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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pan, Kal, and Van Health Issues

The health issues with my rescued cats are far from being over. I wanted them to get adopted soon as we are crowding here, but it's the least of my priorities now. I want them to be 100% healthy. But the 100% seems to still be far from reach.

This week is a hell week. Mark and I are both miserable to find cure for the 3 rescued kittens who are very sick now.

I get emotional when I see the 3 kittens suffering. The people who have seen me cry because my cat can't breath, or wouldn't eat probably thinks I'm a bit of a looney, but I don't give a shit. I love my cats as much as you love your own sons and daughters. So to vent out, and at the same time keep record of what's going on, I decided to write it here as sort of journal - hopefully, to their recovery.

After Pan's never ending confinement in the clinics and inexplicable skin problems that doesn't seem to be contagious, plus after Lotto's recovery from an unexplained infection, we started to religiously give vitamin C and L-Lysine to all the kittens in this house. I always give them vitamins, but it's the Nutri-plus gel that I think is only good in boosting appetite. Pan is getting Immunosin, a supplement to boost her weak immune system. These all started first week of September.

September 20

We noticed Kal (orange kitten) started sneezing, and his right eye is irritated, but not that bad. We thought, he probably got the colds from Lotto, but he would be OK. We continued with Vitamin C and Lysine. We also clean his eyes regularly by just flushing it with an eye cleaner solution we got from the vet, and applied anti-bacterial, eye drops (Vigamox) twice a day to prevent it from getting worse.

September 22

We noticed Van (black kitten) is also sneezing, and the eye was also a little bit irritated. We have an appointment for checkup on the 23rd so we decided to wait until the check-up so they can give us antibiotic if necessary. We continued the Vitamin C and L-lysine for both, and also started to clean Van's eye. We didn't apply the vigamox yet because it doesn't seem to be that bad. I wanted them to get checked by the vet the next day and have them recommend what to do.

September 23

We went to the Animal House for the follow up check-up. Both were de-wormed. I told the doctor that they started to sneeze, first Kal, followed by Van. I also told them about the eye irritation. I told them about the vigamox that I also got from them a month ago when we first got Kal (who used to have eye infection too). I told her we had been using it on Kal for three days now. She asked if it seemed to work.

Mark said "Yeah, well... it doesn't get worse, so was wondering if we should continue".

And so they said it's OK and just continue using it. They also prescribed amoxicillin trihydrate to give the kittens, 3x a day. Other than that, they said they are healthy. So we went home happy and started their antibiotic right away.

September 24

There was no improvement on Kal's eye. It seemed that there's no change. It's still red, with lots of mucus discharge - but to us it doesn't look like it's getting worse either. But Van's a different story. Even with the eye flushing and vigamox treatment, her right eye seem to look worse. The conjunctiva is inflamed, and her eyes are getting smaller and smaller. We put our faith on the vigamox, since it's been just a day of doing it. We proceeded as usual.

September 25

No change on Van's eye. Still swollen conjunctiva, with more mucus secretion. We clean it regularly to make sure that the mucus won't build up and get crusty. We still apply the vigamox, although I'm already doubting that it's working. If it is working, we should be seeing at least a little improvement by now. And if it does work, it should show on Kal, who's been using it for more than 3 days.

But Kal's eyes were still the same. Red, swollen, with lots of mucus discharge. His sneezing is also getting worse. But then again, I have to put my trust in the anti-biotic which is probably just making it's way to build it's army inside his tiny body.

Earlier in the evening, we were visited by our friend, a fellow cat-lover. I prepared a failed-cendol-but-still-yummy, chitchat, hung out for a little bit. Gave anti-biotic to Kal and Van. Cleaned both eyes and gave vigamox drops. Van's eye is getting smaller, but it's still opened. Then we went out for dinner.

We came home after about 2 1/2 hours. We checked on Van's eye, and to our horror, we couldn't open it anymore. It's stuck. We can open the lid, but the conjunctival sack is closed. We rushed immediately to the 24 hour Animal House.

