March 17th 2009 9:14 pm
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Hi there! I'm Lola, the Burmese girl with the little bitty body, the great big eyes and the great big loving disposition.
I've been in my new home for 2 nights and 3 days now and I'm liking it! They say this is my real forever home, no more being shuffled around. I'm adaptable and I love everyone but I'd like to stay in one place with people that love me back as much as I love them.
My first home was with a breeder who died in 2005. All us cats ended up in the city shelter for months while the court decided what to do with us. They said I was about 10 years old and unspayed, so I may have been a queen. All I know is that I'm a good girl.
After the ANEW'S ARC was allowed to rescue us from the city shelter, I was treated for an upper respiratory infection, then spayed and had dental work. I was adopted in May 2006 and thought I would live with my new dad forever.
I'm not even sure what I did wrong. I was there for almost 3 years when he gave me back to my foster mom at the rescue group and said I was throwing up. I heard my foster mom tell my new mom and dad that he was feeding me hairball food. Is that what it was? I didn't throw up at my foster mom's and I haven't thrown up here in my new home, either. Mom says even if I do throw up, I might go visit the vet but I won't get sent back to the rescue group. I'm here to stay.
Mom says I drool a lot, my breath is really stinky, I do odd things with my mouth after I eat, like chatter my teeth and flail my tongue around, and one eye waters a lot, making crusty gunk on my face. They knew that when they adopted me but still they love me and tell me how sweet and beautiful I am. Mom says they'll do their best to see that I get the vet care I need to fix whatever's fixable and make me feel as good as possible.
I'm scheduled for a complete checkup on Thursday. Mom fears I haven't had any vet care at all in the past 3 years, although the record from my dental in March 2006 clearly says I was to return in 1 year. Mom and Dad are just glad my former dad returned me, and now I have another chance. They're really glad they can give me that chance. Mom says she didn’t need that new computer anyway, whatever that means.
I'm a tiny girl and I'm thin besides. I eat well but not ravenously, drink a good amount of water, my #1 and #2 systems work well and I have perfect litter box habits. My fur is nice and soft. Mom figures I must be a tough little girl considering the bad condition my mouth is in but the good disposition I have.
I'm lovable, friendly and sociable, just like my description said. I love everyone! This afternoon the neighbor came over to meet me, and I got right up on the sofa with her, let her pet me, then made myself comfortable in her lap. She's a dog person but she couldn't resist my big eyes and my cute face. Could you?
March 19th 2009 5:06 pm
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Everyone thought I was adorable and they loved me at the vet's office today. I was a very good girl, too. I let the vet hold me and hug me while l gave her my adoring look, right after I snapped at her because she touched my sore mouth. She knew she hurt me. It hurt when they had to hold my jaws while they got my blood, but I forgave them right after that was over, too. I'm a good girl.
All my teeth need to come out, every last tooth I still have. The vet doesn't think there's anything else going on in my mouth besides the problems from my bad teeth and gums, but it hurt me while she was looking, so she looked as quickly as possible.
It didn't surprise Mom about my teeth but she felt really bad for me when the vet said I'm drooling pus.
I weighed a whopping 3 lb. 14 oz.!
The vet couldn't give any better estimate of my age. She said she'd believe I'm 13, so 13 I am -- a teenager!
She'll call Mom tomorrow with the blood and urine test results and then we'll know whether I can have the dental work I need. She thought my urine looked dilute so she's a little concerned about my kidneys. I'm eating well, though, and she said that's a good sign.
I almost forgot. The vet said cats who are spayed after their first heat, like I was, have a greater chance of developing breast cancer so Mom needs to regularly examine me by feeling, to check for lumps. The vet examined me today and said she didn't feel any lumps or bumps.
They all agreed my breath is stinky poo. That didn't stop them from hugging and adoring me, though. It doesn't stop Mom and Dad either.
March 20th 2009 7:19 pm
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Lola's vet called this morning with her blood and urine test results. It's not the best news, yet there are several positives. The bad news is Lola is bordering between Stage 2 and Stage 3 kidney disease (CRF). Her BUN is 64 (range 15-34) and Creatinine is 3.4 (range 0.8-2.3).
