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!
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.
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 ownership...you 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 off....it was 98 humid degrees here yesterday and 93 the day before, according to TV weather!