Monday, September 10, 2007
My Cat Max
Max is the white cat with a green and a blue eye. Pooch is the sleeping cat.
I just spent the last 4 hours at the emergency vet with my cat Max, who is 14 years old. Two weeks ago he was diagnosed with a ton of "old man" things: 75% kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, anemia, and an increase in the heart murmur he's always had. Alone, each of these conditions is easily treatable, together, the treatments contradict one another. Treating the hypertension is particularly hard on failing kidneys. Treating the kidneys is particularly hard on the heart.
The determined treatment was three pills and subcutaneous fluids, all in low doses, with a recheck in a week. At the week check, there was slight improvement so the blood pressure medication was increased. I was warned to look for labored breathing, a sign that the treatment was hard on his heart. Today the labored breathing began so I had to take him to the emergency vet which is open 24 hours and just happens to be where his internist is (but she's on vacation right now).
I went ahead and did $500 worth of tests, some of which needed to be done as a follow-up anyway, and there isn't much change in treatment, just to decrease the amount of sub-Q fluids I give him.
While I was there, an 18 yr. old cat came in and ended up being euthanized. And a dog came in just after me, unable to breath, foaming and contorted. It had paralysis of the trachea and was also euthanized. Meanwhile, a family with a 20 yr. old cat even skinnier than my Max, who is just fur and bones, went away feeling better, having pooped on the table, relieving the constipation it was in there for.
I cried a lot! I felt so much for those who had lost their pets. The grief of losing Max's mom, White, two years ago, is still sooooooooo fresh, just beneath the surface of my control, that it came out a bit. Fortunately, there are several tissue boxes around the place.
That place was truly a pet E.R. From my room I could hear the sounds of the heart monitors beeping and animals protesting treatment. Max really laid into them when they took his blood, poor kitty.