The vet doesn't normally recommend sub-Q fluids until Stage 3 of CRF. She said Lola is not clinically dehydrated, but she thinks 50-75 mls of fluids every other day for the next week until her dental appointment might help her feel and eat better. So, we picked up sub-Q supplies today. Ironically, Scooter's unused sub-Q supplies sat here until last week, when I finally got over my inertia and we took them to Animal Humane.
Lola doesn't act nauseous the way CRF cats often do, but she does a little "yes-no-yes-no" dance around her food dish before she finally starts eating. It was increasingly difficult to get her to start eating this past week, as I watched her mouth problems and congestion get worse up through yesterday. I feel, and the vet agrees, that she's apprehensive about eating because of the pain in her mouth, not because she's nauseous, so that's a good sign about her CRF. Yesterday I tried two foods, one of which she loved earlier in the week, but it wasn't until I opened the third can, Tiki Cat, that she found it enticing enough to eat. To keep her eating for now, "whatever Lola wants, Lola gets." So, I stocked up on Tiki Cat and baby food for emergencies.
The vet also asked if Lola eats dry food. Her foster mom sent some with us and Lola might have eaten a piece or two the first night she was here but hasn't touched it since. Interestingly, the vet said since cats often swallow dry food whole, it's sometimes easier to eat dry food with bad teeth because they don't use their teeth at all. She also suggested moistening it to see if she'll eat it. I picked up a few samples at the pet food store, so I'll see whether Lola will eat any.
We're not devastated by the news -- not yet. We're still hopeful that if we fix the periodontal disease, we can maintain or even improve her kidney numbers, and the vet is hopeful for that, too. We also hope the eye drainage will be helped when her teeth are gone, but we'll have to wait and see.
We're sad for all that Lola has to go through, though. The last thing we want is to change her loving, trusting nature, so we have to keep that in mind as we see how things play out and how she handles sub-Q fluids and more vet visits for blood tests, etc. She was absolutely wonderful yesterday at the vet and didn't even act frightened, so I hope that doesn't change.
Now for some good news, her phosphorus, potassium and hematocrit levels are all normal and her thyroid number is great. The vet was right that her urine is dilute (specific gravity 1.018, should be >1.040), but there is no urinary infection, so that's another positive. She also tested negative for FeLV and FIV, same as she did in 2006. The vet felt it best to verify that again.
I also think Lola is no longer getting worse by the day, so hopefully she's stabilized and that will hold until her dental surgery. The stress of changing homes twice in a week no doubt had an effect on her, even though she seemed to move in here so easily.
When I asked the vet whether Lola should be on anti-biotics for the infection going on in her mouth, she said Lola's periodontal disease is so bad that anti-biotics would have no effect -- removing the teeth is the only thing that will help. The anti-biotic she'd normally prescribe is so nasty tasting (Clindamycin) that she thinks it would be more stressful to Lola than any benefit it would have. So, we have to wait until Friday, March 27, for Lola's dental surgery, the soonest she could fit Lola into her schedule (even the vet's husband has surgery next week so she has to take some time off for that).
Lola will of course be on IV fluids before, during and probably for a while after her dental surgery, to minimize the stress on her kidneys. There's really no choice -- her teeth must come out. How she can be so sweet and so loving with what's going on in her mouth is beyond me.
We knew when we decided to adopt a "senior" this was a possibility. Our "wish" was to adopt about a 10 year old, hoping for a few years without a chronic illness, but Lola was just too adorable and too sweet NOT to adopt. We wouldn't change that, either -- we'd adopt her again in a heartbeat. Of course we'd make her totally healthy if we could, but we'll settle for as healthy as we can get her at this point. We're ecstatic she's with us and hope she'll have the chance she deserves to enjoy several good senior years, with us.
I've had a couple inquiries asking if we'll adopt the second cat I've mentioned. We need to get Lola taken care of first, then we hope we can adopt another kitty all 3 of us will love.
Thank you for the warm Catster welcome given to Lola and for all the gifts, pawmails and friend requests. Lola would have them all acknowledged by now -- she's a very good girl -- but her typist (me) is slow, especially when I can only use one hand to type because Lola is resting her head on my other arm as she snores away in my lap. I love it, of course.
