This angle actually makes him look *better*. Looking straight on at his face is really depressing. Also, the light is covering up the big bald patch on his chest where his fur has fallen out from so much cleaning.
I've spoken to both Amy and Scott now. They will speak to one another later today. Amy is coming to get the little walrus tomorrow afternoon between 5 and 7 (that's between 10 and 11 GMT) and will be taking him back to Massachusetts.
This is Amy. You can differentiate her from the Other Amy because she's
Anyway, Amy is the same surgeon who works on Chris Orbach's dog, Sonny. And
as everyone knows, as far as Chris is concerned, the universe revolves
around Sonny. Chris got in touch with her last night about Argent, and she
offered to come down from Massachusetts and pick him up. She will take him
back to her workshop and tinker with his inner bits. As much as it sounds a
bit strange to send him all the way to MA, Amy has very kindly offered to do
this for Argent without charging her fee. His costs will strictly be medical
(the OR cost, medication, anesthesia, and things like that.) While the cost
is still a whole lot of money, it's a whole lot *less* money than if I have
it done at Scott's office, meaning that he can have his surgery sooner. She
was coming to NYC tomorrow anyway to pick up Sonny and Betsy (Chris' cat)
and will stop by on her way back to MA and pick Argent up also. He will be
going into surgery on Wednesday.
I know there is a donation drive going to help pay for the vet bills. It was
very kindly started by Xochizlan and other people have been spreading it to
here and other places. I want to thank everyone who is trying to help and
can assure everyone that their donation is not only appreciated, but going
directly into his veterinary costs. Amy has just made his long term
prognosis a lot better, since more money can go towards whatever secondary
treatment he may need(chemo or other kind of medication, etc.) rather than
worrying about just this particular surgery. I was really hoping whatever
was wrong with him would be fixable long since, but it hasn't worked out
that way. So, thank you to everyone for trying so hard to save the little
The good news:
His cold is a little better. His eye is not as weepy. His nose is still runny, though. I'd give it about a 70% improvement over two days ago.
The frustrating news:
The lab results are in. They're inconclusive. They *suggest* a list of possible causes- any guess is as good as the next and the list is about a dozen or so long. There were no definitive results. None of them are great. All of them are expensive to potentially treat assuming that Scott can even do something about any of them. I will call him back on Monday to discuss surgery options and scheduling.
He is keeping food down longer now, though still throwing up about once per time fed. He managed to keep food down for about four hours last night and he has managed thus far to keep it down for five and a half so far (and has been fed twice.) He desperately needed a bath, since both ends of him were a mess. I need a bath now, too. But he's at least cleaner, and I put some antibiotic cream on his sore parts.
At 3:30am I woke up(this is not unusual. That's about average.) But this time it wasn't because I was awake or I needed to pee. It was because I remembered something.
First of all, Argent is now throwing up like clockwork about 90 minutes after eating. Super. He's drinking a lot on his own, though. Meantime, Scott had mentioned something about how if he had ingested a foreign thing that he'd be throwing up, and up until then he had done a reasonably good job of keeping his food on the inside.
But what I remembered was that months ago, Argent had started doing this thing where he was acting like the roof of his mouth itched. You know how you rub the middle part of your tongue on the roof of your mouth when something is stuck to it or it itches? Gnahm Gnahm Gnahm... like you have peanut butter caught up there? He was doing that a *lot* for a while. So much so that I pointed it out to Xochizlan and I even showed it to Mike when he was at the house one day.
I thought it might be a food related allergy so I switched foods and eventually he stopped doing it. I figured Occam's Razor, case closed. NOW of course I'm left wondering if he really did swallow something. So I called the vet's office and left a message. Scott is usually in around 6AM for morning surgeries, so he'll get it soon enough.
Well he's home.
Here's what we know:
He has a cold.
but we knew that this morning. It's opportunistic, as expected. Though colds are generally viral in nature, he's been given antibiotics to make sure nothing else gets ahold of him.
