Friday, August 22, 2008

Unexpected VET Trip

Our little Uschi-Swirl has had a rough couple of days, so we needed to make an unplanned trip to the VET today. Two nights ago (Tuesday) Uschi vomited several times during the night, not the ate-too-much-grass kind, but the milky white mucus kind. He was also uncomfortable and a little disoriented. Wednesday morning Uschi seemed better, howling promptly at 5 a.m. and hollering on and off throughout the day. He seemed active and alert and no longer vomiting, but Thursday he seemed "too" active, YELLING more, missing the litterbox (which can happen sometimes), and not napping at all. By the evening he started vomiting again, food at first, then mucus, and then a pink fluid that looked suspiciously like fresh blood. By this point he was vomiting about every hour, weak, and disoriented.

We laid him on the bed next to me, but Uschi couldn't get comfortable. Les stayed up with him and offered him water, but Uschi just leaned against the water bowl. We knew that we needed to get him to the VET right away.

Uschi was curled up in our pile
of coats, finally getting a little sleep.

Vladi was sleeping in a pile of my clean clothes.
We decided to take Vladi with Uschi to keep him
company, and so Vladi could get one of his vaccines
(he'll get the second one next month).

Tanji was curled up with Les' iPod.
We prepared quietly, to not disturb the boys.

Tanji hears the carrier being assembled
and bolts out the door to the kennel.

Tanji is the dark shadow in the upper left corner,
hiding behind the pole.

Back inside, we wake Uschi up and get him ready to go...

Since he hasn't been feeling well enough to clean himself,
I give him a little brushing and an ear rub.

Vladi and Uschi go into the carrier...

and off we go to the v-e-t.

Since he no longer likes the car after his last trip,
Vladi starts howling like a crazy cat.

Both boys get into the back window.
Vladi is hyper, but Uschi is more subdued.

Both start panting with excitement and anxiety.
We can't get to the clinic fast enough.

Are you ready Uschi? Let's go inside.

The boys wait in the air-conditioned lobby,
Uschi stares at me, and Vladi watches the dogs.

Once inside the room...

Vladi is no longer the super-confident kitten,
like his big brother Tanji before him, he heads for cover.

The veterinary assistants collect Uschi's information,
and then take him to the back area to get his weight
(he has lost 2.5lbs), and get his temperature (normal range).

Vladi takes the opportunity to check out the counter.
"Hey, why is my kitty chart here? I'm just visiting!"

The assistants return with Uschi. Then its Vladi turn to get
checked out and he hisses at the assistants and we can
hear him howling when his temperature is taken.

"Guys, that was not cool."

The Veterinarian joins us to review Uschi's information and ask more questions. Uschi gets a physical exam including feeling his abdomen (no obvious distensions), his kidneys (large, but not appearing to be painful to the touch), and his mouth under the tongue (no obstructions).

Our Vet indicates that it is possible Uschi's not eating or drinking may have resulted from swallowing an object, or other causes, and indicates that the safest approach would be to admit Uschi overnight for monitoring, an IV, and possible ultrasound. However, it is Friday night and this clinic does not have these options available. Our Vet recommended other possible clinics, or the option of running some tests immediately, giving Uschi subcutaneous fluids to hydrate him, an anti-emetic to stop the nausea, an antacid to reduce the chance of reflux, and monitoring Uschi ourselves tonight. This is with the caveat that we keep a close eye on the little guy and are in contact with the clinic in the morning. We choose this latter, foregoing the tests that would require anesthesia for now, hoping Uschi resumes eating and drinking tonight before we have the initial test results.

At this point, both Les and I are sitting down...

Even Vladi seems worried.

Uschi is taken in the back area again to get a CBC blood test that could indicate bleeding, infection, or kidney concerns; a urine test (his bladder was too empty for this); a fecal test, the injection of fluids; the antacid injection (Famotidine), and the anti-vomiting medication (Cerenia) injection.

We are pretty tense back in the exam room,

Vladi deals with tough situations by getting super-mushy.

"Hi, Dad!"

"Hi, Mom!"


We wait for Uschi to return.

Uschi comes in pretty limp from all of the work, and a big lump on the back of his neck where the fluids were injected (that is normal). He was a very good boy,Uschi is a sweetie even when he is feeling bad. Uschi slinks down behind a chair to clean up the fluid residue from his fur, and puts up with our pets and hugs. We were too stressed to take any photos of Usch.

Its Vladi's turn for a physical exam (he looks good) and his FVRCP 3 year vaccine. Our Vet gives us further instructions (no food for Uschi for three hours), things to look out for, etc., we pay the bill, and head for the car.

We decide to keep the boys locked in the carrier
on the way home to keep them as calm as possible.
Vladi clearly disagrees with this policy decision.

Once home, Tanji gives Uschi a big sniff...

and dives under the ottoman.
Tanji remembers the v-e-t smell.

Uschi starts cleaning, we think this is a good sign.

Vladi helps us update their kitten journals.

We unpack the special foods and treats
that we couldn't resist buying (parental guilt),
and keep a close eye on Uschi.

Uschi has cleaned up and is settled in front of the
TV watching the Olympic Decathlon with us.

We have put out lots of water for him and will offer
food tidbits in a few hours. We're keeping our fingers
crossed and will keep everyone updated on his progress.

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grantmr said...

get well uschi!

Anonymous said...

Get well soon Uschi! Much love and well wishes from an adoring fan.

Daisy said...

Oh dear! I hope Uschi gets better soon. I am very worried about him.

ps: I have those CET dental treats, too. They are yummy.

Pam said...

Hugs from Kinny and Tessa! We hope you feel better soon big guy!
Kinny and Tessa

Anonymous said...

Oh my heart goes out to you guys! I really hope Uschi starts feeling better. Anytime one of my bengals is sick I get crazy... they are my children! It's so hard, I will send all my good wishes and hopes to you Uschi and you guys!

-Bryn, Bellevue, WA

Anonymous said...

P.S. Not sure if you guys have this available, and I know Uschi already got some fluids from the Vet, but at our Whole Foods grocery store they have this special drinking water with enhanced/added electrolytes. When my one of my bengals was sick and dehydrated, I got an empty plastic syringe (no needle of course, like the ones the vets give you when they prescribe the liquid clavamox antibiotic) and my cat LOVED drinking the water from it and I gave it to him every couple hours.

SpillToJill said...

awe, feel better!

emiliethestrange said...

Is Uschi feeling better now?