Friday, February 19, 2010

The Recent Stuff

I just realized that I never wrote here about the cardiologist visit, so I have several things to update.

The cardiologist: It started with shoving Miss Luna into the cage, which has always been a chore. She had a little panic attack in the car and soiled herself. She never did that before. I don't blame her, of course, for being nervous about getting in the cage now. If I've seen enough of veterinary doctors, I'm sure she really has.

I liked this place, though. They brought us into a room where she could get out of the cage, wander around, get cleaned up, look out the window, and kind of calm down a little. I was with her every moment. She was playing peek-a-boo with one of the technicians. The lady would peek in through the window, and Miss Luna would meow when she saw her. My kitty was on her best behavior. She was talking to me (which I love) and she came to me when I called for her. Everyone said that was impressive. Then the doctor came in and listened to her heart and all of that. I told her about typical behavior: how Miss Luna puts herself near me when I'm working and will come and get me if I get up and take too long. The doctor described that as "needy." That may be, but I love that she does it. So, if Miss Luna needs me, I need her just as much.

After a little bit more time to wander around the room while they were getting the machine ready, they brought us into the exam room. Poor baby had two techs and me holding her down on the table while the doctor covered her with slime. If you've ever had an echocardiogram, you know exactly what I mean. Frankly, it's not very fun. Miss Luna was very still for this, and even closed her eyes for a bit. We then turned her over and slimed the other side. She was less calm about this one.

At the end, the doctor showed me that she did have an enlarged heart, and the walls of the left ventricle are a little on the thick side. This does cause the heart to pump harder than it should, but right now, it's not a big issue. Her regular vet needs to check her heart every six months and we have to go to the cardiologist every year for another echo. This is because it is almost inevitable that her heart will be a problem but, as long as we stay on top of it, we should be able to catch any issues soon enough. The doctor thinks at some point she will be on daily medication, but it's not needed right now.

The following week, she went in to have more blood drawn for another toxoplasmosis screening. Again, she had a panic attack in the car and soiled herself. I hope she will calm down, or get used to her vet visits (as they will be many) to stop doing that. It really breaks my heart that she's so upset about it now. Anyway, this hospital has never ordered this test before, so I didn't get results until this week.

And the results were inconclusive.

This kind of toxo screening is an antibody titer - it looks for the concentration of toxo antibodies in her system. A high concentration would show an active infection. There were more antibodies than when she was first tested in the emergency hospital on January 10th, but not high enough to lead the doctor to believe she was fighting an active infection. This means Miss Luna's exposure to toxo was likely years ago, probably when she was a stray kitten. She has toxoplasmosis, that much is sure, but nothing says for sure that toxo was the cause of her sickness, or even that exposure to something else (like the bartonellosis that the other cat has) would cause it to manifest symptoms.

What does all this mean? Well, it means we don't really know what caused the fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, and very obvious neural distress that landed her in the emergency hospital. We don't know if the antibiotic course she was given for toxo would take care of whatever the cause was if it was something else. It means we don't know if she could get sick again, and we'll have to go through this whole process again. That part of it really fills me with dread. I never want to see her moving like that again. Further more, since we don't really know, we don't know if she will expose Callie to anything if I were to bring her with me.

What we do know is that, exposure to bartonellosis or not (which we did not test for but it is highly likely she has it too), bartonelosis does not cause the neurological symptoms that I witnessed. There was something else going on, and it may or may not be the toxo. And I may never know for sure.

I'm going to visit some friends this weekend. right now, I really wish I wasn't. I really want to stay home with my kitty. I haven't gone away for more than one night (and that was only once) since she got sick and, remember, she got sick after I came back from being away for an extended weekend. I can't help but be a little worried. Physically, Miss Luna seems back to her old self, but I don't know what almost three whole days away from me will do. Remember, as the doctor said, Miss Luna needs me. Phoenix said she would be home all weekend and would keep an eye on Miss Luna for me and would call if she seems to be even slightly out of sorts. So, I just need to breathe and go about my plans, and trust that my roommate would let me know of any changes. I think she thought I was being just a little too anxious. I can't help it. I need Miss Luna too.


  1. I'm so sorry that Miss Luna isn't well. I have four of my own kitties and know exactly how awful and stressful it is when they're sick.

    Have you asked about a mild sedative for her for when you have to take her to the vet? We are going to do that for one of our boys next time he goes; the last time he tried so hard to get out of the carrier he shredded all his claws. I think I was more upset than he was over it. :(

  2. She goes in for her annual shots in March. I'm hoping that all of this mess will be far enough behind her that she won't panic when we go. If not, I'll ask them then about sedating her for the next time (since she now has to go three times a year instead of one). I'd like to avoid giving her pills if it's at all possible. The third time is the charm, I guess!

  3. Sorry about Miss Luna. Seeing her pics, she is beautiful and what is wrong with 'needy', she sounds lovely. Hoping all go well; my three are sleeping and blythly ignoring me; not needy, I guess.

  4. I say nothing is wrong with needy! In fact, I love what happened to our bond when I moved out of my parent's house and took her with me. I was close to Callie, but I trained and tamed Miss Luna. We had some issues with nocturnal activity, but I've trained her out of most of that. She sleeps on my bed with me (which she never did at the house). She's very talkative, and I love it when she follows me around the condo. She comes to me when I call for her or snap my fingers; that's what really impressed the people at the cardiologist office. If those are signs of a needy cat, I wouldn't have it any other way!

    She’s really doing quite fine. I’m just frustrated that she had to go through all of that and we don’t really have any answers, and she might have to go through it again, and a good deal of it could have been prevented if my roommates had been honest with me.