What a long appointment we had this morning, but they were very thorough and very kind to him.
Charlie has a bad strain of several viruses- rhinotracheitis, herpes and the calicivirus, He doesn’t have ulcers on his tongue or his upper mouth, but rather in his throat! This is causing a severe case of what they just called sore-throat-itis, causing him to open mouth breathe, and also why he can’t eat certain foods. The food scratches his throat going down. It explains the gurgeling purr he has, and why his lymph nodes and throat are swollen. He even has tonsilitis- which is odd because Gaye recently informed me that cats have tonsils. I had no idea! I was thrown off the track because the last time I dealt with herpes virus many years ago, there was the typical runny nose, runny eyes that he doesn’t have. The reason he doesn’t have this is because he is so blocked up with infection that nothing can move past the swollen tissue.
The air accumulating inside of him is because he open mouth breathes- the bubbles are causing stress on his heart and lungs and putting him into pain.
They believe he is worth fighting for, so he is yes, still with us, and will remain here. They gave me Buprenix for pain he gets this every 12 hours, it will take about 45 minutes from dosing to kick in. He is also on Zithromax on a pretty rigid scheduled amount until he has had 8 doses. He also is taking sulcrafate as a coating agent to help his throat. I am to give him Lysine daily 250 mg a day. He is contagious to the other kitties, so I barricaded the bottom of the door with a piece of drywall (from our collapsed bedroom roof) so that the remaining fosters don’t catch it from him. I need to get them vaccinated against it. He may shed the virus over time and just be a carrier, but right now he is actively shedding the virus in the litter pans and the food and water bowls, so he is isolated.
Now for the bad news: In order to explore his heart, liver, lung damage that shows up a bit on the x-ray, they want to schedule an ultra-sound for him. They don’t do that in the clinic, they refer out to the vet schools. It would cost me another $380.00 to have this procedure done. They also want me to buy a nebulizer which is prohibitively expensive as well. But they say that Charlie will be long-term care for quite awhile and on medication most of his life. I am going to continue to use the vaporizer because it seems to help.
It’s ironic really, I just got through paying off the outstanding vet bill owed- and now, just on one little tiny orange kitty, I owe over what I just paid off! But there is something about charlie, I can’t put my finger on it, I can’t even explain it adequately, but something about him that grabs my heart.
They want to see him on Monday to see if the pain medication needs to be upped or continued. Typically for this clinic, re-checks are not at no charge. Although I can appreciate all they do for these cats, I can’t help but wish they would work with me to make payments instead of wanting it all up front.