For the past couple of weeks he's not been himself. Hasn't been himself. Normally, he would jump on you, or crawl in your lap and purr until...well..he never stops purring. Robyn and I finally decided to take him to the vet on Saturday. We brought him in, thinking we would be out of there rather quickly. We were pretty sure he just ate something he shouldn't have, like hair or a spider.
Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple. When we brought him in, they told us he was pretty dehydrated. They tested his urine and it wasn't concentrated. Basically, he isn't retaining the limited amount of water he is getting. During the physical, they found his right kidney to be a big larger (or twice the size) than his left. They were concerned by this, and wanted to run some of his blood for additional testing and get an ultrasound of his kidney. They also wanted to keep him in the hospital for the weekend until the ultrasound on Monday. They ALSO wanted $1,500 - $3,000 either per day or for the whole shot; either way more than we can afford. We elected to bring him home and just keep an eye on him with the understanding that if he got worse, we would bring him in to emergency.
He did fine the entire weekend. If anything he seemed a bit perkier than usual. We brought him back for the ultrasound. Seeing as though he was feeling a bit better, I was optimistic he was going to be fine. I had convinced myself that he had a UTI that spread to his kidneys, we'd need to give him antibiotics and he would be back to his old self again.
Robyn called me with the results: Phoenix has Feline Chronic Renal Fauilre. To say I was shocked would be an understatement.
He's only two years old....
He's my little buddy...
...That was all two weeks ago...
Since then Poosa has been doing better. We switched him off of his pellet diet and put him on a natural homemade diet. He's responding very well. He's eating more and is actually starting to fight back when feasl attacks. (note: She's really gotten HUGE in the past couple weeks...but that's another story for another day.) The only thing that still worries me is we have to give him an IV twice a day. When we originally said we couldn't afford to put him in the hospital for the weekend, they told us they would send us home with fluids to give him to get him re hydrated. We were under the impression this was in place of the emergency fluid restoration project. But that's not what our new Vet says.
Since we are going to the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital, we get a new Vet every 2-3 weeks when their rotation is done. Our last vet was very receptive to the idea of a home derived meal and not prescription. The Vet, not so much. The Vet keeps telling us to put him on the prescription since he's "not getting adequate nutrition from the home-based meals" and giving us the overall feeling like we're horrible fur kid parents. When we tried the prescription food, he didn't like it. After eating it, he sat on the couch hunched over, and looking like he did before we took him to the vet. We tried that for a couple days and it wasn't helping. We switched him back to the diet we prepared, and he ate heartily. He enjoys it, and is looking a lot better. Since he has been home on this diet his weight is up 1.5 pounds; almost back to where he was pre-sickness. The Vet's response: Try another prescription food since "he's not getting a nutrient that is in the prescription food." I don't think so.
Then I remember what my mother-in-law told me: Cats live for the day. I want Poosa to enjoy the time he has, which I hope is still quite lengthy. I don't want to keep trying to get him to eat food he doesn't want to eat. I want him to enjoy what he eats, and if we have to give him vitamins along with it, then so be it.
I want my Poosa to feel better. If I knew for a fact what they want to do would work, I would.
Unfortunately, I don't think they have a grasp on what needs to be done. He has Kidney stones, not bladder struvite stones. They told us off the bat they were not in any way related to an UTI. Now they want to bring him back in, and run the same blood work they did last week and also run a UTI test.
Sorry, but no.
I know they want to help, but running the same tests every week will not help. Come back with some ideas and not just more tests you can charge me for and I'll consider it.
Until then, I'll enjoy my time with my buddy who's feeling better and climbing trees again....
Another story that must wait for another day.