Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rascal, round two

She just lay there, last night and again this morning, on my bed, not moving, yet obviously uncomfortable. It's the not eating that is hugely worrisome. Cats have to eat or their body starts cannibalizing itself. They cannot manufacture taurine so they get it from the prey or the canned food that they eat. Without this, they lose muscle mass, liver function and will die.
I was out of cereal and it was lunch time, so I headed over to Dominicks to scrounge up foodstuffs. I got a salad, a cheese bagel and a chocolate molten lava cake. I guess I was supposed to nuke that so it was all runny inside but it was delicious un-nuked. There is this canned cat food, Purina Pro-Plan, or something like that. I have a coupon for "Buy 4, Get 1 Free", which, of course, I didn't have, but the ingredients looked okay and, at 44¢, it beats the pants off Fancy Feast at 75¢. I figured I'd buy one of each of their 6 flavors and see what happens. (Yes, I got cereal; Life Regular and Cinnamon at $1.99 each.)
Once home, I'm met at the door by two cats, which includes the one who, this morning, wouldn't move and growled at me. She wants to go outside. HA! She has a vet appointment at 5:30. I get out the first can and divide it in half. Betsy eats pretty much anything, very sloppily, but eats it nonetheless. Rascal sniffed and started to walk away. But she stopped and watched Mom eating the stuff and, being just hungry enough, took a bite. In 5 minutes, her bowl was licked clean. SUCCESS! So, I opened another can, different flavor. She sniffed it and proceeded to eat half of what I put down. I'll take that. That's equivalent to 3/4ths a 3 ounce can.
Dr. Cody wasn't in so we got to see Dr. Zollinger. Very nice lady, too. She did a very thorough exam and we talked over possibilities. Nothing in Rascal's bloodwork indicates anything suspicious. She has normal stools, drinks water, but there's this whole every so often not eating thing and she's lost 6 pounds in 6 months. I mentioned April and Perry's Jenny and the tumor they didn't find until it was too late and Dr. Z agreed an X-Ray was the next step.
So, our favorite technician, Val, came and got her and they did X-Rays. Interestingly, Dr. Cody showed up with her daughter in tow as the film was ready to be viewed. So, our regular doctor is consulting on this, not that I don't trust either Dr. Labak or Dr. Z, but you know, you like some consistency.
There is nothing overly unusual on the X-Ray except her stomach is distended. It shouldn't be as large as it is, even given how much she just ate before we arrived. The other thing that's different is that there is an area between the stomach and large intestine, where the small intestine would be that is just gray on the x-ray. Granted, soft tissue doesn't x-ray, but Dr. Z said we should see something and it's just kind of a blob. In the exam, she felt some small "nodules" in the area of the small intestine which shouldn't be there, but she doesn't know what they are. Could be swollen lymph nodes, could be tumors, could be fatty deposits. The x-ray didn't pick them up.
The next step is an ultrasound. I was given two locations that do ultrasounds. One of them I've been to with Betsy and with Penney because they are the emergency veterinary services my vet recommends when they are closed. Tomorrow, I need to call each and find out what the charge would be for an ultrasound. Dr. Z said, "$200 to $250" she thought.
(sigh) But she's not that old and if this is very treatable, she's got a good 5-6 years left. It's kind of the driving force behind taking Betsy in for fluids, too. They are both "young" by housecat standards.
Rascal flew out of the cat carrier and went right into the kitchen to finish the cat food in her dish. Dr. Z suspects the food just sits there and Rascal still feels full a couple of days after eating. That's not necessarily bad but it's not something we want to continue over the long run.
Stress in my life?

Beverage: my last can of Dr. Pepper


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