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I know he’s an old cat—somewhere between 18 and 20. I know to expect problems with his health. But he’s just been doing so well. In June at his annual checkup, he passed with flying colors. But after a checkup yesterday, his teeth need serious cleaning, his ears have some kind of discharge, and most serious, he’s having trouble urinating. All at once, he’s falling apart.
I called the vet because of his urinating problem. I started noticing it last week. But it might have been going on longer. He has been using a very loud meow for the past year––not all the time, just when he wants my attention . . . or so I thought.
It is very loud. The first time, I thought he was being attacked, but, no, he was sitting under the chair ready for me to start swinging his favorite toy on a string for him to bat at. He loves this game; we play it every night. Then he wanted to play it during the day. Before long, he started his loud meowing for other things—water in the bathroom sink when it had run through and was empty, he would sit at my computer desk wanting me to sit there so he could be in my lap, and so on.
When he started meowing loudly at his litter box last week, I thought he was unhappy with the litter. It was due for change, so I changed it. But he continued the loud, insistent meows. I noticed that they were before and after he urinated. And there were a couple of times when he tried to urinate, but nothing happened. He was always successful on a second try. When I realized this could be a problem, I called the vet and we went in yesterday.
That’s when his vet, Dr. Barstow, found the problems with his teeth, ears, and urine. Apparently, there is blood in his urine. They took a sample and it is undergoing analysis. The thought is that there might be crystals in it, which may mean that he has cystitis. We should know by tomorrow, Friday. I have bladder control dry food that I give him after I’ve put a dollop of hairball stuff on top. He eats the hairball stuff and a little bit of the dry food, but not much of it. I supplement with moist food in the morning and in the evening, shredded, cooked chicken and dry treats for dental control (which apparently are not working). Dr. Barstow says I should only give him the dry food (which he doesn’t like.)
She gave him a shot to control inflammation and another shot for pain. And I was given some pink stuff with an eye dropper—Amoxicillin, an antibiotic that is Pepto-Bismol pink––that I am to give him every 12 hours for two weeks. Oh joy! Generally speaking, we don’t do pills or anything around the mouth because this sweet, lovable cat has given me a puncture wound before. So this will be great fun!!!
Yesterday after we got home, he peed immediately and then sat in one spot on the rug in the bedroom and didn’t move for hours. I think that was the result of the shots he was given. Later in the evening, he acted more normally and even played a little. He peed again too. Never knew I’d be so thrilled to see him pee.
Last night, I had him on my lap petting him, and he was totally unaware that I was about to give him some medication orally. Because it was such a surprise, I succeeded in getting all of it in his mouth. This morning, I put him on my lap and was petting him, and he wanted down immediately. I persevered and got most of the medication in his mouth. Some got on his bib. I tried washing it off later, but that pink must have a potent dye for he now has a pink spot on his white bib. And we’ve only just begun!
Today, instead of his loud, insistent meows, he makes tiny sounds. I’d rather have the loud meows. However, his movements are normal. He’s not just sitting in one spot.
He also urinated once during the night, which was good. But this morning he tried and couldn’t. Then about 1 p.m. the same thing and again at 2 p.m. That’s when I called Dr. Barstow. She had said that if he couldn’t after trying two or three times to call, and they would want to see him right away.
So I took him in and waited in the car. After awhile, as assistant came out and told me they would use a catheter and keep him overnight. So I headed home. The house felt really lonely with no Groucho around.
Later, the vet called. They had sedated him and inserted a catheter, and his very full bladder was able to empty. The urine was clear and looked much better than it did yesterday. They gave him a shot of penicillin instead of the amoxicillin to take care of tonight and tomorrow morning. Tests showed that there had been a lot of bacteria, so an antibiotic had been needed. Hope that takes care of the problem. The vet will call tomorrow as to where we go next with his treatment. Maybe by then, she’ll know if there are any crystals in his urine.
I’ll keep you posted. Think positive thoughts about Sir Groucho and keep him in your prayers.
Note: About 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning, I received a call from the vet. No crystals in his urine. Apparently it was a bacterial infection. I get to pick him up today at 4 p.m. Whew!!!