Nov. 21st, 2009

agoodwinsmith: (Default)

I was a little preoccupied up to the big birthday bash, and then hairiness at work, but afterwards in retrospect, I could see that recently Sammie has been drinking a lot. A LOT. He is also very thin. Strangely, you can't feel his ribs, but you can feel the whole hip joint assembly and shoulder blade system. He's very light. We had noticed him getting thin since we moved here, five years ago, but it was a slow progression and just seemed to be oldcatitis (he was born in Spring 1993). He's become more friendly towards strangers, and he is always purring - and not the help-I-have-a-problem purr, but that totally happy dribbling purr. The excess thirst, though, raised warning bells in my head.

So, Monday I called the vet for an appointment Tuesday, and Tuesday I took the morning off work to take him to the vet. Sam knew that badness was afoot as soon as the box came down in morning and he went to ground under the bed. I dawdled about waiting for the appointment, so he had time to decide a quick run to the pan for a wee was safe, and then he went under the bed again. Once I was ready, I cheated: I whistled for him. This is cheating because I have only ever used this whistle to call him in the morning when it is getting too light (when he used to go out, he would go hide if he couldn't get in before light, and he wouldn't come home all day), or when there is good tastey nummy treat things. He always comes.

So he came out from under the bed, and I stuffed him backwards into the box. Argh. No claw marks on me, but the I-hate-you-and-your-terrible-taste-in-clothes howling began. It is a very penetrating heart-stopping noise. He made it all the way out of the building, down the alley, across the street, while waiting for the bus, while riding the bus, while waiting in the foyer of the vet's office. He stopped when I let him out once we were in the examining room.

The vet's examination was very quick and he was leaning towards thyroid, but mentioned kidney and cancer. He didn't mention diabetes at all, which is often mentioned with skinny thirsty cat symptom lists. He sent Sam for blood tests, and to be put in a special cage where they could wait for a urine sample - but he said that Sammie's bladder was pretty empty. He said I could call in the afternoon to see if he had peed, but that he might have to stay overnight. And away I went to work.

No joy in the afternoon, so SOGP couldn't pick up Sammie after work, so I made arrangements to take Wednesday morning off. When I called at 8:30 (they open at 8:00 - I wanted them to have a chance to take off their coats), Sammie still hadn't peed. They said to call back after 9:30 when the vet had had a chance to look at him. I suspect the vet ruthlessly rubbed his tummy because they had a urine sample by the time I called.

I went back to the vets, and the diagnosis, from the preliminary bloodwork, was overactive thyroid. There are some minor indications of other slightly elevated readings, but nothing to worry about until we get the thyroid situation under control. The vet gave me transdermal gel to smear in his ears morning and night (morning one ear, night the other, to reduce skin irritation risk). And I carried the vocal Sammie home in the box, on the bus.

When I let him loose in the apartment, he ran a circuit from water bowl to bed to food bowl to other water bowl to first water bowl, and so on, round and round, with one stop at the pan. He was very thirsty and hungry - but really thirsty.

I was fortunate both days - we have been having insane amounts of driving rain (it is doing it again right now) that actually manages to get up your nose, and so I had covered the box with a clear garbage bag, like a big pillow slip. I think it would have worked, but there was no rain both times.

So I have been gooing the Sam's ears. It comes in thin syringes, so you can see how much you are pushing out. Of course, the first one I used was stuck and I pushed hard, and got a big unmeasured glob. So, I put most of it is a plastic tub, and smeared a guestimate in his ear. Now that I've seen how much I should be giving at a time, I really overdosed him the first time, and he was looking a little peaky when I got home. And, in my confusion, I managed to dose the same ear in the evening. But now I know how much, and we are back on track, alternating ears, and Sam has no problem letting me smear goo in his ears. I think he is looking pretty good, but we go back to see the vet in 14 days to see if Sammie is gaining weight, and to decide whether the dosage is correct.

So, I stayed late both days at work, and I am feeling quite bagged. But I think we are on the right track for Sam, so it was worth it.

Chuckster (also known as Rat Boy, remember) had one glorious 24 hours of being an only kitty, and he loved it. When Sam came home, he lived up to his other name. Rotten little dude.

I keep you posted in smaller posts about Sam's progress.

agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I'm still a slave to FarmVille.

I am still doggedly following SGU without enthusiasm - although we actually got a chance to learn some things about some of the characters, and hardly had to listen to any screaming matches this episode.

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