Friday, May 15, 2009

What a Worrisome Week!

The beginning of my week was heart wrenching. Itty Bitty (the little calico that bit me and who I had to quarantine to be sure she didn't have rabies) was still at the vet recovering from her spay, so that was fine. Little Bear decided to wreak havoc and eat something she shouldn't have...I found out Sunday evening. She had something long hanging out of her butt. It was light yellow. She would whimper and then try to lick at it. She didn't seem herself. I finally got her to calm down and let me trim whatever it was....and, it was those dangling things from the decorative scarecrows that are sold at the craft stores....the dogs must have pulled on them in the fall and the remnants stayed scattered behind the bushes all winter. Little Bear loves to dig behind the bushes!

I took Little Bear to Dr. Dyer, a different vet than Itty Bitty's. They took a picture of her intestines and she won an award. In all the years they have practiced, they have never seen as much gas inside a dog's colon as what was in LB's colon! I might have contributed to that gas since I called ER Sunday night and they suggested to give her some canned pumpkin which offers moist fiber and will help move the bowel. So, I gave her about 1/2 cup along with some wet dry kibble. The strands did naturally come out but they kept her overnight while we waited for her CBC (complete blood count) results. There were some issues but nothing too worrisome and she is on amoxicillin and metronidazole Both are antibiotics but the metronidazole is specific for the colon. Little Bear seems fine, is willing for me to open her mouth and accept a bitter pill down her throat, and is now barking at deer as I write! Thank heavens!
That same Monday I thought I might visit Itty Bitty. She was very lethargic, had cat litter stuck on the side of her mouth (did she try to eat it?) and had no water in her bowl so the tech filled the bowl. Itty Bitty got up and immediately drank....and drank, and drank for 5 minutes straight! This is not normal! The tech wrote a note on the cage and since the vets were on lunch break until 3, she promised they would call me. Itty Bitty allowed me to pet her thin bony back. I got to see her little 'pine tree' tail, and why it was so small. Poor baby cat, the fur was off the end and exposed a strange curling of bone covered by skin...she has had a hard life. She was on antibiotics since they found an ulcer in her mouth and this was the third day after her spay. I went home waiting for the call.
The vet said that Itty Bitty needed a blood test to see what was going on. I should have done one prior but after spaying and neutering 20-30 stray cats, and nothing showing up, this time I did not. She had kidney failure. After a surgery, the signs can accumulate and worsen. I was wondering why this excessive water drinking and puking didn't occur during her quarantine. The neighbor did say she lost a litter of kittens... I was told that three days of I.V. fluids would help. The costs were astronomical at this office! My total bill would have reached way over $500 and there was no guarantee that she would come through and she would need testing afterwards. Supposedly kidney failure is a forever disease. With her being partially wild, I wasn't sure how this would be done but I could have kept her in a separate bedroom at the house. After many conversations with the vets, several with my precious friend Sharon whom I trust explicitly, and through a heavy heart and hot tears, I reluctantly agreed to have her put down only after a meal of wet food and while someone is holding her and giving her love and petting her and she was to be given a sedative first which is standard at that office. (ALWAYS give the sedative first if you must put down a pet). I couldn't go back. Maybe I should have...I wanted her to be back in the woods or at the neighbor's place but maybe she didn't want to have to constantly watch her back, search for food, protect herself, and become flea ridden again, etc.

I spoke with Dr. Dyer when I picked up Little Bear and now shake my head. Why did I spay her if I knew she lost kittens? Where too many meds given to her with her being so thin? Why did I not get that blood test? Why didn't I take her to another vet for another opinion? Why did I play God?

Then my friends, husband and all the vets gave me their answers. I did the right thing, she had a hard life, she had this disease for some time, etc. Still, it doesn't sit right with me. She might have had a few months of happiness inside our home. I could of insisted with the good husband and kept her in a room by herself. We have 4 cats in the house and 3 at the barn. Each of our animals needed a good and loving home.

I still shake my head and cry when I think of Itty Bitty. She looks so much like Callie who is now 4 years old. Maybe she was Callie's Mom? I hugged Callie extra long that night.


JC said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Kitty. It's never an easy thing .. to be the adult Mom ... and make those decisions. She had a good life with you. You did the best you could.

I'm glad your dog will be ok.

Just remember the good memories ... the bad ones will go away soon.

Ali said...

Oh, I am so sorry! I do think you did the right thing with Itty Bitty. You just never know what to expect with wild cats, and that makes it hard to know what to do. I hope you feel better about it! Sounds like she had a really rough life from her description, now she is a peaceful kitty. And I am so glad Little Bear is better, that must have been scary! I hope you have a great weekend after such a rough week =)

Leslie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Your post brought tears to my eyes as I remembered a decision we made to have our sweet, loyal, loving dog Norman put to sleep and all the second thoughts I have had about the decision. All the what if's and I wish I had's. The truth was that he was suffering. He was in pain everyday.

Itty Bitty had a disease that brings with it slow suffering and eventual death. You made the decision from a place of love for her. I'm glad to hear Little Bear is ok and is doing better today, that is good news.

Wish on a Whisker said...

I always second guess myself when it comes to my animals. All we can do is the best we can with the information we have. I know how bad it hurts. I'm sorry for the loss of your sweet kitty. ~Mandy (I had to pull raffia out of Annika's behind one time. She cried and I almost had a nervous break down.)

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Life on a farm can get a little hectic! Hopefully everyone starts getting better and you are able to enjoy your weekend!

JAN'S PLACE said...

you had a tough week with the critters, they own our hearts.. it is true. I have that old pony, Buddy, and even though I know we will have to do something sooner than later.. I keep thinking " I will get him through the spring", I will get him through the Summer.." we just play it by ear..

Paint Girl said...

I am so sorry to hear about Itty Bitty! That has too be the toughest decision to make!
I went through that a year and a half ago with my 2 aged dogs. I had to make the decision to have them put down. I was in the room while the vet euthanized them. I had never seen that before, and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
I hope Little Bear is going to be ok!

Lizzie said...

i hope everything turns out ok. i hate when my animals are sick or hurt. it breaks my heart :(

Kritter Keeper said...

many heartfelt thank you's for all of your warm comments about little Itty Bitty and LB. LB seems fine and will go for another blood check next week!

Kris said...

You deserve an award for all this. You did the right thing. You tried to make a difference in the life of someone who didn't have much love in it's life. Just know that you are a good person, and most people would not have done ALL that you did for this little kitty. I'm sure she realized someone was trying to help her.