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Just got Vandal's remains delivered today. This spring I plan to mix his ashes with concrete to make a lovely memorial garden stone for him.

Sable seems to be adjusting to being an only cat. She's a bit clingy, but I suspect that is as much a result of not having as many visits during Christmas as we intended (due to over 5 feet of snow) and us being gone this weekend for Coronation.

S
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We love our vet and they love us. Not only did they send us a card signed by all the staff - including the vets, but they just sent us a live plant arrangement in Vandal's memory.

S
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Getting home wasn't too difficult. We didn't hit bad roads until yesterday. Some of them were unpleasant, but most were not too bad. We needed to dig out a little before we could get the car in the driveway (it's still sticking onto the sidewalk, but that's a problem for tomorrow). The snowblower we picked up in Indianapolis worked like a charm.

Walking upstairs past Vandal's normal sleeping location made me lose it for a while. I was also hurting from the snow removal and unloading the car and cold, so I was more vulnerable that I realized. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Our vets were wonderful -- they sent a lovely condolence card that undid both of us for a little while.

Sable is very happy we're back. She's realized Vandal isn't here -- she's been alternating being all over me and all over Julia. Right now, she's on Julia's lap (somewhere she's never really been able to be) because I wouldn't let her keep pushing the computer away. And Sable is shedding like crazy! I think that's because she had the Elizabethan collar on while I was gone and she couldn't clean herself.

Well, I need to bop downstairs and check on the condition of the things we brought home. I cleaned up in the pottery department -- two pieces from my sister, two pieces from Julia (from the same place as my sister's), one piece from Julia's paternal aunt and uncle (for both of us), two pieces from a cousin (for both of us), one piece from another cousin (for both of us) and one piece from Julia's maternal aunt and uncle (for both of us).

S
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This morning our dearly beloved 19-year old Vandal died. He has had health troubles over the last year and has been slowly declining. Yesterday, he had fallen ill and Julia took him to a vet. They treated him and we thought the problem was dealt with. At 3:00 EST, Julia woke to discover Vandal was in some distress and took him to the emergency vet in Toledo. They tried to stabilize him, but were unable to get his sodium levels stabilized. When Julia visited him this morning, he made it clear that he was ready to go.

We'll miss him dearly.

S
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We didn't get the snowfall they were calling for. At most, we got about three inches here on the South Hill. North of town got hit a lot worse. Now the temperature is falling -- Tuesday the low is expected to be -13 and a high of 8!!! Whimper!

Vandal is going much better. He's started eating dry food on his own, but does still need see some prompting to eat enough. But he's getting much better.

S
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Vandal has actually purred last night and today. In addition, he's nosed at the dry food, so I think he might be on the mend!

Julia, however, is still sniffly, congested, and achy.

S
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Vandal's blood sugar crashed again at 12:30 last night -- after I skipped his evening dose because I didn't think he had eaten enough. He was curled up to Julia in bed and announced the crash by peeing on her and the bed. Fortunately, the sheets and her nightshirt got most of it so the mattress was pretty much unharmed. We spend an hour getting Karo syrup, food, and fluids into him. He was so shaky he wouldn't drink out of the bowl (he kept tipping into it), so I gave him sub-q fluids (which also would help with any electrolyte imbalance. We had realized during the day that he was acting like not-feeling-good-kittie, so we weren't totally surprised.

He's getting another vet visit tomorrow for a blood sugar check (with no insulin today either), CBC (to check hematocrit to see if this is a repeat of June), and kidney numbers. And today Julia has to learn how to do the sub-q fluids so she can do them during her drive back East if necessary.

I've been saying for two weeks that he was about to have another crisis. I wish I were wrong. Hopefully this is an easy one.

S
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Vandal's blood sugar crashed again. Not as badly as in June (thanks to TPTB) but his legs gave out on him as he got to the bottom of the stairs. I was home, but didn't see what happened. I just heard his "I need help" meow. I gave him food immediately and, an hour after eating a half can of food, his blood sugar was only 64!!!!

We think he is sleeping most of the day and not eating so his blood sugar crashes about the time I normally get home. So he only gets 1 unit of insulin morning and night now.

I just had the feeling leaving work that I should go straight home and not stop at the grocery store. Glad I listened.

S
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Just to let everyone know, Julia and I are fine and our house is safe. The Valley View fire is in Spokane Valley, not Spokane. While I can see the smoke on my way to and from work, it's about 10 miles or so east of us. Some of my coworkers were nearly evacuated -- one of them could see the fire from her house and got embers in her yard. So far, 2100 acres have burned, so this is considered a major fire (anything over 300 acres is considered major). Fire season has started!

