Thursday, May 12, 2016

Scrapper is sick. #cats

My poor kitty

If you've visited my blog or Facebook for a while, you've seen Scrapper pics. If you're new, meet my baby. He needs your help.

This is Scrapper, who turns 13 on May 22nd. He joined our family in July 2003 when he followed me home on my way back from the grocery store as a tiny flea-ridden kitten and never left. His nickname is "the cow" because of the brown patches on his white coat. He's very vocal, quite neurotic, and one of the sweetest animals you'll ever meet. I joke that he's a reincarnated dog. He even learned to sit before receiving a treat.

Recently, suddenly, he lost a lot of weight, and then a week ago (May 5) stopped eating his kibble. We took him to the vet Saturday, and $350 later, he was diagnosed with dehydration, hyperthyroidism, a gallbladder stone, bladder crystals, and a rounded spleen or liver on the x-ray. He also had a few fleas and a tapeworm from the fleas. Vet gave him a hydration shot, flea med, and dewormer, and sent him home while we waited on lab results.

The one upshot is that she said his bones and joints were excellent for his age and he did seem to be healthy before his recent trouble.

Monday, we got the blood and urine test results. Confirmed all the above plus elevated liver enzymes. I asked the vet what we should tackle first, and she said if it was her cat, she'd get an ultrasound to check for a mass. Anyone who has raised and lost pets knows that senior cats with with tumors are not long for this world. We scheduled the ultrasound for Wednesday since that was when the specialist had the next opening.

It's been a struggle to interest him in food, and he vomited on Sunday and Monday nights.

That was yesterday. We dropped him off by nine AM, then came back later for the diagnosis. The good news - no cancer! There is no tumor of any kind.

The bad news - Poor Scrapper has what they call a trifecta of organ inflammation in cats including pancreatitis, plus an inflamed bowel. He's hospitalized at the vet for another 2 or 3 days to receive IV meds and hydration. $350 for the ultrasound. The vet stay and meds will be at least another $700 depending on 2 or 3 days. We've already had to put costs on credit.

We get a copy of the ultrasound specialist's full report and recommendations today (Thursday).

Once he's treated for the immediate badness, he'll go on a special bland diet for his tummy that will also help clear up the gallbladder stone and crystals. After all THAT will be treatment for his thyroid - radioactive iodine to kill the growth throwing his hormones out of whack.

"Radioactive iodine therapy. This is probably the safest and most effective treatment option. Radioactive iodine, given by injection, becomes concentrated in the thyroid gland, where it irradiates and destroys the hyperfunctioning tissue. No anesthesia or surgery is required, and only one treatment is usually needed to achieve a cure. It used to be that radioiodine treatment was performed only in specialized, licensed facilities, but many private treatment facilities are now found throughout the country. Hospitalization may be prolonged; depending on local or state ordinances, cats may need to be kept at the treatment facility for 10 to 14 days until the level of radioactivity in their urine and feces decreases to an acceptable level. Also, radioiodine therapy is costly. The price tag has come down from about $1,200 to between $500 and $800-but this is still prohibitive for many cat owners."

Obviously, we're attached after 13 years, his human dad especially so since we lost our elder cat Chase in 2012. Scrapper had never bonded with him until then, but now spends time on his lap nearly every night during TV time. It's been a very worrying week for us!

I've set up a GoFundMe page. Neither of us make much money with our jobs, so the help really is needed to not go potentially thousands of dollars in debt to bring Scrapper back to health. Thank you for contributing!