Friday, June 27, 2008

Update on "Buster" and "Oliver"

"BUSTER" (June 26, 2008)

(L-R) DAPHY, BUSTER, and CLEO (1994) (Strays someone threw away! There were 5 kittens and the mama cat. Can you imagine that? I took them all in and found them homes. Just pitiful!!! I took Daphy and Cleo back at age 6 when their owner passed away in August 2000. Weren't they beautiful?)

"BUSTER" (1994) Those eyes of his just stole our hearts!

"BUSTER" (2008)

First of all, I want to thank all of you who have been praying for Buster. He's had a bad week, a really bad week! We have lost a lot of sleep over this little guy.

Sunday, my daughter was here and said that he wasn't looking so good this past week. She said she has noticed him losing weight the past month and that lately he wasn't eating much. Since his siblings, Daphy and Cleo both are diabetic, we thought maybe that was his problem, so I told her I would call first thing Monday morning for an appointment and take him in for a checkup.


He weighed in at 12.8 pounds, down from his normal 20+ pounds! He also had a full exam with bloodwork plus a urinalysis. Bloodwork showed his liver and kidneys to be within normal range. Upon examination, the vet felt a large mass in his abdomen. So she referred him to Upstate Veterinary Specialists, located in another city 25 miles away. This facilty accepts patients by referrals only. We have used this place many times before, most recently for radiation treatments for Sweet Pea and Punky, which I wrote about in earlier posts in March and April. They told me July 10th was the earliest appointment they could give me, and I said that the cat would be dead by then! She said she would see what she could do and get back to me. So the next morning, they checked with the vet here, (I imagine to see just how serious his condition really was.) The vet hospital here called to tell me that Upstate Veterinary Specialists would see him just as soon as we could get him there THAT morning. This was Tuesday. We were elated that they were working him in!!! (It may have helped that my children just spent close to $12,000 there on Sweet Pea and Punky a couple months ago!)

UPSTATE VETERINARY SPECIALISTS, Greenville, SC (13 Specialists, 55 Technicians)

His bloodwork, etc. was faxed to them, so they evaluated the results, and then did an ultrasound on his abdomen. Bad news. He had a large mass on his liver, a bowel blockage (a tumor), dilated and diseased kidneys, and enlarged lymph nodes! So they planned to do a kidney dye test first thing Wednesday morning and then surgery after that. Well, he had vomited overnight, so they couldn't give him the dye for that test. So Wednesday afternoon, they did the surgery. The top surgeon, who founded and owns this wonderful facility, performed the surgery. He called me from the operating room to tell me what he found when he got him open. He said he didn't know if he would be able to remove all of the mass from the liver, as some of it was in a place that was hard to get to. He wasn't very optimistic. He wanted to know if I wanted him to proceed with the surgery anyhow and keep rolling, and I said, "Keep rolling."

Well, I am glad I made that decision now as he did get the entire mass removed, he resectioned the intestines, removed a lymph node for biopsy, and said the kidneys are diseased and dilated, but he thinks that problem can be controlled with antibiotics and a special diet.

In 2002, I had my Tuffy put to sleep on the operating table there, as he was full of cancer, and no hope for him as he couldn't remove all the cancer. This was before they started doing chemo and radiation at this place. This same surgeon had called me that day, also, from the operating room to tell me what he found once he got Tuffy open. Rather see Tuffy suffer anymore, I made the decision to have him put to sleep right there on the table. He was thin and weak and wasn't eating, so I knew he wasn't feeling very well even before his surgery.

It wasn't my place to make that decision for Buster, as he is my daughter's cat. It looks like he may have a decent chance now! If the mass on the liver had not been entirely removed, he said Buster would have 4-6 months to live. Maybe chemo is in the future, but we won't know until the biopsy reports come back. Surprisingly, cats do very well with chemo, I was told. They've had some in remission for 3 years!


Also, today was Sweet Pea's monthly checkup for her cancer/radiation. She checked out negative still! Next month, they will do chest x-rays as that is where her type of cancer is more likely to show up....if it returns.

While we were waiting on Sweet Pea to be examined, we got to visit Buster while we were there. When I said his name, he talked back to me like he always does. He looked better than we expected. He actually lifted his little head up for us. He may be able to come home today! But he will have to be caged to restrict his movements for awhile. I have a couple of large 2' X 4' pens that we will set up in my daughter's living room for him. He is not to do any jumping or stair climbing, so we have to cage him. Looks like I may be cat sitting for 3 days, (M-T-W) next week, and then she will be taking 12 days off, as she will be starting a new job on July 12th, I believe.

