I took Mystic back to see his vet today, a follow-up to the emergency visit last week when he had to see someone else because she was on vacation. As many of you know, my giant gray cat Mystic (not so large anymore, alas), the brother to Magic, has been going downhill for some months now. We're still not really sure what's causing the issue--x-rays haven't shown much, and blood tests show us all sorts of issues, including kidney failure, which is a new development in the last few months, and an unexplained very low red blood cell count. He lost his appetite and a lot of weight (going from 16.8 lbs to his current 12.2) and had problems pooping, but we've never really figured out why. There could be an underlying cancer we've never found, or it could simply be age, although even fifteen year old cats don't usually fall apart for no reason.
|Mommy, I don't feel well.|
We'd managed to stabilize him to some extent. Half a prednisone every other day got him eating again, and three other meds kept him pooping. Recently I also started giving him subq fluids at home, something I had all-too-much practice with from dealing with Samhain's six year fight against renal failure.
But then he peed outside the box three times in eight days. (Copious amounts, but not stinky, thank goodness, because he drinks so much water.) I was pretty sure it wasn't another UTI, because that's not how he manifests them, and tests showed I was right. The vet we saw last Wednesday suggested that it was possible it was happening because he was in pain, and I thought that was likely because he'd been sitting all hunched over and also really being nasty and aggressive with Magic all of a sudden, unlike his usual periodic bullying.
So the vet tried him on a strong painkiller, which was premeasured in syringes I could just squirt into Mystic's mouth. The verdict was very clear--his behavior changed almost immediately, and he hasn't peed on the floor since, he's mostly better with his sister, and he is obviously more comfortable. This was a little bit "good news, bad news." Obviously it meant he was in increased amounts of pain, which was bad (and probably another indicator of the worsening of his condition, as was the fact that he had lost another pound after staying stable for a few months at 13.4). Plus, this medicine is usually used on a temporary basis only, usually for post-op pain relief. There are very few pain meds that can be used on cats, unfortunately, so our options were limited.
So we went back today to see his beloved regular vet to get her take on this. Luckily, she agreed with me that at this point, any possible negative issues from the painkiller were offset by the necessity to keep him comfortable and reasonably happy. (Basically, he's on kitty hospice, although there is no way to tell if he has a month or six.) He's on a half dose, which seems to be doing the trick for now. It's expensive stuff, of course, but I don't care. He may be fifteen years old, but he is still my baby, and I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that whatever time he has left is as good as I can make it.
He is, if anything, more affectionate than ever, and I feel blessed that I have such a great vet, and good friends who are willing to care for him--bazillion meds and all--when I go out of town. He's a damned good cat.
|Stretchhhhhh. I feel better!|