Ashes’ Story

*** Some of the specifics might be missing, such as vets’ names, medications I forgot about, and other things that don’t really matter, but I wanted to share Ashes’ current health scare as a way to celebrate how well he’s doing right now. ***

So things have finally calmed down around our household.

In June Ashes, our 17 pound black Maine cooncat mix went in for his check up and an update on his shots. I asked one of the vets about an interesting issue: if you scratched right above the base of his tail, Ashes would go into a trance of sorts, waving his head back and forth while drooling. She thought it was odd, that she had only seen cats do that when they had a hot spot from fleas, which he didn’t. She said to keep an eye on it and to see what would happen.

I don’t know if it’s related, but it wasn’t long after that when things got scary, and a bit crazy, around here:

At the end of August – I think it was the 26th – we woke up to a cat crying in pain every now and then and not being able to use his box. We figured it was just that he was backed up with hairballs, as that had happened before, but never to such an extent. After picking up some laxatone and administering it, he settled down for a bit. Half an hour goes by and he’s upstairs vomiting up the last THREE feedings he had. He wouldn’t let me touch him and was severely lethargic.

We brought him to our vet, which thankfully does ER visits. Poor Ashes had a severe urinary blockage. I had never in my life heard of that happening in cats, but I’ve only ever had females. He stayed for a week. It was a VERY long week of twice a day check ins, a visit with Little Mister (my two year old human kiddo), and two different catheter inserts.

Ashes finally comes home. He’s on a list of meds including Valium, which is supposed to give him the munchies. It doesn’t. He’s urinating very little, refusing to eat – we had to force feed him with a syringe for two days -, and still hiding. He did seem better than before and since he wasn’t eating AT ALL at the vet’s office (went from 17 lbs, to 15 lbs in a week), our vet opted for him to stay home unless things went downhill.

They did.

All of a sudden it came on: Ashes would go to the box, act like he was urinating WITHOUT straining but nothing was there. The box was bone dry. I brought him in again. Our vet checked him over and decided that the bladder was way too small. Something was obviously wrong. We opted for an exploratory surgery. Sure enough Ashe’s bladder had a dead spot on it that was leaking urine into his abdominal cavity. the bladder wall was super thick, which made that nasty “cancer” word come up. After the surgery he was in the vet’s for another week to make sure all went well. He dropped more weight (down to 14.7) as he still wasn’t eating there due to not being comfortable.

We finally got to bring him home. He was on a two-part probiotic, amoxicillian, prednisone, and an appetite stimulant. Pilling was originally alright, until Ashes starting getting his strength back. We also had a fake scare as neither hubster nor I knew that cats will froth a the mouth to try to remove nasty tasting items – such as the apetite stimulant he was on.

Unfortunately, even with the stimulant, he still wasn’t eating well and gave us yet another scare when he went off his food and began having severe withdrawal tremors as the prednisone dose dropped down. After another night at the vet’s, an extension of the prednisone which cause severe stomach issues, and a change from the prednisone to an inject-able anti-inflammatory that tapered off over 10 days, he’s caught a break.

Ashes is now acting like his own self again. While there will be a long time span of me being paranoid and checking his box every time I walk by, he’s on the mend. While I still get panicky about how much food he has or hasn’t eat, he’s on the mend. While I still double check any spit up with a paper towel to check for blood, he’s on the mend.

Ashes is one hell of a trooper.

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