All Julie, All the time…

My life has become split in two parts- exhausted at work, and home minding/monitoring my cat. Just under a month ago we made our first visit to the vet because he was straining in his litter box, and I just wanted to have him checked out. they sedated him, which relaxed his body enough to release what he had been holding in because it hurt to pee. Then they gave him some subcutaneous fluids (fluid under the skin) and sent me home with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory.
Two days later was blogthon, and he was listless and just not himself for most of the day, so I trucked him back off to the vet to be told “Yeah. Your cat has gas.” They gave him a shot of pepcid and he was back to his old self within hours. They also told me to discontinue the anti-inflammatory, just in case that, along with his change in diet had played a part in the day’s malaise.
Fast forward to last Friday. Julie was not only straining in his box, but was meowing in pain, with a few growls and some hissing thrown in for good measure. I felt his abdomen and it was harder than it normally is, so I called my boss to say I’d be in late, and set off for the vet’s office.
Having no appointment, I expected to have to wait a couple of hours to be seen. Not so. A blocked male cat is a very serious thing and they saw him right away. the vet said he was looking at a stay of at least 24 hours in the ICU so that they could give him fluids and keep a catheter in his bladder to measure his output. She also said the bill was likely to be in the $1000-$1500 range. OUCH. His previous two visits had cost me over $300 already. But he’s my baby and I signed the form, resolving to find some way of paying for it.
I visited him in the ICU Friday night, and got into a conversation with one of the techs. Apparently my sweet, docile kitty was a bit of a problem child. Being caged and uncomfortable turned him aggressive. There are so many doctors and staff there that they use a simple system to tell at a glance what the temperament and/or condition of an animal in any given cage. The cat in the cage next to Julie had a leg injury and was wearing a light restraint. The cage had a laminated card hung on the door with a cute little cartoony drawing of a snail. And my sweet baby? The cards on his cage, because yup, he was special enough to get two, were a rattlesnake and an alligator.
He was released on Saturday afternoon, much to everyone’s relief, but not before puling out two catheters, and trying to chew out his IV. He’s been home ever since, and I have been watching him closely for any signs that he might be having troubles again, feeding him his new prescription food, trying to make sure he’s drinking enough water, and giving him medicine twice a day, which he just loooooves.
He’s also not drinking much water- and it’s been unusually warm here- so last night he was given a prescription for subcutaneous fluids to be administered at home. I dreaded giving the dose the whole way home, but he barely seemed to notice, so that wasn’t as bad as I had feared.
I’ve kept him locked in the bathroom for the last few days because of his propensity to pee on everything. He seems to have stopped that, so I let him out for a little bit and he came and snuggled with me on my bed for a little while. He’s still in pain when he goes into his box, and vociferously objects when i touch his back end. I decided five days was long enough for him to be in pain, and called the vet again. They asked if I had any Metacam left (the anti-inflammatory) and I said yes, that Id only given him one dose and then was told to stop. I was then told that in addition to being an anti-inflammatory, it is also a pain reliever. I was worried because he had gotten sick after taking it the first time, but the vet said at the time that it shouldn’t have been related to the medicine, and I, desperate for my kitty not to be in pain anymore, dutifully dosed him up.
Two problems with that- It’s supposed to be given with food but Julie is refusing even treats at the moment. And then also, I googled metacam and discovered that it can be lethal to cats, but vets still prescribe it. My one consolation there is that i’m only giving him one or two doses, and they’re small- 0.44ccs every 24 hours. All the forum posts were for 9-10 pound cats and mine is 15 pounds. And they were all from before mid-2006, and according to Wikipedia, an oral suspension of Metacam was approved for cats in July 2007. I’m just crossing my fingers that he gets better and stays that way.
Oh, and anyone know how much I can get for my kidney on the black market? Because if he incurs many more vet bills, it just might come to that…