Saturday, February 21, 2009

Miss B Left Us...

late Friday night. She had some post-op "little old lady" complications we found on Thursday morning. She had become anemic and developed diabetes. She started insulin and she went back on IV fluids. She also had a transfusion, courtesy of Tara. BB is at home on Thursday night in the picture. She spent the night on the couch beside me with her IV fluids hanging from a picture hook on the wall. By Friday morning, she was feeling great, meowing for breakfast and happily eating Fancy Feast next to MeiLi. But by Friday evening things had changed ~ she had become acutely painful in her abdomen. The wonderful purr motor had stopped....

We met with our housecall vet Dr. Booman, and she and I decided to anesthetize BB for a good exam, including palpating her abdomen, but without causing Miss B any pain. A section of her intestine developed an intussusception, where a portion of the intestine telescopes into itself, and nothing can pass. Surgery to fix it didn't have a good prognosis due to her age, the condition of her colon, and already having had one surgery. The kindest and most difficult thing was to have her not wake up from anesthesia. She passed quietly in my arms, painfree and at peace....

Rest in peace, sweet Beautiful B, we really miss you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hopin' and Wishin'...

finally paid off! BB is finally starting to poop, and yes, I did a little happy dance! It's been a tough week post-op for her. She's been getting routine syringe feedings to fight hepatic lipidosis. She's been getting subcutaneous fluids and medications injected daily, but they just haven't been enough.

Yesterday she went back in for x-rays and another ultrasound, which showed that things were on their way out, just moving very slowly. We changed around her medications ~ BB now takes the same medications as Scooter. Lactulose is a medication that softens stool, and Cisapride is a medication to help improve motility. Both of these are very untasty (unless your name is Scooter!) so we've created a concoction of medications and baby food that she now takes 3 times a day. 24 hours into the new medication regime, we have success, which makes her prognosis much better. The longer she went, the more grim the outlook.

And, after opening many cans of everything from Friskies to Fancy Feast, we've finally found a food she likes ~ skinless chicken breast. Now she and MeiLi are both enjoying chicken 3 times a day too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

BB's Update ~

Here's a picture of BB while she was in the hospital. She had her surgery Tuesday, and she came home with me Wednesday night. She started eating beef baby food on Wednesday morning, so she was given the green light to bust out!

She went back to work with me Thursday morning because, aside from the baby food, she hadn't eaten anymore. We did some bloodwork, and found that her white blood cell count was elevated and her albumin was lower, both consistent with the intestinal mass and surgery. Her liver values were also elevated ~ uh oh! They point to early hepatic lipidosis, or "fatty liver disease", a condition that kitties who quit eating or eat very little, are prone to. You can read more about it here. The "treatment" is food!

BB is now being syringe-fed 6-8 times a day in an effort to get calories in, which will "jump start" her eating again. She also gets antibiotics and a GI motility drug by injection and subcutaneous fluids daily too.

The good news ~ her tumor is an adenocarcinoma, a type of tumor that is pretty uncommon in cats. There are good margins around the sample submitted, so it was adequately excised; the down side is that it metastasizes to surrounding tissue, and it may have already done so.

Tonight, Miss B is talking and playing a little with her toys. She has some interest in food but isn't eating. She'll need syringe feeding for possibly a couple of weeks. She loves her heated bed, but isn't thrilled with MeiLi's nursing care, especially the baths! Our next big obstacle is the "poo" issue ~ her intestines need to get back to functioning normally. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hot Rod Gives A Gift...

And it's the best gift possible ~ the gift of life! Hot Rod signed up quite a while ago to be a blood donor. Okay, maybe it wasn't voluntary on his part, but we felt that he could be a kitty who could give back. After all, his problems are only orthopedic, so he doesn't take any medications.

How do you donate blood if you are a kitty? Do you sit in a chair with a tourniquet on your arm, then get orange juice and cookies afterward? For a cat, the safest way for him to donate blood is with a little sedation. There's no squirming around so it goes quicker, and there are no claws flying which is always safer for everyone involved! Cats who are blood donors have to have perfect blood work and be healthy; they are also blood typed ~ cats have a "type A" and "type B", type A's can donate to type B cats without a reaction, but B's can only donate to B's. If a type B kitty donates to an A, a transfusion reaction can occur.

Hot Rod donated 60ml's of blood, which I'm happy to report helped a senior kitty in need who was hospitalized with our internist ~ she's doing much better! Hot Rod spent the night in the house with us afterward and got to be spoiled rotten. I swear he struts around with a little attitude now too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Miss B's Vet Visit...

yielded some pretty decent labwork and quite a surprise ~ BB has an intestinal mass. It explains the little quirks that we'd seen. Poor kitty, this has been going on for quite some time ~ kitties are so stoic! She wouldn't have shown any major symptoms until it was too late.

The ultrasound of her abdomen looked pretty normal otherwise, so we decided to take her to surgery, which was performed today. Our internist Dr. Slusser managed her care, and our surgeon Dr. Lenehan did the surgery. I'm happy to report that tonight, BB is doing very well & she's made many friends at the hospital! The biopsy report will be back in a couple of days, and BB should be home with us tomorrow night, which is good, because MeiLi misses her already!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A New Friend for MeiLi...

Arrived this morning! Here are the girls enjoying a lunchtime snack. BB is a sweet lil' ol' lady kitty who was left somehow to fend for herself on the San Diego streets, and a very kind lady came to her rescue. The shelter told her that this cutie was at least 15 years old and would be euthanized due to her 'old' age, so she did what any of us animal loving folks would do ~ she took her home!
We had put out an "APCB" (all-points cat bulletin) several weeks ago, looking for a buddy for MeiLi. In spite of our best efforts, MeiLi was no longer thriving as she had been when she was a "nurse" for Poppy. We had hoped that at some point, there would be a senior in need, someone who would enjoy long naps on a heated blanket and puttering around; most of our seniors really enjoy playing outside in their yards all day, and couldn't be bothered to slow down!
Through the folks at Rescue House, we connected with BB's guardian who was trying to find a suitable retirement home for her (her own 4 young kitties just didn't fit the ticket!). They braved a pretty impressive rainstorm to come out this morning. BB will have an exam and some bloodwork done on Monday to make sure everything's okay, as she may have some kidney disease and she certainly has arthritis.
Thanks BB (and Christina) for making an old Siamese happy!

Friday, February 06, 2009

A Living Room of Dogs

Our early spring came to a quick and windy end today. The dogs decided that, while outside was great fun, and the mud was great to play in, that inside won. This was the scene this evening while the wind was howling and the rain was pouring outside. Everyone wanted a bed!
Just out of the picture is Maverick in the purple bed, Melody's in the green/blue bed, Pilot is asleep right next to Roger rabbit, Holly is just barely in the picture (with her feet crossed!) and Liberty is sleeping in the striped bed. Tess is asleep in my bed, and Quincy is asleep on the couch next to me. It was definitely toasty warm with so many furries wanting to share body heat!