26 June 2010

Oscar Update

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that Oscar has been ill again.

We went to see the wonderfully awesome Dr. Kurpel on Wednesday because I noticed several days ago that Oscar was having some problems ambulating - he wasn't able to jump up onto the love seat, and was actually having to crawl onto it. I had also taken note that Ocs had missed the last several showers with me, which is not at all like him. In fact, when I can't find him, I'll just start the shower water running, and he'll come running (it's a handy trick). He seemed generally lethargic, but I had written that off to the hot weather; I mean, I wasn't really going out of my way to run up and down the hallway, either, you know? But when he started stumbling around my apartment like a drunken sailor, it was time to call the vet.

And they said, "Bring him in TODAY." Okey doke.

I took him in later that afternoon and Dr. Kurpel said she didn't think it was a stroke (because I didn't report Ocs seeming disoriented or tilting his head a lot), but she did suspect a vascular event of some sort. She said it can be a side effect of the thyroid medication that Oscar is on for blood clots to form, and if he has a blood clot, it could be making its way through his spinal cord. And if it is a blood clot, it should make its way through his system and clear up. She said that has seen cats before brought in with complete hind leg paralysis due to the thyroid meds, and she said that once it gets to that point, that only thing that can be done is to put the cats to sleep. I asked her what kinds of warning signs to look for, and she said not to worry, because if that was going to happen to Oscar, it would have already happened. Whew.

HOWEVER, if Oscar isn't ambulating well in the next few days, pretty much the only other thing to do would be MRIs and CAT scans to look for brain lesions and spinal cord lesions, which would run over a thousand dollars. She thoughtfully remembered that I was unemployed the last time we met and asked if I was working yet. I told her no. She was very honest in telling me that even if we did those tests and found something, there's only so much that could be done and even THEN, there would have to be discussions about the likelihood of success of those surgeries, quality of life after, etc.

While we were there, we did his routine thyroid blood draw, which includes kidney and liver function tests. She also checked his blood pressure and did a blood sugar test to check for diabetes. Sugars and blood pressure were great. She called me the next day to let me know that everything with his kidneys and liver looked great, and his white cell count was SLIGHTLY elevated, but it was so slight that she wasn't worried about it. However, his thyroid level is now too low (he's been too high all this time). She said she's seen it happen before in one cat that she treated where the hind legs get locked up due to hypothyroidism, so that could also be contributing to the problem. So we adjusted the meds that day. I'm to call her early next week (which is now in just a few days), and let her know if Ocs is doing any better. From there, we'll make any decisions we need to make. *gulp*

Yesterday... was not good. Oscar was unable to sit properly to eat or drink. After he ate a little, he tried to walk about five feet and fell over. I burst into tears and went over to pet him, only to find that he was purring away - at least one of us was happy. Last night, I moved the food and water into my bedroom (where the litter boxes are) so Ocs wouldn't have to leave.

Mostly, I'm spending a lot of time this weekend holding and petting Oscar - hoping for the best, steeling myself for the worst.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture Oscar making himself comfortable with my friend Rachel (who Ria knows better as Med Student):


  1. *hugs* Saying a little prayer for Oscar.

  2. Sending hugs to you, Ocs and Fe.

  3. I feel for you, dear. Lots of love from my kitties to yours.