Sunday, October 2, 2011

Special Needs Kitty

Meet Fanner. She is our much-loved kitty with some very special needs. From the time she arrived in our home, we were able to see something wasn't quite right with her. At just a couple months old, she was walking funny one day and drooling from the mouth. She spent a night at the vet's office quite aways from home because it was the only one open on a Saturday late-afternoon. They weren't able to diagnose the problem but informed us we could take her to a specialist for a spinal tap...a drive of two hours away and a likely cost of over $1500 or have her put down. Ooooo-kayyyy. Well, we opted for neither and took her home to love her and wait and see how things would naturally go. I should mention here that we got her specifically for our then 6-yr old son. Or was he 5? She did better and over a few months we determined she was allergic to fish in the canned cat foods...good observation by hubby. Fish in dry food was ok. We had a regular vet nearby but testing he did wasn't adequate and over the next couple of years things were touch and go and almost gone when he gave her all of her shots at one time. More time spent overnight at the vet's. Eventually, I was recommended by a neighbor to go to another vet here in town, more expensive, but she specialized ONLY in cats. After several more tests, and a process of elimination, it was determined that Fanner had a condition known as liver shunts, more often found in dogs than cats (Google searches can explain it far better than I!). Something doesn't develop right with blood vessels & liver at birth. During the two years prior to Mrs. Vet, Fanner also began having seizures which became more often as time passed. Mrs. Vet put her on a medication that would hopefully help and it has some, but the seizures have never stopped and the medication, being a sugar-based product, caused uncomfortable flora to grow in her belly, so she also had to start taking Amoxycillin to curb the flora. From the seizures, she became blind although she can 'see' light and seems to be able to tell some things when in her path but will run into others. Regardless, she gets around very well indoors and in our enclosed back yard. She can't get out because she can't jump - hind leg muscle weakness issues. A couple years ago, she developed bladder stones. We'd noticed she was having trouble urinating and there was blood in it. Back to the vet and an expensive bill to surgically remove the stones. Mrs. Vet showed them to big as my little fingernail! That's big for a little 6-pound cat. I can only imagine the pain yet she never wimpered. Mrs. Vet told us that should the stones recur, that she wouldn't recommend another surgery, it would be too hard on her. Well, the reason for writing all this...we've reached a point where it appears the stones are back. She's presenting the same symptoms and unless Mrs. Vet has some new options when I call in the morning, I'm afraid we'll have to say goodbye to our precious kitty. It'll only get worse and we don't want her to suffer. She's my boy's kitty, but I think I'm more attached than he is. She sleeps next to me most nights, follows me around the house like a puppy dog during the day. I feed her, medicate her and scoop her litter. And I don't want to face tomorrow :(

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