Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oh dear

Time for a Pokey update. The results of her last blood test weren't good. In some ways the results were worse than or the same as the first time she went in last month. So not what we wanted to hear. It appears that she may have Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) due to a genetic condition - Siamese cats are predisposed to CRF.

CRF is terminal, although some cats live for years with it. Pokey is still a happy, playful girl and I'd have had no idea she was sick if I didn't know otherwise. She's only 5 years old, so I'm hoping that her youth and vitality will help her through this. I've been making myself a little crazy studying Pokey's test results and reading websites. Unsurprisingly I'm hoping that something else (something easy to cure) is to blame but I think the odds are slim to none. 

I now have to give her sub-cutaneous fluids every other day. I know that I have to be calm and relaxed to do it so that I don't make her anxious, but that's easier said than done. Pokey and I went to the vet yesterday so that I could see them do it. I don't know if I'm ready to tackle it all by myself tomorrow. The good news on that front is that my husband is coming for a one month vacation - he gets here Monday. We'll see if he's good at helping hold her still or at the very least holding the bag of fluids up. 

Our trip to the vet was an adventure. The streets near the vet were covered in water because of all the rain. I decided to approach no closer after seeing one car partially submerged. I backed up, parked a couple of blocks away and carried Pokey through the water, which went above my knees in places. One of the staff took us back to the car in a 4-wheel drive pick-up. I sure hope the floods had receded before everyone there got off work.

I haven't been good for much of anything the last couple of days. Three packages arrived in the mail but I haven't been able to open them up. Don't want to associate them with this moment. Okay enough whinging. If I can just get a good night's sleep tonight my outlook will improve immeasurably.

28 comments:

MJinMichigan said...

Tonya, I'm so sorry to hear that Pokey needs the fluids. Our favorite cat was a Siamese and diabetic (4 years of insulin shots twice a day) then developed CRF and I gave him sub-cu fluids for almost a year before he died just short of 17 years. It's so hard to see a pet you love so much go downhill but it sounds like Pokey's age will help and you may have her for a long time (I'll keep my fingers crossed). Good luck.

Quilt Pixie said...

sorry to hear the news wasn't good. wishing you calm for the coming days...

Magpie Sue said...

Aw geez. What a bummer. I can't even imagine trying to give a cat subcutaneous fluids by yourself. Good luck with that.

Pat said...

My heart goes out to you, but I swear to you that I know (through a vet-tech friend of mine) of MANY cats who live for years getting sub-cutaneous fluids and nearly all their owners were squeamish about doing it at the beginning but once they go the hang of it, things went very smoothly. It is good timing that your hubby will be home for a month to help and you can find someone else to assume his role when he goes back. I'd think, for that reason, it may be wise for YOU to learn to give the shot and let your "assistant" hold the fluid bag...probably will be easier to find a friend or neighbor willing to do that for you than to give the shot (unless you happen to have a nurse or doctor or vet tech living near you).

Loris said...

I'm sad with you about Pokey's news. However, it's true. The fluids can keep them happy and going for a long time. I don't think they have a problem with the needle insertion. We did it with one of our cats and her only complaint was being told to sit still for all of the 3 minutes or so it took for the fluid to go in. She preferred being the boss.
Hope you two feel better.

jovaliquilts said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Pokey's news. Hopefully this will work out without too many problems and she'll have happy years dealing comfortably with this. I'm so glad your husband's coming next week -- a good time for him to arrive!

Laura said...

Tonya, I'm so sorry to hear about Pokey's diagnosis, but I'm writing to share some things that you might find encouraging. After I lost my then oldest cat to CRF 4 yrs ago at age 16, I found out that my then 15 year old cat was also early stage CRF. I found an awesome website that really helped me educate myself on managing the disease. It's www.felinecrf.org. My previous vet never mentioned using the fluids, so I switched vets after Kati died to one that encouraged the use. Nika has been on fluids now for 4 years and just turned 19 on May 1st. His kidney readings have never gotten worse than his original diagnosis. I also have an almost 18 year old that is also on fluids as her kidney readings are at the upper end of normal. Both of these cats are half siamese. As others said, the fluid admin can be traumatic at first, but it does get easier. Don't give up! Pokey is young and will probably respond quite well to the fluids. Good luck and email me if you ever want to talk CRF. I've been dealing with it for 4 years now. Oh, and the fluids were horrendously expensive through my vet so I now order from BRICO (www.bricomedicalsupplies.com). The prices are reasonable and they ship very fast. I use the BBraun bags and lines and the fluids seem to flow much faster than the ones I got from the vet. Faster is better for all involved!

Laura in AZ

woolywoman said...

Oh dear. She's lucky she has you. would it help to have the bag of fluids hanging somewhere near where she like to be, all set up? Then you could go get Pokey and not have to look like the statue of liberty holding a bag of sub Q fluids.

quiltycat said...