March 25th 2009 12:53 pm
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I've been doing the can can! I'm eating not one but two cans of food a day and no longer doing the cha cha around my food dish.
My Angel sister Scooter bequeathed me her food processor so Mom has been processing my food, with added water, until it's smooth. That was better than just smooshing it for me, but it wasn't until she started also straining it through a tea strainer that I stopped dancing around my food dish and really started eating. Mom strains out a lot of grit she thinks is ground-up bones, which must have been bothering my sore mouth enough to keep me from eating as much as I wanted. I'm not choking and gagging quite as badly after eating, either, although I still have a bad enough time. I hope that all goes away with my teeth!
At the foster home, I was eating half a can of Friskies a day, so that's only about 3 oz of food. That might maintain my almost-4-pound weight, but it's not enough to help me gain, and the vet said I should weigh 5 to 6 pounds.
Here in my new home, I continued to eat only about 3 oz. per day, but I sampled some different brands and flavors to see what I liked. Innova Cat and Kitten is very tasty, so that's the one I've been eating . . . and eating! I had two 3 oz. cans on Monday and on Tuesday and I've had about a can already today.
I decided on my own to quit eating Tiki Cat. Even when Mom put it in the food processor or blender, it had hunks and stringy pieces that bothered my mouth too much, so I soon figured out not to eat that. Maybe when my mouth is healed, I'll try it again.
Chicken baby food wasn't any better than the Innova, either.
Mom said my foster mom called Sunday evening, so Mom filled her in on my vet visit and my upcoming dental appointment. Foster mom said my former dad never said anything to her about such bad problems. He called my foster mom to ask about me, though, so Mom knows he cares. Maybe he just didn't know how to take care of me or couldn't afford to. When I'm feeling better, Mom will send him a note and some photos of me, through my foster mom.
Mom will let you know how I'm doing after my dental appointment on Friday, but it will be late afternoon or evening before I'm home.
March 26th 2009 8:37 pm
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I got fed in the middle of the night last night! When Dad got up to go to the bathroom, I followed him down the hall. Mom looked at the clock -- it said 5:30, so she got up to see if I wanted my breakfast. She stopped to pet me where I was sitting in the hall, then she started across the living room toward the kitchen. I was so excited, I trotted after her so fast she heard my little paws hitting the carpet!
I ate a big breakfast, then we went back to bed because Mom was still tired. A while later, Mom looked at the clock again. This time it said 2:53! I'm a good girl, so I should probably tell her to put her glasses on when she looks at the clock. I should . . . but a full belly at 2:30 made me very happy!
I heard Mom tell Dad I won't be able to have a middle-of-the-night meal tonight and no breakfast tomorrow, either. Tomorrow's the day I have my appointment with the vet who wants all my teeth. :(
March 27th 2009 10:21 am
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Lola was at the vet at 7:30 this morning. She's such a good girl! I know she was afraid in the car this time because her pupils were huge and she was doing some nervous licking of her lips, but she still just sat and looked all around during the trip. When I reached into the carrier to pet her, she started purring. We've learned she has a very loud purr when nervous, so her purr is not always indicative of contentment, but I could tell she was happy to be petted.
When I got up this morning, Lola galloped behind me toward the kitchen, so eager to have her breakfast. Is that ever hard to deny food to a skinny little cat (with great big pleading eyes!) who wants to eat and who so badly needs to gain some weight! When I didn't give her food, she went back to her heated bed (another bequest from Scooter) and stayed there until it was time to get in the carrier and head for the vet.
Her vet was there to talk to us when we dropped off Lola. I asked her to weigh Lola again -- it was the same room, same scale as used last week at Lola's first visit. I hoped she might have gained an ounce or two after 4 days of BIG eating, but she was exactly the same as last week: 3 lb. 14 oz. Hopefully, she'll gain weight after her mouth is better.
