Friday, February 8, 2013

Responsible Pet Owners Month

According to my Honey Badger Calendar, Monday was the start of Responsible Pet Owners Month.  Usually, it doesn't seem too hard to be a responsible pet owner because I adore my pets.  When Barley and I passed the CGC test in May, I had to sign a Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge.  There's not a single part of the pledge that I find hard to keep up with.
Usually, it doesn't seem too hard to be a responsible pet owner because I adore my pets.  When Barley and I passed the CGC test in May, I had to sign a Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge.  There's not a single part of the pledge that I find hard to keep up with--even the regular bathing part despite Barley's hatred of the tub.
This is the face I got last night when I said, "Do you want a bath tomorrow?"
But, lately, with Soth's health, I find myself wondering what the responsible thing to do is.  The vet called right before they closed on Wednesday evening with the results of the culture from the cells from his bladder.

The good news is that there isn't terrible news.  The bad news is there really isn't good news, either.  The culture didn't show malignant cells, but it did show atypical cells.  Atypical cells can show up where there's cancer or they can show up in perfectly healthy bladders.  So, there's not really any clear answer to why his bladder refused to distend and take in more of the saline solution.  

Our options right now are to do nothing, to do an ultrasound and see if anything like a stone or a tumor shows up, or to cut into his bladder and do exploratory surgery.  Exploratory surgery is the absolute last option because the vet and I decided that we don't want to add any more trauma to an already stressed area.  The ultrasound doesn't sound like a terrible choice, but it's another $100 added to a ton of money that I've already poured into medications, tests, foods that have not worked or not given us any results; just like there wasn't any guaranteee that the culture of the bladder cells would give us any answers, there's no guarantee that an ultrasound will tell us anything.  And, if it does and there's something in there, then there's probably surgery involved and I don't have the money or the time from work to stay home and take care of him if that's the case.

So, after the vet and I talked for some time, we decided that for now, we'll wait.  Even though the bladder didn't take in a lot of solution, it did get a little flushing.  And, they gave him an anti-inflammatory, which we hadn't done before, so who knows how that will affect him.

He has his appointment for his vaccinations the first week of March, so we're going to wait until then and evaluate how he's doing.  If he hasn't lost more weight and isn't acting uncomfortable (other than the constant urge to pee), then we'll probably continue waiting and watching.  But, if he continues to lose weight over the next few weeks or his behavior starts to change, we'll schedule the ultrasound and then I'll have a week of spring break to play nurse if necessary.

So, I just find myself questioning the responsible thing to do with my little cat.  Clearly, it's not responsible to run myself into financial ruin by having test after test done.  It also doesn't feel responsible to make him endure test after test or procedure after procedure when for the most part he acts like a healthy, happy kitty; he lives to eat, he loves to chase ribbons and jingle balls, he loves jumping and climbing onto furniture I don't want him jumping on, he loves sleeping in warm cozy places.
He knows jumping on top of the bookshelf and curling up dangerously close to my pet art wall makes me absolutely batty.
He also knows that curling up in my duffle bag makes me crazy, but he looks terribly cute when he does it.
But I also worry that it's not responsible to postpone the ultrasound if there's something awful growing inside of Soth that could be removed.  I'm not really sure that there's a right answer to this one, so I'm just going to hope that there's not a wrong answer, either.


  1. Aw, I know it's hard, but things will work out. If the vet felt the ultrasound was urgent then they wouldn't have said to wait. Love you! (and the Bun!)

  2. I really feel for you in this situation with Soth (how cute is he in your bag by the way!!!) I have three cats whom I love dearly but like you I do not have the finances to spend should they get into real trouble! I had a cat put down a couple of years ago who was hit by a car and broke her pelvis, she had 2 trips to the vet who said they leave this kind of damage to repair themselves in cats but by the third visit she wasn't able to go to the toilet and had blown up like a balloon and so the vet and I both agreed that the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep. It broke my heart especially as she was leaving a litter of kittens behind but I knew it was the right thing. I think you are doing the right thing, I think for pets to suffer indefinitely (which humans have to do) is a terrible thing and they are lucky that we are able to make decisions for them. On a more positive note how gorgeous is Barley!!!!