Now for the Bad News

As promised, hooray, the bad news.

Friday Marley and I went to the vet. Poor thing shakes so much now, whereas ordinarily she's a good vet kitty. When it was her time to be examined I took her out of her kitty carrier and she was covered, and I mean covered, in urine on her hind legs. Like she peed herself. The vet totally blew it off, said she's so traumatized and scared and has gone through so much in such a short period of time, that it's a natural reaction to fear. Even though I wanted to believe that, I just didn't. So I asked about doing a urinalysis to see if she's got a UTI. Vet didn't think it was necessary but she did it to appease me.

Rewind here a few days. I've been watching this cat lick and lick her hind quarters. But she has bowel issues, so that behavior makes sense. But what didn't make sense was coming home I think on Wed or Thurs and searching high and low all over the house for diarrhea. I swore she had some, but it wasn't in the litterbox. I never did find any, which surprised me, because her hind fur had a slight tinge of yellow to it. Not once did I think urine, I thought, messy mud-butts that she had cleaned off of herself. Also around that time I started finding little yellow droplets on my white bedding. They smelled like...I don't even know. It just smelled sick. Not like pee, just like hospital. Sick. We do a lot of meds with her, so again I didn't think much of it. One of her meds is an orange yellow. I figured we got some on the bed, because with a cat with so many meds we don't discriminate where we administer them. When she's out and about, no matter where she is, she gets her meds. So the likelihood of us getting an orange-yellow liquid on the bed was pretty high. I never thought it was urine.

But then with her peeing on herself, everything came together and clicked in my head. It's all urine. So her bladder was empty at the vet's office, and it was up to us to collect as sterile a sample as we could, i.e. no litter, feces, etc. in it. Which was fun, and I won't go into those details. We refrigerate it overnight and drop it off first thing in the morning for the testing.

Vet's office closes at 11 am on Saturdays, and the vet on that day called me at about 2. She was really hesitant to give me any info because she isn't Marley's regular vet, and Marley has a longstanding history as of late, and a complicated background. All she could tell me is that she has a significant amount of blood in the urine, likely due to bladder inflammation and a condition known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. Not life threatening (absent an obstruction), but a pain in the ass and requiring lots of meds and treatment, and very uncomfortable for the cat. Hooray! No bacteria, so no UTI. There is also a chance she could have bladder stones, but the vet said with her 5 xrays over the past 3 weeks or so, if she had those they would have already picked up on them. I explained that no one was looking at her bladder and urinary tract, and could you just view the xrays for me and double check? Because, as any hypochondriac would know, I research symptoms and self-diagnose all the time, as well as diagnose Marley. And I know all about bladder stones in pets, and that bladder stones in pets are considered a fatal condition. The urethra is so small that they will get obstructed, and within 24 hours the pet will die. But this vet, who I do not like, told me that I should talk to my normal vet on Tuesday when she is back in the office, and we will go from there. Had no intentions of looking over her xrays or reviewing her chart or anything, just wanted to pass it off onto her normal vet when she's back on Tuesday. In other words: We closed for the day 3 hours ago and I want to go home. Marley isn't my patient, talk to your own damn vet next week.

Needless to say, I'm so irritated at her. She prescribed prednisone for imflammation. But wouldn't call in a script to a pharmacy, which is what they did for Domino's asthma attack. No, she says to me, "Pick it up Monday." Meanwhile I have a kitty who is in discomfort and peeing herself, and you want me to wait 48 hours before starting treatment? Excuse me, but she's a bitch and I will never make an appointment if it is with her. The other vet I've dealt with has done nothing but impress me and make me feel confident in her care. This one just didn't give a shit about how badly Marley was feeling. My other vet would have made sure I got those meds that day to treat her immediately. She never would have made me wait 2 fricken days.

So I did research and found out what I can do at home. Basically pray it's not a bladder stone, and watch for signs of her stopping urination altogether, because that signals a blockage and that means death from being septic within 24 hours. Increase fluids and administer only wet food. That doesn't work as she won't eat wet food, so I give her 6 ccs of water by syringe 4 times a day at least. And basically just loving on her as much as I can. Kinda hard when she's all covered in pee (but she doesn't smell like pee, just like sick). We had to go out and buy a vinyl matrress cover and confine her to our bedroom. I'd rather get pee on my bedding that I can wash than get it on a couch I cannot wash, you know? So with the mattress cover the mattress is protected and safe. We bought a huge king sized blanket and covered our bed with it. Since she's not peeing on purpose, it's just seeping and leaking out of her, she isn't saturating a blanket. Just leaving drips, that luckily do not soak through this enormous and thick blanket. So that saves me from daily bedding washing, which is nice. I put a thick towel on the floor where she lays, and she's using it. She's being good.

But I'm exhausted. And sick. And so freaking tired of all this. If it is FLUTD, which makes sense, it will clear up with prednisone and it can be kept at bay with increased fluids all the time to flush the bladder, and with keeping her stress-free. It makes so much sense that this is what she is suffering from, because everything I read indicates that this is usually a reaction in predisposed cats to a huge environmental stressor; i.e. a move, a natural disaster, or a recent, serious illness. I hope this is what she has, because the treatment seems to be anti-inflammatories when she has a flare up. If the vet has concerns though, that means ultrasound ($300), possibly a sterile bladder sample (needle biopsy essentially), and possibly surgery. I am hoping and praying for FLUTD even though there is no cure, just treatment.

When it rains it pours, huh?


Jen said...
Monday, 30 July, 2007

Awe poor kitty! I'm so sorry this is all happening to you at once It sounds like they're getting to the bottom of it though. Hang in there!

Bron said...
Tuesday, 31 July, 2007

I'm so sorry, April. :( Hopefully you'll learn more today!

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...
Tuesday, 31 July, 2007

OMG. I really hate it when vets are so cold-hearted. We're crossing our paws here for Marley and you.
Bunny hugs,

Linda said...
Tuesday, 31 July, 2007

Poor Marley and poor you. Kitties just don't understand the awful things we have to put them through to make them better. I hope she's better soon.
She's a beautiful kitty.

sprite said...
Wednesday, 01 August, 2007

I'm so sorry your kitty is unwell. That vet sounds awful and totally shouldn't be in the profession if that's how she treats sick animals. Compassionate my foot. I hope Marley is doing better soon...

A. said...
Friday, 03 August, 2007

April, so sorry you're having such a rough time. I hope Marley feels better soon and that you get some answers.

aquaknits said...
Friday, 03 August, 2007

Oh, I'm so sorry about your kitty! It's terrible when your vet is gone and you have to deal with someone new (and they're never any good).

I hope everything is getting better now.

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