Around 12:30 midnight, when we came, we are welcomed by my not so favorite vet. Gerry and I are quite not very impressed with his skills, but nevertheless, he's the attending vet. Anyways, he changed the eye medication to ilium chloroint. He gave Van an anti-inflammatory shot, and then flush her right eye with an eye cleaning solution. The problem with this vet is that he's hard to communicate with. We don't know if he's understanding us or not. Most of the time, he contradicts himself, but I'm not going to elaborate on that. So Mark asked him, if he can open the conjunctival sack, because how are we suppose to apply the medication if it's closed. Mark asked him to flush it again and at least open it up for us so we can do it ourselves. But the vet said no, do not open the sack it's extremely painful. So there, we got our medicines, got Van's eye flushed but the sack still closed. We went home confused if can apply the medication outside the conjunctival sack since it wouldn't open, and if the medication will work that way.

September 26

Mark wakes up every 2 hours to check on Van, frequently removing the mucus and flushing it with eye solution. We were scared that we might not be able to open even the lids.

At 9am, since we were confused about the vet telling us to not open the eye, but at the same time didn't tell us how we will apply the medication, we decided to go to a bigger veterinary clinic, in the hopes that they have an eye specialist, plus they have all the equipment to perform test. We rushed to Vets In Practice (VIP) in Mandaluyong. This time, Pan also started to sneeze. So we brought the three kittens to be evaluated.

We gave all the information. Medications that we applied, for how long, their symptoms, what happened the other night - everything in detail... It was exhausting. The vet asked us to leave the 3 kittens and come back for them. Apparently, there's such thing as eye specialist on cats, and they have it. The doctor will after lunch so we were asked to leave the kittens.

Mark and I were both hopeful for positive results. I called up at 5pm to check if I can pick up my kittens and what's the update. And there, our worst nightmare was about to be extracted right on our faces. The doctor evaluated Van, and she said that the right eye is already blind due to the infection. They said they managed to open the conjunctival sack and examine the eye. They also put the same medication. They said there's nothing we can do now, but to wait until the swelling stops. Worse case, they will have to remove the eye if the infection will not subside to save the other eye. I was crying on the phone while the vet was saying this. I don't know where we went wrong. I can't just let Van lose her eye...

I was feeling miserable, and just kept on crying. I felt like a liar to Van telling her she'll be fine, when she wouldn't. I don't know who to blame. I don't understand where we went wrong, when we tried to take care of all their health issues at the earliest stage. I don't know who screwed up. I was blaming myself at some point, that I already have suspicion the fucking vigamox is not working, but I still continued. But then what can I do? It's prescribed. And besides, it was already changed by the doctor and still nothing.... I was totally miserable.

So we picked them up. Kal's eye said is still OK and just continue cleaning and medication. They also changed their anti-biotic to something stronger (Cefalixin). The three were asked to take it 2x a day. They advised to do eye cleaning on Van every 2 hours, as well as apply the medication. They also recommended us to do nebulizer on the kittens to help them breathe. We went home with a broken heart.

Mark immediately ran to Greenbelt to get the stuff needed. We do not have a nebulizer. It was expensive. The medications and frequent visit to the vet these past weeks had really cost us an arm and leg. We seriously don't have a budget for a nebulizer at the moment, but we decided to get one anyway. We were thinking that if anyone of them dies because we are cheap, we will never forgive ourselves.

After 2 hours, he came home. Just about time to clean Van's eye again. But alas! the fucking conjunctival sack was closed again! There's no way we can open it. So we started fighting, he was blaming me that I waited too long. I was telling him that it has just been 2 hours, and I couldn't do it myself either. I need his help. I started panicking and crying again. I didn't think twice, I said we should go back. But since VIP is farther (located in another city), he suggested to just go to Animal House since we will just ask them to open it, flush it, nothing more.