Julia is nearly done with the summer term. She's teaching two courses, one meets all term Monday through Friday and will be done next week. The other is tomorrow all day. She's going to be exhausted.

Vandal is doing well still. Yea!

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Vandal is still doing well. He's still on sub-cutaneous fluids twice a day and his insulin dose is 1 unit twice a day (was 2.0 in the morning and 2.5 in the afternoon). We need to get a glucose level sometime next week to see how this dose is doing.

Unfortunately, this means our plans for An Tir-West War are scuttled. Vandal is not up for the 12+ hour trip and we can't leave him home with a pet sitter checking only twice a day. And we don't have anyone who can do it full-time and give him his shots. And to think, a week ago we weren't expecting this to be a problem.

S
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Vandal actually climbed up on the bed and woke me up this morning -- on his own! He hasn't done this in a week. He's also eating more on his own, including dry food. We'll keep with the fluids for a while, especially since this weekend is supposed to get HOT.

S
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Vandal has had some vomitting this weekend. Since yesterday, he hasn't been sick. Unfortunately, other than a few mouthfuls of tuna (which is not good for his kidneys), he's only taken a mouthful or two of dry food on his own. Everything else he's taken in has been through force-feeding. We coat our fingers in wet food and hold it to his mouth. We keep him from pulling his head away and he licks our fingers clean. Wait, wait, wait -- he's got quite the scam going here. He's getting handfed wet food!

Julia's having an interesting interaction with one of the vets at the practice. When she tried to talk to him about anti-emetics for Vandal, he told her he didn't want to do it because he doesn't want to upset Vandal's chemical balance with a new chemical. When he talks to me, he treats me much more like a medical/veterinarian professional -- I just said I wanted them in case he started vomitting again and they gave them to me.

S
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His hematocrit came up to 19.5 today! Last night's lower reading was probably due to his blood being a little diluted by the fluids they were giving him. He's also producing reticulites (baby red blood cells), though not as many as they would like to see. That may clear itself up as he recovers. We still have nothing on why his hematocrit crashed.

His glucose is still confusing them. It was in the upper 300s. The vets told us to put him back on his regular dose, but I vetoed that. They had thought we gave him a unit of insulin this morning and that he needed more, but we wanted to wait until they took his glucose reading. So he's to 1/2 unit twice a day, which should keep his blood sugar from getting dangerously high, but not allow him to crash. No one's sure why he's crashed twice in 6 weeks; options are: he's going into remission from the diabetes (not uncommon in cats), he's just a brittle diabetic (which is what he's been since the beginning), or they just don't know (the most likely option). We'll just keep testing as he gets better and keep adjusting his doses as needed.

Regarding the surgical staples, they may not have migrated at all. Their current location may be where they were initially placed because of the cyst. So this isn't a problem.

So, he's still a bit of a sick kitty, but we're no longer on 12-hour watches for him. We have no idea what his medium- or long-term prognoses are (the vets have quit trying to predict him), but his short-term prognosis looks pretty reasonable.

Yea!!!!!

When we do lose him, Julia wants to gild him. She says it would be cheaper than what we've done and he deserves it.

S
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Vandal passed another good night and Julia (who slept on the floor again) did not. His hematocrit is down a little, but again, this is somewhat expected. Today the vet will do a smear to see what new cell production he has. It is critical for him to be producing new red blood cells. They'll also do a blood glucose again.

Yesterday they did an x-ray to see if they could find the cause of the bleeding. Our regular vet really feels that a bleed is the cause of his low hematocrit. They are sending the x-ray to a radiologist in the area for a careful reading. What they did find was that his surgical staples from the cyst removal have migrated around. No one thinks this is a problem, but it was a rather odd sight.

Vandal's blood sugar is still a little wonky. Yesterday morning, his blood sugar was over 300 so they gave him a unit of insulin. Before he came home yesterday evening, his blood sugar was 90, so no insulin. We don't know why he's doing this, but it could be that he's not eating as much at the vet's as he is today. We will see.

So the real immediate crisis is passed, now it's just wait and see if we've solved the cause (whether or not we know what the cause is).

As for me: the doctors think I just had a viral infection that got into my bloodstream. Nothing serious (well, duh -- they were the ones who wanted to see me, I just wanted to know how to alternate my doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen), but they are doing a CBC to make sure the problem is viral and not bacterial. Since I seem to have shaken the fever overnight, I think viral is the case.

