Saturday, October 02, 2010
Harley was in such bad shape last night that I did wind up driving him down to Animal Emergency, where they ruled out a blood clot and sent him home with subQ fluids and instructions for me to bring him back if he wasn't eating, drinking, and walking much better this morning.
I slept until ten -- obviously, I'm not at the hospital today! -- and couldn't get him to eat or drink anything when I woke up. I'm not supposed to give him his antibiotics until he's eaten. His gait's a tiny bit better, but not much. I called our vet only to learn that they aren't open today: they're open every other Saturday, and I guess this isn't it. I called Animal ER. The doc we'd seen last night had gone off duty, but another doc told me to give Harley pain meds and take a watch-and-wait attitude: if he wasn't better in a few hours, I should bring him back in.
In the meantime, I talked to my sister, who told me that one of their cats couldn't walk right for two weeks after an injection hit a nerve. My sister's vet said this isn't unusual.
So I gave him the pain meds. He's asleep right now, wedged between the toilet and the sink in our upstairs bathroom. He's been seeking out cool, smooth places during this ordeal, but cramming himself into tiny nooks that don't seem at all comfortable to me. My instinct is that sleep's the best thing for him, and to let him alone, even though he still, as far as I know, hasn't had anything to eat or drink. (I've offered him wet food, water, and a "broth" of water and dry food -- as per the helpful comment on my last post -- but he has no interest in any of it. I may try to tempt him with some tuna juice later.)
I know cats go downhill really quickly when they're dehydrated, especially with underlying kidney issues. I know his kidneys could be deteriorating as we speak. I also know that going back to the hospital would be inexpressibly traumatic for him, and that can't help his kidneys or anything else, can it?
When Gary and I moved to NV from NJ, we had our three cats shipped by air. The youngest was so freaked out by the journey that he climbed on top of the kitchen cabinets and lay there panting, refusing food and liquid, for days. He was fine afterwards, but he was a much younger cat without underlying organ issues.
On top of everything else, I have a non-negotiable speaking engagement in a few hours. I was supposed to attend a banquet afterwards, but I think I'm going to skip the banquet and instead come home to see how Harley's doing. If there's been no improvement by tonight, I don't know what I'll do. I'll be as torn about it then as I am now. The Animal ER people will want me to take him back down there. I don't want to have to do that. Please pray for him to be better.
Gary's furious at our vet for not foreseeing any of this, although I know enough about post-surgical complications to suspect that there's no way she could have. I'm furious at myself. Why in the name of all that's holy did I schedule surgery on an elderly, ailing animal on a Friday, right before a weekend crammed with non-negotiable engagements?
Aaaargh. Guilt guilt guilt.