Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saving Spooky

I have spent quite a while not posting. I haven't had anything fun to post about. I haven't been accomplishing much at all. I wanted this blog to be about the joy of making our house a home, but I have decided to go ahead and make note of some things.

We have no two legged children. All of our children are four legged. They are all pampered and loved dearly. They are also all rescues. We don't seek them - they find us. Most of our babies now are senior citizens and a few of them have health issues.

Spooky has recently been diagnosed with chronic renal failure. This has taken over my world for the last month or so. It started with a trip to the vet for a wound that was having trouble healing. He was given antiobiotics, which I expected, and Metacam for pain, which I wasn't convinced he needed. I should have listened to my gut feelings, but instead I listened to the vet. I asked about side effects from the pain pills and was assured that they were completely harmless... like a person taking a Tylenol and he'd feel so much better. I was told that he'd be great within 2 days and if not, come back. The next day he was much worse. I took him back to the vet, but saw a different doctor. She said he was a bit dehydrated and gave him fluids. While there, she gave him another dose of Metacam. I asked could he be reacting to either of the meds and she thought that was unlikely. He again got even worse. We went back to see the first vet who didn't have time to actually see him. A tech came out and said they wanted to take blood. They'd keep him and call me. On the way home the vet called to tell me Spooky's kidney's were shot and he was going to die. Just a few days earlier he was running around playing, but had a boo-boo on his chin. I wasn't going to make any snap decisions. She said they could give him fluids over the weekend, which would give me time to bring him home and say goodbye. I went home and had the first meltdown of many. Next I googled Metacam and came immediately to a site called Metacam Kills. Metacam is notorious for causing kidney failure in cats. It's especially dangerous when given to cats who are dehydrated or who might have slight kidney problems already. Meltdown number two. The site also gave me a bit of hope in that it included tips for helping a cat survive the crisis. That site saved Spooky's life or at least prolonged it. I passed along everything I'd learned to vet number 3 who spent a long time explaining kidney failure and not acknowledging any possibility of Metacam being the culprit. He did however changed the original plan of giving Spooky fluid for 2 days and sending him home to die to 6 days of fluids which is more in line with the recommendations by the Metacam makers. By the way, the Metacam label says in cats it should only be used one time prior to surgery in cats whose bloodwork whose no kidney issues. It should never be given to a cat who is dehydrated in the least. The next day I went to visit Spooky. I had my head in his cage and was blubbering as quietly as possible - nose dripping, tears streaming, petting our poor little man and telling him I loved him. Then I hear vet # 1 come into the room behind me. She calls her tech in and before I could do a thing, she and the tech put a puppy to sleep and discuss it the whole way through. I can't turn and get out of the room without seeing that puppy. At this point, I my holding my head in the cage and having meltdown number 3. Before I could escape, they also removed a fish hook from a cats mouth. After that, I locked up Spooky's cage, told him goodbye and fled. If she had said they would be doing some procedures, I would have gladly left the room. Vet #1, byt the way was recommended to us by a good friend. She loves her! Coincidentally, her father had a cat who had been in a fight. They took him to this vet and the cat died. I know of no other details, but I wonder if Metacam was involved. I have not talked to my friend since all this happened and I just don't know what to say to her. She'd be so upset if she knew all this. She's so sweet and I just don't think I can cause her pain. But I'm torn because I would like to caution her about Metacam. During the next few days I worked with vet #4. Thank God for him - he was wonderful. The practice had originally been his. He sold it to vet #'s 1 and 2. He was only working part time and not for much longer. I understand though the vet grapevine that he is really looking forward to retiring. Now that Spooky is home, we have switched vets. He is not out of the woods by any means, but he is acting more like his old self. We have to give him Sub-Q fluids - which we are getting better at. We started out at every other day. The new vet switched us to daily and this week, she wants us to try twice a day. He tolerates it OK with us, but when the tech tried to give him fluids yesterday, Spooky bit her. She had to go to the doctor and get antibiotics. Between that and the $200 bill, I had to talk myself down from having another meltdown. These meltdowns have become practically a daily occurrence and I'm really trying hard to get better at coping and find my happy place again. He's been eating baby food (aka kitty crack) and his numbers have gotten worse. He takes a pill to increase his appetite and he's also on another round of antibiotics. Poor Spooky is suspicious every time we move towards him. He's never sure what we might be planning to do to him. Once he's sure we don't have needles or pills or other devices of torture, then he sure does enjoy being cuddled. He's also enjoying many of his other favorite activities - chasing the females and hearing them shriek gives him a great deal of pleasure. Licking Rudy's head is another fun thing to do. Here he is taking a nap, which coincided with laundry time. He looked so sweet. He also looks a little pitiful. I need to try to get some pictures of him have fun.

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