Sunday, August 02, 2015

Dandy Debacle

As any of the regular readers here know I started my journey on the road with 6 cats three years ago. This past spring I lost two of my fuzzy friends to different illnesses three weeks apart. The passing of Gobie and Cuda has left me rather overprotective of my remaining kitties.

When we traveled from DE to MD in mid-May of this year I started noticing that Dandy was losing weight. Dandy is the youngest of my cats and he's also the favorite - the one I am most bonded to and who is most bonded to me. While the other cats seem to merely tolerate me, (because I can offer food, water and occasional scritches) Dandy seeks out affection and reassurance from me constantly. He is a momma's boy and I love that about him. His weight loss sent me into a panic. I was terribly worried that he was also beginning to show signs of hyperthyroid disease (which is what Cuda passed from) and I was scared that I was about to start the process of losing a third cat in nearly as many months.

I am at the end of my off-season for work which means I am scraping the bottom of my bank account. I knew a veterinary visit was going to cost a small fortune and I simply didn't have it in the bank. In steps a wonderful angel friend who, knowing what this cat means to me, sent me the funds to have him checked out. Blessed are the angels in out lives who are willing to give a helping hand when we need one. I would do just about anything for my furry friends. There have been many times where I have gone hungry to ensure that they had food and clean litter. Yes, I know that sounds crazy. I am a crazy cat lady.

Dandy grew up very socialized since he came from a rescue program at a veterinary hospital that I worked at. He was never meant to stay with me as I was just a foster home while he weaned. He came into the hospitals care at around two weeks old. He is a bottle baby and originally was in the care of another veterinary worker who was inexperienced in such intense care. She called me one day to ask me to come to her house and look at the kittens because they didn't seem right. She was correct, they were nearly starving to death because she was attempting to wean them at 4 weeks with no bottle supplement. One of those kittens did pass. Dandy tried to pass twice but after some mouth to mouth resuscitation and a bottle or two he pulled through. From the day I breathed that  little baby back to life, he was mine to care for. I was also in the process of losing my first cat, Pike, to diabetes and old age so I decided that Dandy would stay with me. He got his name because I just kept chanting to him that he, "would be fine and dandy".

But I digress - he loved going to the vet hospital. For some reason veterinary workers always have a soft spot for orange cats. I think it's because they are usually very even tempered and Dandy is no exception there. They cooed and cuddled him. Giving him lots of hugs and kisses. He was rolling around on the exam table happy as could be and then they did it - they took his temperature. From the second that thermometer went into his little butt he was a different cat. Grumbling and unhappy. When the doc came in and pulled his skin up to see if he was dehydrated he actually turned to bite the doc. I was shocked, this cats has never bitten anyone out of anger, just play biting.

The doc and I talked and decided to run a set of blood panels to check everything including his heart and thyroid as well as get some urine for a unrinalysis. Off to the back Dandy went where they took the blood and had to do a cystocentensis (using a needle through the abdomen to get into the bladder) to get urine. When they brought him back to me he definitely had his grumpy face on and his tail was tucked between his legs. Poor little guy. He was so stressed by the entire ordeal that he developed a fever and slept the rest of the night.
Poor passed out pussycat
We got his test results back the next day and it turns out he's fine. Perfectly healthy. The doc said to check his weight again in a month and if he's lost more then we'll consider x-rays and other tests at that point but she didn't feel it was anything worth getting upset about. Perhaps because we spent the winter in DE (where it gets extremely cold) rather than TX (where it gets mildly cold) he put some extra winter weight on and was just shedding those pounds. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is all that is going on. For now I have my boy and I have the peace of mind that he is okay and that's good enough for me.

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