Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Staph, Worms and Vet Visits! Oh My!

What an exciting weekend/Monday I had.  I usually pride myself on everyone in my household being happy and healthy and well taken-care-of.  This is why this weekend was so hard.  Such was not the case.

Let me start off with Cody.  As I've posted before, he had a staph infection a couple of months ago.  Antibiotics and steroids helped him tremendously, and I thought all was well.  However, he recently started scratching again.  I'd feel so sorry for him as I'd watch him scratch and scratch and scratch and find absolutely no relief.  Then, as is common with staph, he started to smell.  Of course, all dogs smell at some point, but he smelled like rotten fish.  So, since I had a vet appointment scheduled anyway (he needed his annual shots) I thought I'd ask about it.  Sure enough, we have him back on antibiotics.  This stuff is stronger, so hopefully it will knock this thing out.

Then there's Mo, the cat.  He will occasionally have these bouts where he'll get sick to his stomach and then he's fine.  I was planning on asking the vet about that too and maybe have him tested for diabetes or thyroid issues.  Things changed Friday.  Hans and I came home after dinner with Jessica around 1:00 am.  About 30 minutes after we got home Mo vomited all of his dinner, and it had barely been digested at all.  He then spent the entire night and into the next morning being sick every two hours.  So, that was night of no sleep number 1.

Saturday he seemed to be doing better, so we decided to feed him a small amount.  A few hours passed and he was still fine, so we decided to proceed with our day.  When we came home around 6 he had gotten sick a few more times, but we just figured it was a stomach flu or something.  Saturday night, however, he started to vomit but when he was done he was wheezing.  His lungs were audibly congested, and he wasn't looking so good.  I decided, however, that it wasn't quite an emergency yet and we could wait until Sunday.  I still, however, wasn't taking any huge risks so I spent most of the night up with him making sure things didn't get worse.  That was the night of no sleep number 2.

Sunday he had a slight fever and was obviously feeling terrible.  I didn't want to put him at risk, but I still didn't think he needed the emergency center.  I suppose to be honest, I was afraid of the cost there too.  You can figure that just walking in the door will cost you $250, and I still figured it was just a cold.  You know, he may have aspirated some vomit, or he may have caught Cody's staph.  It could be pneumonia, but that could wait.  I still kept a close eye on him all day, though, and was actually relieved when I heard him cough (he was coughing up stuff, I thought it was good). 

Monday I took him to the vet first thing.  He was noticeably declining.  His energy was lower and his appetite was waning.  If you know Mo, the energy thing isn't such a big deal, but the lack of appetite is huge!  The vet's diagnoses?  Heartworms.  It's very rare for a cat to get heartworms, but it happened to him.  Now he's on steroids to kill the worms and antibiotics to boost his immune system and fight off the pneumonia the worms caused.

So how is he now?  He's surprisingly much better.  I figured it would take a few days for him to really improved, but after his first set of meds yesterday morning he seemed to be coughing less and eating more.  This morning he was purring and jumping on me just like his old self.  I'm excited by this improvement and can hardly imagine what he'll be like in 9 days when the treatment is over.  Not to get into too much detail, but I've noticed big differences in the litter box as well (even from before he was sick).  I'm wondering if, once the worms are gone, his body will actually receive more nutrients and he won't have to eat as much.  Maybe he'll lose weight!  Maybe he won't stink up the kitty "bathroom" so much.  This could be super exciting!  Wish him (and me) luck!

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