Thursday, January 28, 2010

a bit of a scare

I arrived home Wednesday about 1:30, and as soon as Bosley heard my voice, he started the chattering to be let out of the kitty room. He is still too small to have run of the house if no one is home. I let him out, and he was already licking his chops, telling me he was nauseous. Sometimes after he moves around a bit, he feels better, so I didn't feed him right off the bat. I sat down at my desk to do some work. Then, I noticed something odd. Bosley didn't climb up onto my desk.

I got up and looked for him in the kitty room, and he was on his bed, in front of the heat vent. He heard me and came running over, but when I went back to my office, he didn't follow. Odd. I picked him up, and he felt warm. I assumed it was from the vent. I brought him in with me to the office and he sat with me for a while, but then went back to his room. I went back in and decided I best take his temp. 104.4! Yikes! I called Dr. Brown at Capital Cat Clinic, and told them what was up. Dr. Brown was with another patient, so she said he would call me back. About 2 minutes later she called and said bring him in now.

Bosley's new favorite downstairs place to sleep. Can you say "heat Vent?"

We got there, and we waited about 10 minutes until Dr. Brown got done with his other patient, and we went in to the exam room. The tech took his temp, still 104.4. Dr Brown came in and I kept putting Bosley on the counter, and he kept leaping back onto my chest, doing his best to climb up to my shoulder. Dr. Brown said he expected to see a really lethargic lump, so he was pleasantly surprised. He gave Bosley a shot of long lasting antibiotic, and I asked if we could get something for the nausea, because he was losing weight. (The weight was actually down an ounce to 1.11!) We chatted about it, and he gave me a vial of meds, and a bag of syringes.

I figured this surprise visit with meds was going to be expensive, but I didn't care. When we went to pay for it, it was less than a regular visit! Dr. Brown is my hero! I think that megaesophagus is pretty rare in cats, so this is a great study for them. The radiologist they sent the films to also want to do a fluoroscope, so they can see moving pictures of what is going on. They also will be doing it no charge.

Buck and Bosley wait for dinner.

So, today is day 3 with the nausea medication. Bosley still vomits, but he doesn't feel nauseous all the time, at least I don't think so. He isn't licking his chops all the time. Now when he throws up, it's usually because he has tried to eat too fast. That doesn't work so well. The hernia and the low motility keep the food from going into his belly too fast, and the megaesophagus means he just packs the food in, and it has nowhere to go, but back up. Now I feed him slowly, and it is working to an extent. Plus, now that he is on the meeds, even if he throws up, he goes back and tries again. Hopefully we have a system working now. I weighed him today, and he is at 1.13 1/2 oz, which is the most he has ever weighed!

Bosley looks like he feels better.

So, we continue to move forward. Boz gets fed about 5 or 6 times a day, and can get through about a half a big can now, with occasional KMR, and Nutrical regularly. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope he keeps gaining weight. I am thinking of a 2lb party, as soon as he gets there. I hope it's sooner rather than later.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

bosley's big adventure

Bosley spent the entire day at the vet's office on Friday. Dr. Brown sent the first set of films to the cardiologist last week, to see if they thought Bosley had a Persistent Right Aortic Arch (PRAA). They didn't think so, and wanted to see another set of films. I dropped Boz off at 8:30 Friday.

I have to say, I really missed not having him here all day! I suppose I have grown a little attached to the guy. :) I did get more work done without having to fight to see my monitor.

Boz in his favorite spot while I am trying to work.

I managed to muddle through the day without him, but I was hoping they would call me early to come get him. I had a doctor's appointment at 4:00 myself, and was hoping to be able to get him before that. I didn't get the call until I was walking into my doctor's office. Ellen, the vet tech called to tell me they wanted to set up a 5:00 pick up and meet with Dr. Fernandez to go over the films. Perfect. Joy was meeting me there at 5:00.

We got there, and all of the staff could not stop talking about how cute and sweet Bosley was! Ellen had told me over the phone that she wanted to kid(cat)nap him and take him home. Both the receptionists were in love with him, and the other tech Chris, said he was so good and he liked to sit on his shoulder (we already knew that!)

