Yesterday, was, well . . . a trying day.
I’ve blogged about Sammi. Sammi was my mother-in-law’s cat. But when MIL could no longer care for her, Sammi came to us. She is a cat who would rather be an only cat. She also has some Siamese in there which accounts for the screaming she engages in and which draws my other cats to her (which she hates). And she was declawed (not by my MIL) on ALL FOUR PAWS. This has left poor Sammi feeling very vulnerable. We have been dealing with recurrent urinary tract infections for months and months. I believe these have been exacerbated by stress. We’ve done everything we can possibly do to make Sammi feel more comfortable and safe here. But the UTI’s continue. She has been on several rounds of antibiotics for this. And I have her on daily cranberry.
I always know when a new UTI has taken hold. I’ll find Sammi in her litter box – over and over. Normally, that means starting another round of antibiotic. But this time it was different.
As far as I know, Sammi was fine (as fine as is possible for this sweetie) on Saturday. But on Saturday evening, I went into her room to find her in the litter box. I called her and when she stayed in the box I knew what that probably meant. On Sunday, I did not find her in the litter box even though I checked on her multiple times. I was trying to feel some relief. Then Sunday night, I found her in the litter box. I couldn’t convince her to come out. I took the lid off to lift her out and was horrified to see that the clumps in the box were pink. So now we had blood. In the middle of the night I got up to check on her. Found her in her litter box. And yesterday (Monday) morning, I found her in her litter box again, and there was bloody urine on the floor beside the box.
Once the clinic was open, I started trying to connect with someone to see what we needed to do. Bring her in? Pick up more antibiotic? X-rays? I knew it was unlikely that stones were the cause because antibiotics always cleared it up. But I wondered if there was anything else I could be doing to slow these episodes down or possibly eliminate them. Dr. A suggested we get a urine sample again to check for crystals and anything else the test might reveal. She would also palpate for stones, and then we would make some decisions. So off went Sammi and I to the clinic yesterday afternoon.
The urine sample gave us lots of red blood cells (blood in the urine), lots of white blood cells (probable infection), crystals (lots of discomfort), and unfortunately a little cluster of cells that shouldn’t be there . . . possibly precancerous. We decided to go with a pain med/anti-inflammatory that can be given every 24 hours for three days. Also – an antibiotic. New food. This will be tricky. Sammi has been on a special food for cats with sensitive digestion because she vomits just about every other kind. But Dr. A says we’ve reached the point where we’re going to have to try everything. I agree. We go back for a follow-up urinalysis mid-month. After that, our next step is X-rays to see if palpating is missing any stones.
I was relieved to be driving home with a medication for Sammi that would bring relief. And I was glad we had a plan in place. I wasn’t at all sure she would eat the new food, and if she did, would she vomit it back up? We’d have to see.
I walked into the house and started upstairs with Sammi. I noticed that Gideon was coughing, but I went on upstairs, gave Sammi her pain med, put out her new food, and left her to rest. When I got downstairs, I could see that Gideon had been throwing up. And he couldn’t quit coughing. I had flashbacks. Gideon did this very thing one time before. I cannot now remember how long ago that was. Maybe a couple of years? That “spell” got very bad. He coughed and vomited and coughed and vomited. His breathing became labored and congested and he collapsed. We rushed him to the ER that time. He was so deep into this spell that I was afraid we were headed that way again. I gave an anti-vomiting medication (a wonderful product that a friend sent to me). He threw it up. I gave it again. He threw it up. I ran for my canine cough medication. He threw it up. He was coughing hard and vomiting every few minutes. He was becoming exhausted. Gideon has a difficult time standing. Because of a brain injury as a pup, he wobbles continuously when he’s on his feet. He collapsed out on the catio the last time he did this. This time, within ten minutes of our battle to get the coughing and vomiting under control, he collapsed in the kitchen floor. He was lying on his side, and he couldn’t breathe. I was trying not to panic. I went through, in my mind, the meds Gideon was given in the ER that night. He received anti-nausea med, antibiotic injection, and a big dose of Benadryl. Our ER vet that evening didn’t know what was going on. There was never any definitive diagnosis. Gideon eventually relaxed and we brought him home. He never had another spell. Until yesterday.
While lying on his side on the kitchen floor, I got Benadryl into him. Then I just held his head in my hands and talked quietly to him. I kept petting him and telling him to calm down. His breathing became a bit slower and deeper. He kept trying to cough (while on his side), and that seemed to panic him. I guess we sat in the floor for fifteen minutes. Slowly he relaxed. Slowly his breathing got better. He still wanted to cough off and on. I finally got him on a couch so he could be more comfortable. But moving him got the coughing started again. We went through another calming session – I sat beside him, petting him and speaking in a soothing tone. I decided to try another dose of cough medicine and he kept it down. About an hour later he was asleep on his couch.
Sweet Sammi spent a great deal of the night in her litter box. Gideon is having some light coughing this morning but seems to be past this now, just like before. We’re hoping for a better day today. I don’t do well when my fur babies are suffering.
See you tomorrow for the first Wildlife Wednesday of the year.