Sorry to hear no good news about little Pokey ... but I can say that our ability to care our friends pets is higher as we think to have. I think of you both very often.
nichi

Jenny said...

Oh dear, it's so difficult when your pets are unwell - they don't understand and there's little you can do to make things better. I'm sure you'll manage well with the fluid insertion, we had a potbellied pig which my husband used to have to inject - now THAT was a toughie - her skin was like leather! My own cat has a heart murmur which he has happily lived with for 15 years so there is definitely hope.

Notjustnat said...

Tonya, I am very upset to hear of Pokey's news. I get use to see her happy in all your posts. She is part of Lazy Gal Quilting now. Let's hope that cats do have 9 lives and Pokey will perk up again soon.

Kathie said...

Tonya
sorry to hear all this
I sure hope like you said She has her youth on her side and this will take years before its a real problem
thank goodness your DH will be there Monday
maybe a bit of hand quilting will help you settle down or just refolding fabric, take that edge off, works for me. thinking about you and pokey.
Kathie

sewprimitive karen said...

Darling Pokey is lucky to have you and your husband to administer those fluids. Does sound like a permanent hang-y thing for the bag would be in order. It will be such a comfort to have your husband there for a visit.

Clare said...

Thank goodness T is arriving on Monday to help you and Pokey through this. I'm positive that you'll be a lot more positive in a few days.

We had Siamese when I was young. One had CRF, but lived for ages.

Hugs
x

Mimi said...

Hugs

Beena said...

Your poor little sweetie! I had never heard of this condition before, but am inclined to believe that her being so young and vital, (not to mention very well loved) will make a big difference. I will say a prayer that Pokey has many, many more happy years! And you hang in there and take care of yourself, Tonya. Your Pokey is lucky to have you and knows you love her, and you are doing everything you can to take care of her.

We are just finally drying out over here in Daytona. It sure made for some messy driving, and a lot of property damage. Still better than having to shovel snow.

Statch said...

Tonya, I'm so sorry to hear about Pokey's diagnosis, though it certainly must be encouraging to see how many people who commented have had experience with CRF, and have such positive comments. I'll be thinking of you and Pokey.

Stacy

Bonnie said...

Geeze!! I can see you up to your knees walking with a cat carrier on your head to get her to the doc!

I'm so sorry she is going through this, and you too. My hopes are for a manageable condition and a prolonged and happy life!!

Hugs to you and Pokey!

Bonnie

Julie said...

I am sorry to hear this about Pokey. I hope that she has many good, happy days ahead.

jude said...

sorry ton, i have been through this. the best you can do is absorb it all and keep going. sometimes things have a way of turning into other things. who knows?

Funky Kim said...

((Pokey)) I hope you figure out what is wrong and how to fix it.

laura said...

i am so sorry...
i could tell you stories about my cats, but that seems selfish. I could say everything is going to be alright, but i have no idea. i could make you a quilt, but my work would be less than comforting. so all i can do is pray and say i'm sorry.

Lori said...

Hugs to you and Pokey. I hope the subcutaneous fluids help - they should make her feel better.

Anonymous said...

Tonya,
My kitty needed IV fluids near the end of his life. It was something completely different than what ails Pokey, but the IV part wasn't so hard after the first time. A lot of the ease of doing it will depend how calm a cat she is in general. I could open this cat's mouth and give him pills. I didn't do the IV on my own, my husband helped to hold him. But, I do have one helpful hint-we hung the bag on a light fixture over the kitchen table and did it there.

The good thing is cats live in the moment and don't worry like we do and don't worry about being sick. So, enjoy the time you have with Pokey and she will do the same.

I hope the vet was able to give you some pointers on how to give the IV by yourself. You probably don't want to make the trip to the vet's every other day (particularly with a flood) but you might for the first few times and have them observe how you do it and offer help if needed. My vet has what they call a "tech visit" as opposed to seeing the vet for an office visit-it's much cheaper.

Your vet sounds like a pretty good one if they'd take you back to your car.

Good luck,
Lois

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Bless your heart Pokey and Tonya, because you will both being going through this together. When we had to gave fluids to our Tiger we got an s clamp at the hardware store and put one loop over the cuboard & the other loop in the bag of fluid so we did not have to hold up the fluid. their was four hands to Tiger I will pray for Pokey.
Fern

Mary C. said...

So sad to hear Miss Pokey is sick. I am glad your husband will be there for you.

Dianne said...

I'm so sorry Pokey is having such a rough time, and you, too, Ton. Glad your DH will be here to help for a little while.

Sending lots of hugs to you all...

KathieB said...

My blog reading has been delayed. So sorry to hear that little Pokey has developed such a scary health problem. It's tough enough when cats get older and are sick, but 5 and a half is WAY too young. Hoping her youth and vitality see her through.