Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quick Gandolf Update

I have picked up the skinny kitty from the vet, who will call me tomorrow with the test results. His physical exam seems to have gone pretty much fine-- he got normal on:
Coat & Skin
Nose & Throat
Central Nervous System

He was abnormal in Mouth/Teeth/Gums, being listed as having tartar and gingivitis. This is probably not surprising. And I don't think, since nothing else under "mouth" was circled, that this is enough for him to be not eating dry food and therefore losing weight. I will ask about this tomorrow on the phone, though, to be sure.

The only other "abnormal" was Musculoskeletal, which, yeah, we knew. He's Skeletal-Cat.

The vet also wrote, "Gandolf has (I suspect an old) injury to the right hip." I'm not entirely sure what that means, but, since he is not having to hunt his food (given that we feed him), I also don't think that that is the cause of his skinniness. (Although it doesn't help his overall well-being, obviously.)

Also, unsurprisingly, she found flea dirt. (Of course she did.) I would expect nothing less from a stray/semi-feral.

Gandolf is currently still in the carrier, on my porch. The vet tech who brought him to me suggested that he not be released immediately, especially since they couldn't get him to drink any water. AZMom is, wonderfully, willing to take him in for a few hours when she gets home, so we're hanging out waiting for that. They just want him observed for a few hours before he's released, to make sure he's safe from the anesthesia. (EDIT: We're off to AZMom's now.)

So, keep those fingers crossed that whatever's wrong is treatable and that we can help Gandolf. I will report again tomorrow afternoon, once I've heard something from the vet.

Gandolf: 1 Vet Tech: 0

My wonderful Neighbor (AZMom) already had Gandolf safely bundled into a carrier when I arrived at her place. He was lying down in it, calm but shaking. He stayed that way, slightly curious, mostly calm, definitely scared, all the way to vet and into the exam room. I opened up the carrier while waiting for a vet tech, but he remained within it.

The tech came in, and I explained the situation-- that he's semi-feral, part of the colony, that my neighbor has no trouble with him (he cuddles with AZMom and purrs). The tech reached into the box and got hissed and swiped at. I don't know if he bit her or scratched her (it looked like scratched, but given her reaction she at least thought it was teeth), so she grumbled and gretzed and left, saying she had to go wash her hands for 10 minutes as it is policy.

I started taking apart the carrier, and as I did so, Gandolf calmly ambled out of it and started sniffing around. After a moment's hesitation, he jumped to the ground.

Another tech came in, and he started trying to get away by jumping back up to the table, which was just too high for him. He settled for flattening himself on the ground. I explained the situation to the second tech, who immediately left. I could hear her conversation (involving fun band-aids, and Gandolf) with the first vet tech (through the door) who was, indeed, washing her hands for at least a good 5 minutes, if not 10.

I waited with Gandolf. He wandered around, tried to get back into the carrier (which I had closed), sniffed a bit, then settled into a kitty loaf on the floor. I sat a few feet away, also on the floor, trying to be welcoming, supportive and non-threatening.

The vet came in, and calmly stepped around Gandolf who just stayed in his kitty loaf. She also heard the story, took a note or two, then decided that the best way for all involved was to anesthetize Gandolf for an exam and blood draw. She left and returned with an estimate (oh, kitties, why must you all find new and exciting ways to cost me so much money?? anesthetizing a kitty, as it turns out, rather expensive. They are giving me a 20% Good Samaritan discount, which is nice, and new for that matter. Which saved me quite a lot of money. But that just speaks to how expensive it is to begin with, eh?) And then she and another vet tech (#3) herded Gandolf into a clear box (using a towel.) There was no trouble with that last part.

So he is still at the vet and they will be calling me. We won't have the results of the blood test 'til tomorrow, but I'll get a preliminary report today, from the physical examination. They decided to run a comprehensive panel on the blood test, feeling that that way was less expensive than piece-mealing things together, and I'm all right with that. (The blood test wasn't the expensive part anyway.)

I queried as to how safe the anesthesia was, given that we don't know what's wrong with him, and the vet understood my concerns, and admitted some small risk, but also that it's very safe, easily and quickly reversible, and far less stress for Gandolf as they examine him. So he'll get a physical examination while asleep (I hope they look at his teeth-- I worry that that's the answer, given the situation with Bozo over the summer. Gandolf eats wet food-- maybe he can't eat the dry.) She'll treat anything she finds physical. She'll draw blood and send it to the lab.

So, I'll hear something today (and pick him up today, too, barring unforeseen circumstances) and we'll get test results tomorrow.

Fingers crossed, please. He's a sweet boy (when he's not attacking presumptuous vet techs).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Plan

Quick heads up, in case you're stopping by to check in on Gandolf. He is apparently turning into a love-bug, wanting snuggles from AZMom, so we aren't too worried about getting him to the vet. She also reports that he's filling out a bit, which is great news. The vet appointment is made for 8:30am Thursday, so keep your fingers crossed for him, that he's just malnourished, or has something easily treatable.

And until then, enjoy this picture of Beatrice, finally sans cone-collar:

Her mom reports that as soon as she got the collar off, in typical Beatrice fashion, she promptly bit her mom on the arm, then ran around the house a few times.

Her belly, which you can kinda see in this picture, looks normal. Hurrah!

Monday, November 17, 2008

No news, have some pictures...

I spoke with my Neighbor yesterday. She has progressed to the point where she's sure she can pick up Gandolf, so I'm going to call the vet for an appointment today. (That's call today, appointment for tomorrow or Thursday.) Apparently Gandolf is now willing to be patient to get his food, which I think is a good sign. Also, she says his belly is slightly less concave now. So, we're hopeful. All right, all right, mostly I'm scared, but you know what I mean. I will, of course, keep you updated.But since that's not really news, I will give you PICTURES. I think Mal's dad was jealous of the attention Zoe got in the last post, because last night I suddenly had these in my inbox. The kitty with Malcolm is his brother, Fritz. They look startled, don't they? And look! Mal is big enough to *almost* fill a drawer!And lastly, but definitely not leastly, a major sooper hyooge thank you to everyone who has donated (ever, but especially recently) in order to help pay for Gandolf's upcoming vet bills. This poor graduate student (do you have any idea how little they pay us for how much work we do?) really really appreciates it, especially since I know that times are hard for everyone and no one just has a few extra dollars to burn. I sincerely, greatly appreciate it.