The rest of it is a little unclear. According to the vet, his intestines are all bunched together, like an accordion and his intestinal walls are thickened. However, there's no mass in there. The swelling is all fluid. His lymph nodes are fine. One kidney is a little inflamed and his liver is cranky (but not unstable) but they still don't know what the problem is.
Scott asked me if I sewed. Anyone who knows me knows this is the one thing I *don't* do- so much so it's been a running gag for years. However there is thread in this house, I mean you know, to sew up buttons and such. He says that it's possible he ate some thread and it's wrapped itself around his intestines, but usually you see it still caught under the tongue, and there's no string there. I asked if it could be *yarn*, because that's something I have a lot more of around the house, and he said it could be, but he'd have probably thrown that back up. That the smaller the gauge, the more dangerous it is. I asked if it could be MY hair, because goodness knows it's 3x the length of the cat and I shed plenty. He said he didn't think so. But right now, the "string theory" is still a possibility.
It could also be some kind of undefined cancer; some things with names I can't remember and probably couldn't spell. Some of the fluid was drained from his tummy(I saw it.) and it is being sent to a laboratory for analysis. I will know in 3-5 days the results. In the meantime I am told to keep doing what Im doing, as Argent was only down .5 lbs from last week and he hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours which accounts for part of that for sure. He ate as soon as he got home of course (not on his own, just with the baster.)
According to both his doctor and his nurse (who may be reading this- everyone wave hi to Shelagh!), he was a *perfectly* behaved patient through his whole test today and did everything they asked of him and didn't move. He didn't cry, he didn't argue- he just laid there with his little paws in the air. Which is pretty much what he does anyway.
They are trying. I really do have the best vet I could ask for. As soon as we know more, so will you.
Thank you everyone, for your support. Somehow, through all these years he's become everyone at MBUK's cat and not just mine. As miserable as he looks in this photo, he was still purring.
15th May 2008, 13:49
He's not winking. He's got an opportunistic eye infection(He also just sneezed on me. He apparently has a cold.). Assuming Scott can operate on him, Im sure he will put antibiotics in his eye. He just needs some ointment.
Argent gets his sonogram in about an hour. Realistically, the results determine the rest of his life.
This is largely a repost of my Thursday journal entry:
The results of the blood test are in.
They are not as bad as Scott feared. He is a good surgery candidate assuming that whatever is in him can be fixed or removed surgically.
His kidney and liver functions are normal (go me on the liver functions- that means I did the right thing at the right time.)
He's slightly anemic, which Scott expected, but it's not bad. His blood sugar was slightly elevated but that was due to eating within 90 minutes of coming in and stress. We are confident that under normal circumstances, his sugar is completely normal.) His electrolyte balance is a little off, but it's not wildly out of control.
The big thing though is that his white blood cell count is very high- 28k (high end of normal is 16k.) However, this is not a sign of infection, since there are no lap cells present. Scott tells me that this is because of inflammation and not infection, which explains the swelling I mentioned yesterday.
He tells me that he doesn't want to instill false hope; this still may not have a happy ending. However he feels that it would be reasonable and safe to have a sonogram performed in order to have a better idea of what's in his tummy and learn if surgery is a good and safe option.
At this point, I expect that to happen on Thursday, though Scott is trying to rush that and I hope we can get him in sooner. I am told that I should just keep doing whatever I've been doing until then, since whatever it is has kept him as healthy as possible up til now.
While that *WAS* true on Thursday, he is having more problems now. He's eating less, and his liver is starting to show signs of having issues. It means I have to feed him less food, more often. So I am effectively chained to the house and I have to sleep sometime.
He threw up his breakfast this morning and I am worried he's starting to go a bit yellow. If this happens we may as well kiss him goodbye since he won't be strong enough for surgery. I will try to shove some food back into him in about an hour and a half. Hopefully he keeps it down.