We got in to see Dr. Fernandez, and the first thing he said was "That Bosley is such a sweet little guy!" Seems Bolsey charmed everyone there. I am not surprised!

We looked at the x-rays with Dr. Fernandez. I had done some internet research the last couple of days about PRAA, and Megaesophagus, another term I heard Dr. Brown mention when we were in last week. He had shown us a photo in a book about PRAA, and there was also a picture of a puppy that had megesophagus that was eating by standing with his front legs on a box. It said that it helped the symptoms by letting gravity help get the food to the belly. I decided then I was going to start feeding Bosley that way, and already it seemed to help.

Boz eats from the bowl on his elevated box-diner. Appropriate name of a game that we are using for his dinner station.

Dr. Fernandez showed us how Bosley's esophagus was very dilated, and it was very apparent in the films. You could see the narrowing of the path, then nothing, then you could see the barium in the belly. Dr. Fernandez said he is sure Boz does not have PRAA, and he does have megaesophagus, and possibly a hernia, which is causing the narrowing of the esophagus near the juncture of the stomach. He said he wants to send the film out to a radiologist to look at, but it's definitely not PRAA.

What does all that mean? Well, for now it means we feed Boz in a more upright position, and after he eats, I try to keep him vertical even longer. Not hard to do, since he loves to be held. He gets frequent small meals, and only Prescription A/D, which has more nutrition, and it's much easier for him to eat, as it has no chunks. So far, he is doing quite well with that. He ate a lot last nigh, and no vomiting! There may be a surgery in his future for the hernia, but there is nothing that can be done about megesophagus surgically. It is what it is, and there is no cure, just managed care. We can do that. Now we wait and see what the radiologist has to say.

Bosley naps with Bentley.

In the mean time, Bosley has integrated pretty well with the rest of the "family." Bishop and Buck both mother him, hold him down and bathe him. Ripley ignores him, and Bentley is pretty indifferent. I think he understands that he doesn't feel good, so he really doesn't bother with him. After a big dinner last night, today he has yet to eat. He had a couple of laps of KMR, but has no interest in eating. Hope he feels better as the day wears on. Gonna be hard to keep weight on him this way.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

prognosis: good!

Bosley has been enjoying his time hanging outside the "prison" of the kitty room. He loves to be anywhere we are, wherever that might be, He also likes hanging with the "big kids" who are fairly accommodating too, even Ripley, who really doesn't care much for any other cats.

Bentley is less curious of him, since Bosley is not afraid of him, and doesn't run, so he usually gives him a sniff, and then ignores him. (Buddy on the other hand couldn't be still, so Bentley was always wanting to chase him.) So goes the days here since we made Bosley an official member of the household.

Boz in his favorite spot while I am working at my desk. Yes, it does make it difficult!

We went to see Dr. Brown yesterday. The good news is, right off the bat he knew he didn't have a liver shunt. He was too active. He was up on my shoulder as soon as he could wiggle out of my hands, and was quite animated for Dr. Brown. We went through a few different ideas, and we decided that an x-ray would be a good first step. They took him upstairs, and we hung out in the lobby, chatting with the receptionists, and playing with the resident cat, Emmy.

Took a bit longer than I thought it would, but we found out they decided to do a barium swallow after they looked at the first 2 x-rays. We went back into the exam room and looked at them. The barium really showed something very interesting, but not surprising to me. You could see the barium in the top of his esophagus, and in his belly, but not so much right around mid-way. Something is constricting it, which explains his constant vomiting. Dr. Brown thinks it is possibly something called a persistent right aortic arch. Sounds scary, but it is leftover tissue from when he was a fetus that didn't dissolve, or fall off, or whatever it does when they are born, and it constricts the esophagus. He could outgrow it, but either way, it is correctable with surgery.

Dr. Brown was going to consult with the other doc there, and then with a cardiologist to see what they think. I should hear back today at some point. Until we know more, we just keep on with what we are doing.

Bosley enjoying a little bed time.

