Sunday, July 27, 2008

Echo is Sick

So Echo is really really sick. When I said that I hoped surgery wasn't in the future, I meant surgery on her ACL. Well...her ACL is fine...but surgery isn't out of the question.

Let me start at the beginning of this week.

Echo hurt her leg. I took her to the vet. She got some Buprenorphin for the pain and she sat around for the next two days looking really stoned and sitting in the same spot being really lethargic. Well, she never really got more active. Instead, she continued to be lethargic and she wasn't eating well. On Friday we took her to the emergency vet service because she started throwing up. A lot. I mean, what looked like her body weight in bile. They gave her I.V. fluids and we went home, hoping the fluids would help and that everything else would subside. After a full day of not eating at all on Saturday, we took her back to the emergency vet. They gave her more fluids, some kitty Pepto Bismol and did blood tests, thyroid tests and took x-rays.

Her blood tests came back okay, except for some liver level which was 3 times the normal level. That, the vet said, could be explained by infection, inflammation, or other things. Not too conclusive. He gave me so meClavamox, which is an oral antibiotic, for Echo to take. If she's not eating by Monday morning (it's 7:30 p.m. on Sunday as I write), I may have to take her back and have her hospitalized. So far, I've spent about $900 on Echo this past week.

Anyway, the real zinger is this: the vet said that he was concerned about Echo's x-rays (posted below). It looks like she has a "mass" in her lung (maybe lung area....I dunno, I heard the word "mass" and I kinda freaked out). He thinks I should have it looked at more closely with an ultrasound or biopsy. He couldn't give me any more than that, but he said that it could be cancer and he didn't bother to sugar-coat it. this point, my cat won't eat, she looks like hell, and she may be brewing a nice little malignant tumor (not so little). I feel utterly powerless. I can't really do anything but provide the care she needs, and I'm worried that if she needs much more, I won't be able to afford it.

She's such a sweet little pooper. I hate to see her uncomfortable. I'm not ready for her to get really wasn't part of my plan.

Echo's x-rays. The "mass" is circled in red.


Jerry D. Harris said...

So, SO sorry about Echo...! Facing losing a pet is an incredible hardship. How old is Echo? I've been under the impression that she's quite young, so this wouldn't be expected based just on age (the "cancer rates go up with age" thing). We've got two cats (Melanie and Willie) that we've had since early kittenhood that are now nearing 10, and I'm beginning to worry that we may be facing something like this in the not-too-distant future. My wife's last cat was run over by a car right in front of her, and she still has terrible dreams about it now and again. (All our cats are indoors-only now!) We've been fortunate enough to have a couple new cats in our lives, too: one (Ody, short for Odysseus) we've had for about a year, and he just wandered into our building here at school at the beginning of last Fall semester...just started wandering in and out of classrooms 'til someone came and got me. He was just a kitten, but so tame and friendly that he couldn't have been feral, so I took him to the local shelter to see if anyone would come and claim him. But I requested that if no one did, for them to call me and I'd come adopt him before they put him to they did. And just yesterday we discovered another adorable kitten hiding in our garage (where we feed some of the neighborhood outdoor cats). We're calling him Elf, but I don't know what we're going to do with him...I don't think we can handle another indoor cat, but if we can't find an existing owner for him, we probably won't be able to bring ourselves to take him to the shelter, where he'd probably just be put down. Can you tell we're cat people, too? We really hope that Echo can be treated, and not too expensively! Our thoughts are with you guys!

Zachary said...

Yikes. I'm so sorry to hear that! Echo is such a cutie...I hope she gets better, and the "mass" remains an enigmatic vision on the X-ray, and nothing more serious!

Amanda said...

Thanks, guys. The vet today didn't do much but refer me to a person who can do a biopsy and ultrasound. So, once I can afford that (which I can't...I've blown through my savings this week) I'll know whether the tumor is malignant or benign.

Still no idea if she's feeling crappy now because of the tumor or something else (liver-related). But, she seems to be perking up a bit with the antibiotics.

Amanda said...

Oh, and Echo is only 7 years old, so that gives me a tiny little glimmer of hope that the tumor isn't cancerous.

Julia said...

It's so worrying isn't it? And that's excellent that she's perking up. Animals seem to be better at dealing with illnesses than humans. We almost wrote Teddy off at the age of 8 with a "suspicious mass" in his neck. But it gave him no trouble once he was on medication and the little chap carried on for four more years no problem and in no pain! I really hope the same is true for Echo.