Catten Trouble, Friday: General E-Mail

The Internist said that Tony’s bilirubin level was too high for them to take the liver function samples (they would just confound the results), so the question of his liver function is still open. The urine sample showed that he wasn’t leaking too much protein out of his urine. This pretty much leaves something like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or a cancer, or perhaps a malformation like a shunt in the liver, as the top suspects. Normally they would consider running a scope or exploratory surgery to try to diagnose what’s wrong, but his protein levels are so low at this point that it’s not certain that he would heal properly from surgery.

What I asked the doctor was, “What are the likely conditions that he might have which are treatable, and would any of those treatments be appropriate for him at this point, in the absence of certainty about the cause?” And she said that it would be quite appropriate to try a steroid, I think prednisone was mentioned, because Inflammatory Bowel Disease was a real possibility, and that the main downside of trying it was that it might work too well, and make the condition go away to such a degree that they wouldn’t be able to diagnose it, which in the case of cancer would be bad, since there are some chemotherapies that cats tolerate really well. I think we’re getting to the point pretty soon that if he doesn’t start getting better, we’re going to have to think about putting him to sleep, but we’re not quite there yet.

The steroids, if they work, will take at least a day before we would expect to see any results, and really several days before we’ll be able to say whether we’re seeing a positive trend.

Tony has always been, as Sean calls him, “The Ambassador”: the friend of everybody, feline or human. Once, Queenie, shown here on the left, went on an Explore out above the curtains, and Tony joined her, happy to share in the adventure, causing Queenie unbelievable dismay, because he had inadvertently cut off her escape. Here, she shows him what she can do to cats who don’t meet with her approval, and Tony looks on, with approval:

See Saturday’s Catten post.

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