Boz actually seems to be doing better. He is still vomiting, but less frequently, and even after he vomits, he goes back and eats more. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will grow out of it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

buddy is ready to go

Buddy hit the 2 1/2lb mark today, so he is all ready to go back to the shelter for spay/neuter day. Bosley isn't so lucky on that end. He is still hovering around 1lb, 13 oz. I sent an e-mail to my cats vet, Dr Brown, and asked to pick his brain a little about Bosley. Right away he mentioned something called a liver shunt. He said it would explain the low weight, and the vomiting. I did a little research, and that is not a good thing to have. It's pretty rare in cats, usually striking small dogs. A liver shunt is basically a blood vessel that reroutes the blood from going to the liver, and takes it back to the heart without filtering. Not a good thing. I am not convinced that is the problem, because Boz has not shown any other signs of this problem, like seizures, trembling, aggressiveness or lack of coordination.

I figure that Bosley is pretty much unadoptable with his vomiting issues anyway, and I know the shelter wouldn't have the funds to fix this problem, so yesterday, I adopted him. Yes, after all my hard stance on no more cats, I went and adopted a special needs kitten. Dr. Brown knows about my fostering work, and he told me he would see Bosley for free, and at least we have a starting point. He thinks an ultra sound would show a shunt if he has one. I hope it's something else! I think he is small because he can't keep enough food down. (At least this morning he had a decent meal and kept it down.)

Now my biggest problem is when Buddy goes back, Bosley will be alone all day. :( I can't let him run the house, since he likes to go downstairs. He is too little to be left with Bentley all day, unsupervised. Until he gets a little bigger, he is just going to have to deal with being alone in the mornings until I get home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

fun with paper balls

Well, things are going about the same here at itty bitty central. Buddy is growing like mad, and his eye is almost totally normal. I think it will eventually be 100%. He is quite the rascal, and loves to play with Buck...and anyone else that will play with him. He even gives Bentley a go. He is at 2lbs, 3 oz as of this morning, so it won't be long until he is ready to go back to the shelter for adoption. He won't be there long, with his good looks and playful personality.

Boz is about the same. He has good days and bad days, and his weight goes up and down. He has gotten bigger, so I am hopeful! He is still under 2lbs, so I need to work on that. Yesterday he had a rough morning, throwing up twice, but then in the afternoon, he ate, and he played, and he seems to be doing well! Today, he ate some this morning, and kept it down. This afternoon, he ate, vomited, then got some meds, and a shot, and a little later ate quite a lot for him, and kept it all down. I just wish I could come up with a reason for his nausea. Joy keeps saying he is just gonna live here forever. I say no...but at this point, he is never going to be up to 2 and a half pounds! Maybe they will just forget he was ever there...LOL!

Other than being small, he is in pretty good shape. I will make sure I get someone I know to adopt him as soon as he goes back. I have too much time invested in him to just not keep in touch! He is a little high maintenance, but he is so sweet, it's worth the extra time.

Here is a little video of the boys playing with the favorite toy...the paper ball. As you can see, Buddy has passed Boz in size now. That odd tone in the background is my Blackberry. :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

happy new year!

As the new year rolls in, Scooby and Shaggy have rolled on to forever homes. Both are already gone from the shelter website. I will be getting an update this week as to where they ended up, but I am sure they didn't go together. Shaggy was gone from the site first, and Scooby was still there another day before he was gone. I'm sad they didn't go together, but happy they both found homes quickly.

If you didn't know Buddy had a eye infection a month ago, you couldn't tell.

On the home front here, Buddy and Boz are doing great. They are neck and neck as far as weight goes. (Right around 1lb, 12oz.) Buddy's eye is all better, with only a slight amount of cloudiness to it. I am amazed. He is a ruff and tumble sorta guy, who is always happy, and always moving. He will let you hold him if you scratch under his chin, but he loves to romp.

Buddy loves Bishop's new mouse.

Boz is starting to show some kitten playfulness too. He still has good days and bad days, but when he feels good, he romps just as hard as Buddy. They both were making me laugh this morning with their antics. This afternoon, Boz was not feeling great,but he seems pretty good right now. He ate some, and did a little running, trying to get to the door before I closed it! Perhaps a romp in the hallway is in order.
As you can see, it is difficult to get photos, since their favorite place to play is on me!

Bosley leaps over Buddy to his favorite spot. My lap.

A surprise attack is imminent.

Bosley defends the lap!

Boz prepares for the next attack.