S
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Vandal passed a good night. Julia didn't. She slept on the floor of the family room so she could hear (and hopefully wake up) if he was in trouble. The floor isn't terrible for an afternoon nap, but not great for sleeping through the nigh. She was up several times and was able to check on him. So she is sleeping in the bed right now while I keep an eye on him. Shortly after 8, he'll go back to our vet for some monitoring, so we can keep an eye on the blood sugar and hematocrit levels.

Vandal was eating like a little piggy when he got home last night. He'd eat some dry food, walk from the dry food to the wet food, eat some wet food, and return for more dry food. He was feeling well-enough to seriously clean his face! Oh, how tickled we get over the little things.

I'm home sick again, still have the fever and aches. I'll call the doctor in a couple of hours to get her take on this. I think it's viral, so there's nothing to be done.

S
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Vandal is home for the evening. He'll be going back to the vet tomorrow, but he's home tonight. If he gets sick again, he'll go back to the emergency vet (and we have all the stuff he needs for IV support). We've got a kennel we use during camping that he'll stay in overnight.

His hematocrit (percentage of hemoglobin in his blood) went down to 16.5 this morning, but has come up to 17.5 by this evening. He's eating solid food -- prefer his dry food. So this is all pretty good news.

On the Sue front: I've still been running fevers even with Tylenol and ibuprofen. I'm still joint and muscle achy, and a little headachy as well. I'm probably staying home tomorrow and possibly seeing the doctor myself. I think it's viral, so no antibiotics (I hope). But if I'm feverish tomorrow, having a doctor check me out is not a bad idea.

S
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Vandal has responded well to the blood transfusion and the antibiotics. The vets have pretty much decided that he had gone septic, but we're not entirely sure what the underlying infection was. With the low hemocrit, we suspect kidney infection. He's still a very sick kitty, but his blood sugar has come up (so they are stepping down the glucose support), he's standing on his own, and he's demanding petting. He's going to spend today at the regular vets, but we're hoping he'll be home tonight. This is costing both arms, both legs, and our first-born son.

Note the time stamp: I'm not posting from work. I spiked a 103 fever myself last night. My head aches, my joints ache, but the fever is down with Tylenol. Now I know why I've had a headache for two days -- and yesterday was stressful enough to convert it to a migraine. Yuck!

S
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Vandal made it through the night. This was by no means a guarantee. Vandal's blood sugar crashed when they took him off the IV glucose (and glucose boluses) around 4 am after six stable blood glucose tests. So Julia took him back to our regular vet as the emergency vet is only open 5:00 pm to 8:00 am (the hours not covered by local vets).

Vandal threw us a new curve ball -- his hemocrit (measure of the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood) was 8. While it should be above 30, his is normally in the low 20s because of the renal failure (kidneys produce the hormone to stimulate blood production and kidney failure causes this hormone to be low as well as some damage to red blood cells). The vet said he shouldn't be able to try to stand. So Julia took him for an ultrasound to see if we could figure out what was wrong before we paid $500 dollars for a transfusion. The ultrasound was negative -- no free blood and no tumors. Hmmmmm. We authorized the transfusion and his hemocrit came up to 20. Yea!!!

At this point, our regular vet has admitted his confusion. He won't try to predict if Vandal will make it or not, because, as he put it, he's "had Vandal at death's door three times now and Vandal refuses to die." At one point the vet's office told us he had black tarry stools (a sign of gastroinstestinal bleeding), but they were wrong. The stools were dark but not tarry.

Unfortunately, Vandal's blood sugar continues to crash every time they stop the glucose drip. So he's at the emergency vet tonight because none of the vets in town does overnight stuff. However, he's started to purr and has stood up on his own power (though rather quivery). Tonight's the big night; hopefully he'll rally.

S

25

Jun. 17th, 2008 07:24 pm
sue_n_julia: (Default)
is not a number that you want the vet to give you as your kitty's blood sugar. AFTER you've given him nearly half a cc of Karo syrup and force-fed him half a teaspoon of wet kitty food (he wouldn't open his mouth to eat). He's currently at the emergency vet (I got home at 4:45 to find him collapsed in the bathroom) on IV glucose and recovering nicely.

[livejournal.com profile] cellio, I think Vandal and Erik are having a little competition to see who can wig out his people more. I think we both wish they would stop.

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Vandal is feeling much, much better now. He's up and walking around -- I even found him sitting in a patch of sun this morning. And he played with a catnip toy! He's decided to take a nap now.

I'm sore after my escapade from yesterday. The Butchart Gardens update will be up later today.

S

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