I was praying to not see my not so favorite vet because if it's him, Van's doomed. And thank God! Van's doctor was luckily there in the late shift! She checked up Van like everyone did. She showed us what has to be removed, but asked us to step out while she do the procedure. I was already crying that's why she didn't want me to see. It must be painful. After that, she called us back in. I told her what the other vet said, that Van's eye is already blind. But she said no, the eyes looked OK, just clouded with puss and mucus due to the conjunctivitis. She said that it's not blind yet. She gave us hope. She said that we just have to make sure to keep it open so we can apply the medication. She instructed us to force open it if necessary, scrape the fucking puss when cleaning. She was the most helpful of all the vets we have seen today. She explained everything about the infection, and like the other vet said, there's nothing we can do but to wait until antibiotic kicks in, and the swelling stops. She just advised to continue medications. So off we went.

Unfortunately, Van's eye closed again, after an hour. We attempted to force open it, but I just couldn't bear Van's cries. And here we go again, I told Mark we should go back, and this time, let's just have Van confined in the clinic. I even wondered why they instructed us to force open the eye, when we are not medically qualified to do that. We were afraid to make things worse. We might scrape the conjunctival sack and not the puss, we can't tell the difference anymore.

In less than 3 days, Van turned from bad to worst. We went back to Animal House, had her confined, told everything all over again in details to the vet that's on night shift... it's overly exhausting. I don't want anyone committing mistakes in the medication so we made sure that everything is written...

We went home and I was still crying. I don't know what to do anymore with Van, nor with Kal, nor with Pan... I just want them to be well...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Deal With This Day and Night

Cats love to sleep and chill out on odd places. Nishi loves to chill on top of our fridge, while Sylvia loves to be inside of any bag, including grocery bags. Lotto, however,  loves to be behind our computer screens - most specially when I'm working.

Imagine if this is a human head - creepy. So how can I work like this?

This is Lotto's favorite spot since we got him. But he hardly fits now. He's in denial of his size.

Tell me, how can I work like this!!!

On the other hand, he's so cute. How can  I not tolerate?

Right above is Van. Very convenient guys!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Help! Are You Familiar With This?

After Pan's recovery from digestion/intestinal issues, a new problem came in. She is suffering now from this certain skin infection that two different vets have failed to identify. It started with a spot on her nose, and then on her head. We had her checked up even before it got worse, but no medication seem to help. Right now, we are just applying an all-in-one cream (anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal) as instructed. The skin sample's negative for scabies. It also doesn't seem to be fungal. I get worried more and more every day as I see it get worse :(, that's why I'm posting pictures of what it looks like so if you have are familiar with this, please please leave me a comment. The vet got a sample in the petri dish and they have to wait for it to grow 7-14 days, maybe to prove if it's a fungus or bacteria. I honestly don't get it. And I don't think I can wait for 14 days to know if that stupid thing grows or not. In 14 days, Pan may not have fur left.
(Note: Click on the picture to get the large version.)

See the black spot all over her nose, under and sides of the eyes? That's part of the skin infection.
Bald spots and sort of skin irritation on her feet.
Balding and sort of irritated skin on the back too. This is just new.

Skin infection on her head part. This was the first spot of the infection. It is feels dry and crusty now but I doubt that it's totally healed.
I feel terrible for Pan. At a very young age, she's been through a lot of medical conditions. Maybe she just really have a weak immune system since she was really in bad shape when I found her. If you have a pet cat and have encountered this, how was it cured and what was the experience? We've been researching various stuff, but still would like to learn more about what this is from experience, than painfully waiting for the slow effects (if there's any) of the cream, or for that 7-14 days test.

The Recovering Lotto

Lotto is extra sweet these days, after he recovered from a 3 day confinement in the vet clinic. It was a roller coaster week for the Lots health-wise, but he's almost fully recovered. So much has happened, but let me explain what's up with the shirt he's wearing.

He have a wound on his back that he just can't help but to lick. It won't heal completely because he keeps on licking it, so instead of giving him the cone of shame (which drives him nuts), we decided to give him a shirt. So I made him a shirt. Yup, I made him a shirt - by hand. I like making dresses for my dolls when I was young, and apparently I haven't forgotten how it's done. Unfortunately, I only have a scrap fabric available, and that fabric's print is just so gay. Now I laugh every time I see him in that shirt, running around, sleeping, or just chilling out with the other cats. He looks like a mother. Sorry Lottie, it's just temporary :).

