Thursday, October 25, 2012

Akira... my poor baby kitty

This is the Akira I know... she snuggles her Mommy and loves to play with pens on the tile.

Here she is snuggling her soon-to-be sister, Sonja. She loves to snuggle up to my bump.

But recently, Akira has not been doing so well. It all started in June when we took her to get her teeth cleaned. Some routine blood work came back showing elevated liver levels. The vet was mildly concerned but decided to wait a month to see if they would go down. They didn't, they doubled. So we tried lowering her dose of Prozac (which makes her the happy non-urinating on the wall kitty we love so much), she remained happy and healthy by all appearances but her liver levels doubled AGAIN in that month. So we put her on Progesterone and her liver levels went back down. All seemed well.

Jeff took the cats about 5 or 6 weeks ago on a 3 days trek from Texas to California. Akira was fine through the trip though angry about the car ride. He then had to board them for a week with a local vet, where, unfortunately they were kept with the sick cats until we could prove they had been vaccinated. This normally wouldn't have been an issue except I was PISSED they put them near sick cats after Puppy got an eye infection, but still Akira was fine by all appearances.

Things went bad a few weeks ago when, out of nowhere, Akira had a seizure. Jeff took her to the local and quite famous VCA Animal Hospital, where they actually have a neurologist for animals who specializes in seizures in cats. She didn't know what was going on but tested for several infections, all of which came back negative. Instead of figuring out what was causing the seizures, she put her on Phenobarbital to control the seizures after Akira had 2 more within 48 hours of the first one.

Akira seemed to be doing fine on the Phenobarbital, but 3 or 4 days ago took a turn for the worse. She refused to eat, slept all day and seemed to have a hard time moving at all. We felt her tummy and it was hard as a rock, on top of it, she seemed pained by the touch. I took her back to the animal hospital, where they did a very expensive ultrasound that revealed everything was fine except her intestinal lymph nodes were enlarged. They said it could be IBS, a systemic infection, or Lymphoma. Awesome. Things keep getting better...

I almost took her to an internal medicine specialist while I panicked yesterday that she wouldn't eat. They did prescribe an antibiotic hoping it may help. They were really useless in giving me any help or hope. Instead I decided to wait a day, and I got her to drink some kitten formula and eat at least half a small can of wet food. I made an appointment with a vet I found on Yelp who had rave reviews. I wasn't expecting miracles, I just knew I couldn't keep spending $500 every time my cats got sick, and this lady seemed perfect by her reviews, she doesn't over charge and she doesn't try to get you to do a bunch of unnecessary stuff.

So today I brought both cats in. You'll be happy to know Puppy is very healthy. She commented on how muscular and fit he is, he's got a good heart rate. I pride myself in not only taking care of my own health, but also taking obsessive care of my cats health, so I was happy he is doing well. Akira, on the other hand, was obviously in bad shape. She wouldn't even get out of her carrier, she seemed unable to turn around in order to get out. The vet listened as I droned on and on about her health issues, what she'd been exposed to, all her medications and all the things I had tried. I explained that she's normally a happy, chirpy little thing who loves people. She seemed concerned. She said she doesn't think Akira has epilepsy but she might have some nasty systemic bug she can't get rid of. So she is going to keep her overnight and try a hardcore antibiotic. She also is going to rehydrate her and possibly force feed her, because Akira hasn't eaten enough to fight anything. She's going to wean her off the phenobarbital and try to get things back in balance.

Worst case scenario, Akira has lymphoma. If she does, there isn't much we can do but make her comfortable and hope she lives a long time. If she doesn't have lymphoma, we may be able to fix her with this antibiotic.

Either way I feel like I have finally found a vet who gives a crap, who might actually have an answer for me, and who won't do needless tests and put Akira through the ringer just to get nowhere. She's going to help me without bankrupting me. And the compassion she gave to both me, the crying pregnant lady in her exam room, and to my sick but angry Akira was genuine and sweet. I think I have found my new favorite vet.

Please pray for my baby Akira. I am sick over this, you guys, I just love her so much. I may not be the most religiously minded person anymore, but I have been on my knees begging God to just help me get her to eat. Sometimes that's all you can do... get the help you need from the people who know what they are doing, and then pray.

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