Sunday, August 25, 2019

There Can Be Only One

I swear I've been making jokes about this for the last five years, but it's starting to look like Effing Scooter, the cat who pees on everything, is going to be the last of my vet school bottle babies to survive.

Guido has been in remission for almost a year now, but I can't imagine that's going to last forever.

This week Ripley, my little dog in a cat suit, started acting funny. He's had what I assume is IBD for a while, and though his symptoms have been pretty well controlled through a special diet for the past year, it's only a matter of time before that explodes into full-blown GI lymphoma. So that's what I was expecting when I took him in on Thursday morning.

But since Ripley also occasionally eats plastic things, we decided to take an x-ray to see what was going on.

And there on the edge of the film was a mass in his lung.

So then we went off to UC Davis to find out what was going on. Let me tell you, it's pretty weird to go back to the teaching hospital you graduated from ten years later as a client. Parts of the hospital have changed, and the largest part of the parking lot now has a building on it, but the exam rooms still have the same pale green tile on the walls that probably already looked dated in the 1970s. Nothing like a few flashbacks to really make your day.

A bunch of tests later, we had a list of bad things:
- IBD/lymphoma (lymph node aspirate non-diagnostic)
- lung mass (aspirate non-diagnostic)
- red & white blood cells in his urine (nothing growing on culture)
- a few nodules on the liver (meaningful? could just be age-related)

Basically all the parts of his body seem to be competing for the title.

One of these things could be making him feel bad, but maybe it's something else entirely. And he might be able to live with all those things for a year or two without any of them impacting his quality of life.

Anyhow, he spent a night in the hospital (and developed a heart murmur and a weird rhythm that also got checked out) and he's feeling better. He's getting antibiotics. If he continues to do well over the next week, he's going to have surgery to remove the lung mass. After that he can go on steroids for his IBD/lymphoma as needed. Or he might crash and burn. Only time will tell.

For now he's back to following me around and keeping me company.

When the apocalypse happens I'm pretty sure the survivors are going to be me, Effing Scooter, and the screaming conures.


Route 8 said...

I’m very sorry Ripley and you are going through this. Your cats seem.tough, determined and occasionally obstinate, all the best qualities to have when you plan to exceed expectations ...and become supreme ruler of the universe.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

In a perfect world Ripley would pull through this and live another ten comfortable years, but I'll take whatever time he's got left! I'm just hoping he doesn't need pills to make it through that time -- he's horrible to medicate! I think it's his only bad trait.