We have an illness in the family. Kevin started doing this weird teethgrinding thing that sounded like she’s chewing rocks a couple days ago. She would sometimes paw at her mouth, too, even trying to use two paws at once, which made her tip over suddenly. That part was funny, or would have been if the sound weren’t so alarming.
Off to the vet we went, for the second time in eight years. I was worked right up, after being told the danger of anesthetic to a cat that old, totally worried and grief-stricken at the possibility of surgery that could kill her.
Fortunately, she lives on. Fortunately on two counts. One of her teeth is fractured off at the gum line, exposing a nerve, but that’s better than a broken jaw, and can heal over without dental surgery. She is also starting to have kidney failure, which I wouldn’t have known was manageable or wouldn’t have caught in time without this visit to the vet under other auspices. Its normal for an old cat to have kidney issues, and I would have thought it was simple decline due to age if I saw her getting sickly. Otherwise remarkable health, not surprising.
So, she has to have antibiotics, painkillers injected and oral, and she has to go on an “iv” drip every day for two weeks to rehydrate and help “kickstart” her normal kidney function.
It’s a subcutaneous drip, not really intravenous – I stab her between skin and muscle layer and the fluid forms a pouch or balloon that her body then absorbs over a few hours, but I’m going to call it her dialysis.
In spite of the hopeful prognosis, I thought I was gonna lose her anyways on the way home, as she was so still and listless she was practically inert. Complete silence out of her is also eerie. When we got home I had to carry her from the truck to the camper and only then did she purr a little bit, to be home. She was really traumatized at the vet- they were wearing the welding gloves, and politely referred to her as “very feisty”, but she was clearly so weakened she could hardly walk normal, and that was frightening.
Today, a different cat. Hungry, bouncy, snuggly, and most remarkably- she weighs more! I noticed it right away picking her up. She’s softer, more plush. I guess the dehydration advanced so slowly that I didn’t notice the change. She’s still not got a lot to say (praise be), and is not in an adventuring mood, but I’m sure she’ll be fine soon.