Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Update/explanation about Earl

Sigh. God. Where do I begin...

A couple of weeks ago, Earl basically stopped eating. And you've seen pictures of him, right? Clearly this is an animal who enjoys eating. Anyway, I sort of chalked it up to the prescription diet food that our vet had put him on after his last visit. But then he started barfing, almost daily. Cats can be barfy, but Earl hasn't really ever been, so this started to concern me. Well, after this went on for several days, I started to get concerned. I took him to the vet last Thursday to get checked out. They did a through exam and work up on him (including X-rays and blood and urine tests), but couldn't figure anything out. He wasn't running a fever, but he was a bit dehydrated, and he did act like his abdomen hurt him a wee bit during the exam. But that was it. So they sent us home a couple of hundred dollars later with some antibiotics, and told me that if he didn't start eating/drinking in the next day or so, to bring him back in.
Next day: Friday. I ended up going out for the Karlabration--and after the hella week I'd had--ended up getting TANKED and spent the night in Karla's extra bed at the Omni. Next morning when I got home, I discovered that Earl hadn't eaten and had, once again, vomited.
I called our vet, who is open for part of the day on Saturdays, and took him in. They re-examined him, but then sent me to the emergency animal clinic with Earl's records so that he could be tended to there (since they were closing and didn't have the staff to do an ultrasound on him). So, off we go to the emergency clinic. And we wait. And wait. And wait. And finally we get sent back to an exam room. And wait. And wait some more. Finally the vet comes in and examines him, and looks over the papers and notes we'd come with. During the exam of Earl's (rather substantial) abdomen, the doctor says, "I feel something in there." He performed an ultrasound and, bingo, there was "something that shouldn't be there" in Earl's intestines. The doctor recommended, that since this had been going on for some days and Earl was getting dangerously dehydrated, that they should go in and do an exploratory surgery to figure out what the suspicious something was. I signed the consent forms, kissed Earl good-bye, and went out and bawled in my car in the parking lot.
They finally performed the surgery late Saturday night, when Earl had received enough IV fluids to be rehydrated, and the doctor called me to give me the report at 12:45am: They'd found a section of his intestine where the intestinal wall was swollen and enlarged, clogging the intestine itself up. So he'd removed this section and then sewed the intestine back together, and finished the operation. From what he'd seen, he said he couldn't tell what it was, but that the lymph nodes in that area looked unusual, so it might be lymphoma or a leiomysarcoma that, hopefully, had not had a chance to metasticize. But all of this is conjecture pending the pathology report.
Sunday, Geej and I went to visit Earl at the emergency clinic. He didn't lift his head, but he purred and made biscuits as we petted him. He still wouldn't eat, however.
Monday, I had to go get him from the emergency clinic by 6:30a.m. then transfer him to our regular vet for continuing care. The bill at the emergency clinic? $2,100 and change. Dropped him off at our vet's office, and he decided not to eat or drink all day long. So they asked me to come and get him so that he could go home to a less stressful environment so that he might be encouraged to eat. But before we left, we gave them $340 more.
Went home, and tried everything I knew of to interest him in food, but with no luck. He did seem happy to be there and got some much needed rest. And he went poop, which is a positive thing. This morning, however, his poor paw on the arm where his IV catheter is was swollen to almost three times its normal size. Poor baby!! And he'd thrown up during the night. Sigh.
So I dropped him off at the vet again this morning for some more care and administration of "appetite stimulators", and will be going back to take him home with me this afternoon. After I lay down my credit card once again.
He's such a healthy cat, that it's just killing me to see him down like this. Plus, I still don't know what the results of the pathology are, and if it's cancer, I'm going to fucking lose it. Seriously.
Thanks for your notes letting me know you're thinking of us. I really do appreciate it. And I'm sure that if he could, Earl would give you a big ol' head bunk to show his thanks as well.
I'll let you know what happens next.


SUS said...

Heavens! I hope that Earl is feeling better and eating now.

Hecticmom Undone said...

I will keep my fingers tightly tightly crossed for Earl.

I started reading your blog when you lost your last kitty. It was a week or two after I lost mine. It was so sad.

I hope it's just some weird kitty thing and the surgery was successful and he's already on the mend. He just has to be ok. Please keep us updated - I will keep Earl and your family in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I so sorry to read about Earl. I'll say a little payer for him today.


hotpinksox said...

I hope Earl has a speedy recovery. And that you have a restful week, free of worry.