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Agatha to the vet, again

On the cat health front, it has not been a great week.

Tuesday, I discovered that we have fleas. I will blame this on Fish, who on one of his 15-minutes-of-freedom in the back yard spent most of it under some shrubs in what is probably prime flea habitat (flea population donated by the wandering neighborhood cats). So I resolved to get to the vet today for one of the topical flea products, and went ahead and started on flea combing for both cats. This afternoon I'll do the first round of washing bedding in hot water, vacuuming everything that can't be washed, and discarding the vacuum cleaner bag. Fleas are disgusting: it's been so long since I had an indoor-outdoor cat and had to deal with them, I had forgotten how disgusting.

Then either Tuesday or Wednesday, I noticed a lump on Agatha's side--it seems to be in the skin layer, but it's a definite lump. Today we went in to the vet to have it looked at, and I ended up speaking to a new vet. I've been seeing the senior partner for a number of years, since his junior that I liked got married and moved to south Georgia. He then got a junior I disliked, but recently that guy departed and he now has a new one, Dr. Kim. Female (though Kim is the last name--I didn't retain her first name), seems nice.

She seems more aggressive in her treatment suggestions than Dr. Walton, and I'm so far thinking that's a good thing. She's concerned about the lump, as she thinks she feels a "stem" connecting it to something deeper--that would say "tumor" instead of "skin reaction to vaccination". I mentioned that Agatha has been getting bonier over the last year or so and asked if that was just age: we ended up deciding to do a full "geriatric panel" blood test, including thyroid, which might be the cause of the condition problem.

She'll also use those results to decide if Agatha can handle the anesthesia needed to remove the lump for a biopsy. She also mentioned that Agatha's kidney disease is likely to be progressive, and we might need to switch to a special kidney-friendly cat food. (Dr. Walton's comment on diagnosis was "she can keep going as she is with it--just make sure she doesn't run out of water", and that's what we've been doing with no adverse effects noted.) It's only this last that triggers a little of my "vet out to sell me unnecessary stuff" alert--I'm always suspicious that the "prescription, vet-only" pet foods are a big money-maker for the vets. If anyone has information one way or the other on the issue of special foods, I'd be glad to hear it. I'm currently buying OTC Hill's Science Diet, "hairball-control senior" for Agatha, and regular adult for Fish.

Anyway, the vet will call with the blood test results either tomorrow or Monday, and if there is no contra-indication Agatha will go in Wednesday for surgery.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mmegaera
Oct. 28th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
Here's wishing good results and a short recovery time for Agatha, and short shrift to the fleas (g).

hornedhopper
Oct. 29th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
My three cats send your Agatha licks, pats, and snuggles. I hope it all goes well!
filkferengi
Oct. 29th, 2005 09:25 pm (UTC)
Be sure to keep us posted--best wishes for felicitous feline results!
amyirene_40
Oct. 30th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)
There are several low protein/low salt/low phosphorus diet foods available for cats (renal failure is unfortunately common in felines). The diets can help sometimes, but the problem with the foods is that cats often don't like them and will refuse to eat. Weight loss is worse then eating food that might not be the best for their kidneys.

Here's a good site with information on the pros and cons of special diets, and the various special diets available.
http://www.felinecrf.com/managd.htm

To check on just how obscene a profit your vet is making off the food, you can always look up whatever diet is prescribed on Froogle. That'll show the prices the vet supply places are charging. And remember that you don't necessarily have to buy it through the vet. You can have her write you a prescription and then buy it yourself through one of the on-line pet pharmacy services.
amyirene_40
Oct. 30th, 2005 02:27 am (UTC)
BTW, I noticed your name on several of my friends "mutual friends" lists here on LJ, and dropped by to see if you were the same person I'd seen on SFFNet. Which is how I ended up appearing out of nowhere to offer random pet advice.
nlbarber
Oct. 30th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
And I appreciate it!

I've been reading on the links you gave on CRF, and wondering why my vet had not discussed any of this with me when he gave me the diagnosis of "kidney disease" (at the time, I was just relieved he didn't say "diabetes"). I'll be chatting with this new vet about CRF when/if the crisis on the mystery lump is past.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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