Tuesday, November 15, 2011
BUDDY'S CONTINUING STORY & A ROUGH TIME FOR ANNIE
And so we settled into a routine of extra feedings, medicines and IV treatments. The situation changed again when we caught Buddy looking at his litter box like he didn't know what it was for. He decided my hall closet was an ideal place to turn into a toilet and thankfully we caught him just before he relieved himself. A bit of ingenuity on our part solved the problem. By lining the floor of this small closet with newspapers and placing overlapping chucks (paper pads used to cover the bed sheets of those who are incontinent) which we taped to the wall and another thick layer of newspapers on top of that Buddy had the privacy he needed. Apparently cats can get peculiar about their toileting and look for dark corners to relieve themselves in.
We clean this area frequently to keep it odor-free and actually it's easier to maintain than the litter box. Just roll everything up and stuff it in an old shopping bag then discard. I never liked kitty litter anyway! It's also a good use for all the newspapers and paper ad circulars we collect.
Dr. Young cautioned us to remember that Buddy was sick regardless of appearances and to always keep in mind that our primary goal was to manage the disease and keep him as healthy and comfortable as possible.
To complicate matters, we had major flea problems during the summers of '09 and '10. I do not believe in flea collars or medicine added to my babies' fur which posed a problem in flea control. My brother and I combed Annie and Buddy several times a day. Any fleas caught by the flea comb were thrown in water and flushed away. I also added raw garlic to Annie's meals but not Buddy's because of his condition. Frequent washing of bedding and vacuuming of rugs and upholstery got the problem under control.
Buddy had a bout of tapeworm (because of the fleas) and that was cured by a pill. By now it was June 17, 2010 and we were closing in on Buddy's one-year anniversary. Off to the Doctor's we went for his 6-month visit. I was apprehensive, what would his blood work show? How sick was my little man after one year of controlling his renal failure? Dr. Young was amazed. The blood work showed that his values were holding and he actually put on a half of a pound.
Everything was going along fine for Buddy. We were looking forward to a calm end to 2010 and an uneventful holiday season with our beloved little man and our sweetheart of a girl. However, more medical issues were on the horizon.
November 8th came and Annie had streaks of blood in her urine. At first, her urine appeared darker than usual and I attributed that to not drinking enough water. Never a big fan of water, Annie has to be tricked into "drinking" by adding extra water to her food. By late in the day it was apparent that the 'dark urine' was actually urine streaked with blood. Off we went to the Doctor's and Annie started a round of antibiotics.
Thanksgiving passed, Buddy was doing fine, Annie's infection had cleared up and the fleas were a distant memory. Now we began to focus on the holidays. December 16th, Annie relieved herself and what immediately followed was a large amount of bright red blood and mucous. She was quite subdued. This frightened us. Since it was late at night, we took her to the 24 hour Veterinary Emergency. The diagnosis was gastritis but we did not have a definite cause. Could it be Annie ate something outside we weren't aware of? Was stress the cause?
This was by no means the end of Annie's medical issues.