Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ashes + One ER Vet Trip

For avid animal lovers like myself, whom consider their pets to be part of the family, late night health issues or emergencies can be a scary thing as your local veterinarian is usually not open. I have dealt with many a trips down to our local overnight clinic (which I'm sure you can guess is quite a bit more costly than the daytime veterinarian). Last night was one of those nights. Around 12:45am, I heard one of my cats (Ashes) "fall" from the top of the couch, onto the cushion part. I thought he had jumped down, until I heard him meeeooowww in a tone that he usually doesn't use. I walked over to see whats the matter, and he couldn't really stand. It was as if he had no balance at all and everything was falling towards his left side. I scooped him up and took him into the bathroom where there were no other animals to harrass us as I gently tried to comfort him and figure out what was wrong. I did the ol' debate of "can this wait until my vet open in the am?". He didn't appear to be in any pain, just very disoriented. His eyes were very much dialated and were actually shaking from the left to the right, it was very very spooky looking. I called a friend who took a look as well, and also said he did not look well at all and something was definitely wrong. I really thought Ashes was having a stroke as he is an older cat, with a heart murmur (that I just found out about in October). After much debate, and an attempt to self diagnose via google (I was not able to search as my internet decided it did not want to pick up service, even though I had JUST been online before shutting the laptop down so I could go to bed), we headed out the the over night ER. It's a good 20 minute drive, at least. Got there, got checked in, the nurse on staff actually had to call her doctor to let her know they had a patient, and the doctor was there within 20 minute (I was a little confused as to why the doctor wasn't there ALREADY.) While we waited, immediately when I told the nurse his eyes were huge and rapidly moving left to right, she gave me a term, which I can not remember. I asked her if that meant he had been bitten or poisoned and she said "no, it's usually one of two things: a stroke like you said, or an inner ear infection. We are hoping for the inner ear infection.". That was immediate relief to me as I am going to back this story up a bit:

October 2010: One day I smelled something horrid. It was coming from Ashes. I was wondering why the heck he smelled so horrible, and was debating a bath, when I realized it was coming from his left ear. It was infected! He has obviously been in a cat fight (he's an outside/inside cat). I cleaned it out myself and was doctoring it with bactrin antibiotic ointment, as well as a friend of mine was in town that does really well with this kinda stuff, and she cleaned his ear out well too. I thought we were good to go, even a week later when he got his annual shots at the SPCA, they said it appeared to be healing well. I guess they should have looked INSIDE his ear.

Back to present day: Ashes was diagnosed with a severe inner ear infection last night. He was given fluids under the skin as he probably won't want to eat for a day or two as the off balance dizzy feeling is that of vertigo in a human, and will make him nauseous. I was also given two prescriptions for him. Liquid medicines. A steroid and an antibiotic. After a nice chunk of money was paid, we were on our way home. Ashes has to stay confined to a cage for a few days until he gets his balance back and is eating/drinking. The meds will continue for at least two weeks, and I have to take him to his regular vet in 5-7 days to have a better look at his ear drum, as the infection blocked them from getting a proper view.

I'm just happy he should be able to have a full recovery! :)

Ashes today, confined to his cage. Head tilted to the left as he's off balance.

Ashes in happier days with his buddy Andy (RIP)

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