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Sickly Pan

Giving Pan a hug after blood extraction attempt.
I spoke too soon. I was too excited for Pan's recovery. After 3 days of being hyperactive and just being a jolly little kitten, Pan went low energy once more. This time, there's no fever. She's still alert and responsive, but with no appetite. I noticed that her poop is not healthy, and that she often vomits. As usual, we gave her the special wet food diet for kittens having intestinal issues. I knew she wanted to eat, and she really tried, but she just vomits after.

I am paranoid when it comes to my cats' health. They are like my babies and I treat them like a family. Last night, when we noticed the vomiting and unhealthy poop, we immediately went to the same clinic she was confined a week ago for check up. Her doctor was in the morning shift, and the doctor last night is not really my favorite doctor. I don't want to talk ill as he might be good at something else (like maybe dogs), but I don't really trust his judgement because of an incident before, and an incident that happened with a good friend of mine concerning the same doctor. But I have no choice since he's the one on duty and available.

So we told him the story of the vomiting and appetite loss. We also told him that we notice this sort of skin irritation on Pan's head that we found right after we took her out of the hospital last week. We didn't think it was bad until it grew. We gave first aid such as cleaning it with betadine and putting some anti-fungal cream but didn't help. He recommended that Pan get confined for observation and that he's going to do stool and blood test. I don't really like Pan to stay in the clinic specially if they are not going to administer something that we can't administer at home. He said there's no need for IV since Pan's trying to eat. He also said that there's no parasite found in the poop, so that's not the reason for the vomiting. Then we came to the blood test. He tried to extract blood from Pan, but failed - 3x. Pan was in pain, screaming, and I couldn't bear hear or see it. He couldn't find the vein so Pan ended up with 3 needle pokes for nothing. He gave it a rest and I carried Pan like a baby to pacify and calm her. So while he's away, I told Mark how easy it was for the other doctor to find Pan's vein without causing too much pain, and that this doctor did it at one try. I was pretty pissed that he couldn't do it like the other doctor, but what do I know about veins and kittens? But then, I was already decided to not pursue with the blood extraction since I didn't trust that he would be successful on the next try. When he came back, we told him that we wouldn't want Pan to be confined if it's not totally necessary as we would like to care for her. If there's something oral to be given, we can do it. And then he said yes it's fine to go home, since there's nothing serious he found on the feces, on the skin test, and that she didn't have fever anyways so there's no need to pursue the blood test. I was relieved. He just gave Pan a dose of a low-acting antibiotic that's good for 14 days. And then we went home.

This morning, I took Pan to my trusted vet clinic in Mandaluyong, together with the pupi casts for a full check up. I want to make sure that the 4 also didn't carry worms that they might get from the 3 kittens we are fostering.  Nishi, Patterick and Sylvia are all in good health and got their periodical deworming. Lotto, however, was diagnosed with a fever due to a bacterial infection. I figured it's because Lotto spent most of the time with the kittens and he's the most friendly. So Lotto got his medication. Pan, on the other hand, was confined and under observation.

This is the 3rd time Pan's been in the hospital. Her stay there is far longer than she have stayed with us. I am very hopeful that we nail the problem with her health and soon be a healthy cat once more - for a long long term. I miss her. She's a sweet, considerate and smart kitten for her age. It's been a tough life for her ever since she was born. Poor sweetie.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pan's Back, Hyper Than Ever!

The return of the Pan.
After a week of confinement and treatment in the animal clinic, Pan is now back, hyper than ever!

She was diagnosed to have a hip trauma, caused by either a rough play or a fall. This was the cause of the fever and the sudden appetite loss. At one point, the doctor had to assist her peeing/pooping by expressing her bladder. But thank God, alle's goed now.

For a week being apart, she grew so much. She's bigger now, more active and alert, and more rowdy. Pan loves to attack-play the two other kittens we are fostering, Kal and Van. She's like a Mexican jumping bean. Unstoppable. We always have to watch over the two kittens because she's always rough playing. Right now, Kal's limping and we are suspecting it's because of her. So Kal's now off limits at the moment.