One pulled cat tooth.

For the last several weeks my 18.5 year old cat has not been eating.  She approaches everything ravenously but only licks off the sauce and walks off, waking me over and over to feed her.  Last night she barely ate.  I was going to take her to the vet this week anyway but this pushed my hand and I took her today, below 0 weather and all.  I was concerned that she wasn't eating because of potential tooth problems because her breath has reeked.  But that can go with renal failure.

I talked to the vet for a while.  My vet is about 25.  I am reminded of how I felt as a new OT at that age when I had to prove myself to everyone and supervise 5 assistants who were all 10 years older than I was.  Once in my early weeks we had a phone call from a nurse in assisted living for "that little girl who helps out in therapy".  My assistant who took the call laughed and said "You mean my boss?" which helped the gossip sort out that I was a clinician.  I remember how self-conscious I felt.  I know I make the vet feel that way a bit because I'm familiar with labs and vital signs and the like.  I try to gently say something about being a healthcare provider but it's tricky.

Anyway, we agreed to do labs and a urine to see if these were the issue.  She said that sometimes renal failure goes very quickly all of a sudden.  I didn't realize until later that she meant "I think your cat is probably dying" but she did.  So they drew the blood and tapped her bladder and brought her back and we waited for results.  THis is only my 2nd time at this vet's and I'm really impressed that they took her away from me from the draws but still listened that she's a really hard stick.  When the tests were done and she came back in she was smiling.  She had clearly expected to tell me that it was time to begin saying good-bye to Anna and instead Anna is healthier than I am.  She isn't in renal failure.  She is concentrating urine and I can't do that thanks to lithium.  Her labs look like a much younger cat.

So that leaves us not knowing that is going on.  It may be arthritic pain.  She's been on glucosamine during the winter the last few years and I failed to start it this year.  It didn't seem to do much last year and honestly things are so chaotic I forgot.  So she got that tonight, assuming she ate it; I haven't checked yet.  So that may help some.  But chances are good she needs a dental done.  Plaque alone can be painful to a cat and she has that.  She has nothing obviously inflamed by it's impossible to tell when she isn't sedated if her teeth are loose or decaying that a brief glimpse doesn't show.  The vet feels she is healthy enough to handle anesthesia and they'll monitor her overnight.  They are also very proactive with pain meds which I appreciate as her prior extraction of one tooth was a disaster of pain and vomiting blood when she was sent home too soon after surgery.  I actually wouldn't let them do it without that.  The bad thing is the cost.  $400-$600 depending how many teeth come out.  It sounds like $600 is likely since if there is a problem the teeth need to come out; we can't keep putting a cat this old through so much.  The vet suspects 4 molars need to come out.  Molars make it more expensive because they are harder to extract.  Her age makes it more expensive because of additional care during anesthesia. 

The thing is that if she isn't eating in a few days I can't put this off.  It's not like I can not do it; she's clearly in pain when she tries to eat and I make a commitment to my pets to keep them comfortable.  I think that's part of responsible pet ownership.  Plus I can hardly let her starve to death.  If the labs had said she was dying I would have said send me home with meds for comfort and we'll be back when it is time.  But the labs say Anna may well live a few more years. (Unless this isn't her teeth and instead is cancer but the vet couldn't find anything).

So contributions to this fund are my request for my birthday.  Yippee.   so important, yet not quite what I was hoping for.  It also may challenge my debt-free in 10 months plan.  Oh well, that was probably a little optimistic.

So tired and confused.  I am thankful for the great news about her health, I'm just adjusting to it as I've been thinking she was slowly dying for 3 1/2 years now.  And those labs left out some important stuff.  I'm so glad I changed vets.

Another post coming soon about my huge blunder with my niece.  The older one.  The baby finds me to be a sleep whisperer.  99% of the time I can get her to sleep within 5 minutes.  It's weird but it is really nice to get her to nap without any tears.

Anyway, more to come.

1 comment:

Michal McAllister said...

Hey "sleep whisperer!" What a GREAT title! I've also been called a "baby whisperer." Fantastic.

Please keep me posted about gifts to the tooth fairy fund.

Better sign off...you know why.

Sigh...xoxo Michal