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So today was mostly really groggy. I started what was supposed to be a well-planned program of using Valium to get my sleep on track and hopefully more normal by my vacation. The first dose knocked me out and I was drowsy all day. I intended to just take meds early and go to bed about 9. Thank God things happened when they did.
My Noah cat was normal all day. He was in the bed with me and clawing at me to pet him (he tries to pat but forgets about the claws) at 5:30 and still there and getting petted at 6:30 or a little later. About 7 he threw up a little (happens frequently b/c of hairballs) and headed for the basement. He was down there half and hour and came back up crying. That was weird so I checked him and he was not wanting me to touch him, was breathing a little heavy and had some foam at his mouth. I honestly thought he'd somehow gotten into detergent so I checked the basement; all of it would require pressing a button. There was nothing unsafe for him. So I then came back up and he threw up foam that looked so much like soap that I got down and smelled it. No soapy smell. He seemed a little better. He moved to a towel I'd put down in the kitchen a little earlier when I spilled water. He was ok there and let me sit with him until I offered water. At that point I called my mom and by the time she got here he was hiding in the litter pan, a very pathetic thing to see.
We packed him up to go to the emergency vet clinic an hour from here. While she got the car I remembered that my vet has emergency call and so I called them. Which was good; it was so foggy driving was dangerous. So she was going to be half an hour but when I described the symptoms to her and said he seemed "shocky" she agreed. She thought he probably had an obstructed urethra, common in older male cats. She actually had a tech who was still working come to the car and bring us in and got him under a heating pad with gloves of hot water around him and my arms around all of that to add my body temperature. His temperature was 96.4; normal for a cat is 100.5. That is mild hypothermia associated with mild shock. There is little doubt that had he not gotten sick until I was asleep he would have died and if we hadn't gotten to the vets he would have died soon.
So the vet got there and he had a low heartrate, arrhythmia, the low temperature, lethargy and little urine in his bladder so it wasn't a blockage. So she did a bunch of bloodwork and that came back showing pancreatitis was probable. He was dehydrated as well. He'd lost weight but it's impossible to know how much was from the change to healthy food (he did lose weight then) and what was acute. They did Xrays as well to be sure he hadn't swallowed something and while it can't be ruled out neither can the area being a hairball and his symptoms just weren't very consistent with ingesting something. Plus there just isn't a lot of things to ingest around here that I wouldn't have known about. And to do anything more about a blockage would have meant driving to another facility, probably a couple hours away, and with the weather that wasn't a great idea.
And so it's now 5:30 and I can't sleep. I almost fell asleep once but it didn't work. I can call at 9 when she's had time to examine him for an update. It is possible that he won't be here when they get in. I don't think she felt that was a big risk since she didn't send him to somewhere with 24 hour care but it could happen if the shock took a turn from being "shocky" to "in shock" and nobody was there.
At this point I think I'm "shocky". I knew the right words to use on the phone, including "shocky" and after I said "pancreatitis" to her "elevated lipase" she said "are you a healthcare provider?" and took me back to show me xrays. I'm just so afraid. This kills cats. It is often fatal. Caught soon enough and treated aggressively it is survivable. I just don't know if we caught it soon enough. I haven't seen signs of distress or anything unusual from him; last night he was chasing a fly and my toes. He doesn't act remotely 13 years old which is why it is very hard to remember he is a senior cat (plus compared to Miss almost 20 he's a baby). Earlier in the day I scolded him for bugging me. It was a normal day until it was dangerous.
This is his 2nd brush with death. The first time he was only 11 weeks old and had a nasty respiratory virus. I got home from work to find a listless, limp kitten. I threw him in a carrier and ran to the car and to emergency vet where they took the carrier and ran back to triage him. Eventually they returned him and we waited a long time but he had pneumonia and spent 3 days in an oxygen tent with a IV. He had hated the vet, car, and carrier since that and he didn't even complain tonight no matter what they did. He cried when they did a rectal temp and maybe with the blood draw; I left the room because I didn't want to see him not fight.
For me it may be changing some things. I am a lot less sure about going on vacation. It will depend how he is doing. He can be boarded still sick but we'll see how I feel about this. It makes some financial decisions for me.
I'm terrified, horrified and scared. 3 hours and 15 minutes until I can call. Then hopefully I can sleep for a while. I'm so afraid and have this deep feeling that he'll be gone when they get there. But after losing a cat to something slightly similar several years ago I read a lot into this that is not there. Nonetheless nobody promises a cat will recover from this. If it isn't bad it is likely but I don't know how bad it was aside from "shocky" (which means signs of shock but not IN shock) and that shocky is just above where you absolutely don't want to be. Yet he was stable enough that aside from getting him warmed up there wasn't any rush to do anything. No emergency meds, we didn't start the IV until the testing was done, no oxygen, no great rush. That says he was ok, just sick and probably in a great deal of pain.
To make it worse they found that he had a claw that grew into the pad of his foot and was infected. I had no idea. He hadn't been favoring it or showing any signs that it wasn't fine. And it looked icky although certainly not icky enough to cause any of what was happening.
Time to see if I can sleep a little again. I know not sleeping isn't helping him, my brain won't shut off. Dr Mind and I discussed and worked on helping some of my "very severe" anxiety yesterday and that was when I didn't have anything good to be anxious about. This is even worse. Incredible anxiety.
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