"BUSTER" (notice his eyes as you will see that he lifted his little head up)

NOW.....there is still MORE! I had an emergency tonight with one of my own cats! I noticed "OLIVER" wasn't acting like himself today when I got back from Greenville with Sweet Pea, but I thought it was because he and Teddy Bear had had a little scuffle, which has become almost a daily thing. So I really thought nothing of it.

So I went to my daughter's tonight and then stopped at the supermarket for a few things, arriving home around 9:30. I found Oliver in my bedroom laying, and then I saw little spots of blood all over my white carpeting. I checked him, and it was coming from his little neutered man part. I put him in my guest bathroom while I hurriedly fed the diabetic cats so I could give them their insulin shots on time. Then I put him in a carrier and off we went up the interstate to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic, which is open when the regular vets are closed. He received a thorough exam there. Diagnosis: a blockage in the urethra tube! So he had to have an emergency procedure right away. I came home around midnight, and the vet called me a little after 2. He managed to unblock him without any complications. This can be fatal for a cat, especially if the bladder ruptures.

"OLIVER" (2008)

So, I am staying up all night, as I have to be there at 7am to get him and then take him to my vet at 8am, where he will spend all day, and then back to the emergency clinic for the entire weekend! He has to have fluid therapy as now he has post renal failure caused by the stress of the bladder being overloaded. He said he is hoping to turn that around with the fluid therapy. I'll keep you posted!

So now Oliver needs your prayers, too. I've had a real "cat week" this week, and I am about worn out from it all, emotionally as well as physically. But this is all part of pet have to take the bad along with the good. I am just so thankful that we have such a wonderful emergency clinic just 10 minutes away! They have saved quite a few of my cats over the years.

And to top it all was 98 humid degrees here yesterday and 93 the day before, according to TV weather!


Diane @ Diane's Place said...

Poor Buster and Oliver, and poor you!

I don't know if you've ever read it on my blog, but Cecil and Ducky have worked for a vet for over 20 years each. Ducky is the office manager and the vet is an old family friend. Jessica worked there for a couple of years in high school too, and Ducky's daughter and granddaughter, my niece and great niece, also work there.

I've helped out there from time to time as a favor, no money exchanged hands, and Doc has helped me out a LOT over the years with my kitties.

I've bottle raised several kittens for them over the years, and fostered some others for them until they could find them homes or get more medical care for them.

Soooooo....I know all about kitty emergencies and such. I hope and pray that Buster recovers and that Oliver doesn't have any more crystals in his urine, bless their hearts.

Love and hugs,


Midlife Mom said...

Wow you sure have had a week of it haven't you?!!!! Isn't it wonderful that they have the emergency vet offices now? We also have one about 10 minutes away. So glad Buster made it through his operation and is doing well. I could see his little eyes in the cage! I hope Oliver does well too, it's so hard when our little furry friends are sick, we'd rather be sick for them wouldn't we? One of my friends has a kitty that is diabetic and he is 20 years old! He looks fabulous and she takes such good care of him, he even travels everywhere with them!

Mrs Mom said...

Oh WOW Nancy- sure am happy to hear the Buster man is doing well there.... But holy CATNIP! Poor Oliver!!! Those blockages are tricky things, and can be nasty nasty....

Wonder if Oliver has not been feeling great for abit, and that is why he was fussing with his kitty brother?

Hope Buster cancome home, and that Oliver gets a clean bill of health too!!!

Give them rubs from us- we will keep praying for the entire herd there!

Renie Burghardt said...

Oh, Nancy, you've had a platefull of problems these last few days! I would fall apart from worry. Did you get teary eyed when Buster lifted his little head when you talked to him? And poor, beautiful Oliver. I've had cats with that problem myself. Prayers will continue for them and for Sweet Pea as well. All your kitties are lucky to have a guardian angel as their mom.

Take care and God bless!


Susie said...

Hi Nancy,
You've had a really rough week and my heart just goes out to you, Buster and now Oliver.
Hang in there my friend. Sounds like you have a wonderful vet and emergency clinic to handle times like this.
I know that heat must be just miserable for you too.
Try to get a bit of rest..

BClark said...

It is amazing what can be done for our critters now. In years past there would have been little hope for them. Good for you being such a giving and caring person to take care of them.

Thank you for coming to visit me, always nice to meet new people.

Best to you, Barbara

Jess said...

It is very nice to hear that you are getting your kitties taken care of. It's so wonderful to hear about people who care for animals and that take care of them. Bless you for having such a loving heart.

Hope all of your little furr friends get better soon.

Diane said...

I was so worried when I got your email about Oliver. I know you were and still are worried sick. I feel in my heart that he'll make a complete recovery.

Prayers are with all the sick kitties and especially for you!

Love ya,