The one thing Lola is not a good girl about is sub-Q fluids. I asked the same vet tech who gave Scooter the sub-Q fluids to come give Lola fluids. While Lola loved her and crawled in her lap right away, she wanted nothing to do with a needle being stuck in her. We tried two different evenings; the tech even brought a tiny kitten needle (25 gauge) to see if Lola would do better with it. It's as if Lola had some experience before with sub-Q fluids, knew right away what was going on and knew she didn't like it. We quit both times when Lola started getting too stressed about it.
If Lola requires sub-Q fluids in the future, I'm not sure what we'll do. We were being extra cautious this time because of her rather frail condition and her approaching dental surgery, but I don't think Lola will suddenly change her mind about sub-Q's. But, the vet still feels her kidney numbers should improve when her mouth is better, so hopefully, sub-Q fluids are nowhere in Lola's near future.
Although Lola hated the vet tech trying to poke a needle in her, she didn't hold a grudge against her at all. She still let the tech hold her while she purred and purred for her, giving her the "Lola love eyes," even after the second evening of trying to poke her. Go figure.
So, if you wanted a lesson today, here are two:
(1) You can never tell beforehand which cats will and will not tolerate sub-Q fluids. Don't assume.
(2) Never ever EVER let your cat's teeth and gums get into the condition that Lola's are. Bad breath, drooling, teeth chattering, teeth grinding, mouth gyrations, tongue flailing, pawing at her mouth, gagging -- sweet-as-can-be little Lola unfortunately had it all. If you notice anything odd, have it checked!
Lola is probably still in surgery right now. The vet thought she would finish around noon and she'll call then with a report.
March 27th 2009 12:05 pm
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Lola's out of surgery, her teeth were all successfully removed, she did fine with the anesthesia and is now starting to come around. The vet said her teeth were "bad, bad, bad." She also said there was a lot of inflammation in her gums and a spot of inflammation at the base of her tongue. She took a biopsy from her tongue and has sent it to the pathologist to verify that it's only inflammation, hopefully!! We won't have those results until early next week.
From her previous (short) medical record after she was rescued from the city shelter in 2006, Lola had a dental prophylaxis on 3/15/06. On 3/20/06 there is a notation of "mouth is better - ulcerated tongue" but there are no remarks about it after that. I don't know if or how that relates to what the vet found on her tongue today, but I'm going to take the Pollyanna approach for now and say it can't be anything deadly if she's still here 3 years later. I know constant inflammation can evolve into other things, though, so don't take Lola off your purr list yet.
Hazel Lucy added Lola to the C atsters in Need of Serious Purring thread -- thank you.
For now, the vet is concerned that with Lola's short neck and slightly smushed face, her congestion, inflammation and now the additional swelling she'll have from the surgery and biopsy today, Lola may have trouble breathing at first. She'll watch her for the next couple of hours and call again. They'll also see if she can/will eat.
I also asked the vet this morning about taking baseline full-body x-rays of Lola, while she's there. She felt chest x-rays were a good idea but full-body x-rays weren't necessary, so they took chest x-rays before her surgery. She said everything looked "excellent."
So, some good news and some that could be better, but most importantly, Lola is past the first hurdle.
Thank you for the rosettes and messages and especially for the purrs for Lola.
March 27th 2009 4:10 pm
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Home -- swollen face -- good appetite -- going to be okay -- need to sleep so Tooth Fairy can come.
p.s. from Mom: She's doing great right now but the swelling in her mouth and face is likely to increase so we'll be watching her very carefully tonight and over the weekend. I'll update with more information when I can, perhaps a little later this evening.
March 27th 2009 10:09 pm
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Lola's been mostly sleeping this evening. She seems to be breathing and snoring as usual, so far. We had some trouble getting the liquid pain med (Buprenex) in her mouth this evening. She doesn't want anyone or any syringe coming anywhere near her mouth and I can't blame her. I emailed the vet in a panic, asking if I could put the Buprenex in food. She replied it won't work if mixed with food but asked if we tried wrapping Lola in a towel like a burrito. Sheesh, we live in New Mexico and I forgot about the burrito wrap! That worked and Lola has her pain meds for tonight. We have enough to last through the weekend and Lola should start feeling better by then.
I'll try to relate what the vet told us and showed us on the x-rays.
She said the spot on Lola's tongue is on the top of her tongue, while squamous cell carcinomas on the tongue are usually underneath, so we're remaining hopeful that it is just inflammation, not cancer. She thinks Lola is just very sensitive to bacteria in her mouth and hopes it's inflammation from that, which will clear up now.
Lola's face is already puffy from swelling and may get worse before it starts to get better, but the vet didn't want to give cortisone or anything like that for the swelling because of all the infection Lola has.
Lola did great under the anesthesia. All her vital signs remained stable and her temperature stayed up near normal. She was under for 2 1/2 hours. The vet originally estimated 3 hours, but some of her teeth -- all the upper ones except the canines -- fell out during the cleaning. That saved time and money -- we weren't charged for those extractions! They cleaned her teeth first to get rid of as much bacteria in her mouth as they could before the extractions.
She showed us all of Lola's teeth (we brought them home for the Tooth Fairy, too) and some were so rotted they aren't recognizable as teeth. There was a great deal of bone loss and the lower jaw was so thin, she had to be very careful not to break it, but she didn't! Lola has bone grafts in the lower jaw. In the upper jaw, the holes (fistulas?) left after the canines were removed went all the way up into her sinuses, so no bone grafts were done there because they could migrate up. The bone will grow and repair itself over time.
Overall, Lola did great. She wanted to eat almost as soon as she woke up, and she was eating baby food readily while still at the vet. When we first saw her, she was standing up, rubbing against the bars of her cage and headbutting it! Bonk! OUCH!
The vet thinks Lola's overall health should improve dramatically now, she should gain weight, hopefully get those kidney numbers down, have a whole lot less pain -- and not smell rotten. These first couple days will be rough, but the payoff is going to be worth it!
Just a little while ago, Lola woke up and trotted to the kitchen for food! The pain med must be working. She ate a decent serving but didn't gorge. Now she's sleeping in her heated bed again. Her BIG day is almost completed.
March 28th 2009 1:00 pm
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Lola will be on pain meds all weekend so I'll continue to update for her.
She's still doing great. She's eating, and how! I thought I might have to cut her off while ago, but she finally quit after eating an entire 3 oz can of food (pureed and strained), all at once. She waddled away looking like she had a balloon in her tummy, like a kitten who's just eaten. She had a good-sized meal not too long before that, too, and several smaller snacks during the night. She hasn’t vomited at all.
The swelling doesn't look any worse today than last night, so hopefully it's at its maximum. Her eyes right now are more slanted than round because of her puffy face, but she's still beautiful. :)
She's had no problem breathing. When she yawned this morning, I didn't get a look at her gums but I could see her tongue was a good healthy pink. She's still snoring as bad as she did before, and it will be interesting to see if that clears up as she heals.
She's pawing at her mouth some and was digging at it with her back foot this morning, but the vet said she would do that. She still does a few gyrations with her mouth after eating but that's to be expected, too.
Now the only smell coming from her mouth is cat food smell. What a difference! Some of her fur is still stiff from grooming when her mouth was icky and her fur still has some of that smell on it, but I'll give her a Kitty Wipes bath soon. She doesn't mind being wiped with those.
She has been a little smelly coming from the other end this morning, though. I think she's working towards her first post-op poopie. TMI? :))
Her vet emailed again this morning to check on her and to see how we're doing getting the pain meds into her mouth. I had trouble medicating her again this morning. I wrap her like a burrito but can't keep her head from moving no matter how I hold her. I don't need to open her mouth, just get the tip of the syringe a little way in. The medication is absorbed through the mouth and doesn't need to be swallowed. It wouldn't be difficult if I could hold her head, but that's a definite no-no. The vet doesn't want me to scruff her on the back of the neck, either. This morning I finally managed to get the syringe to make contact with her mouth long enough to release the medication, as she was sliding her head inside the "burrito" like a turtle withdrawing into its shell. But it took too many attempts before that. If anyone has suggestions, please send a pawmail.
Otherwise, everything is going very well so far. She's sleeping again right now. When she's awake, she's obviously feeling pretty good and she's her same lovable self. Phew!
p.s. I'll try to get a photo of her teeth to add later. One is so gross!
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