Monday, March 15, 2010

Four Cats Being Fixed Today

Four cats are up being fixed today. One of them, is a male cat from Jefferson. The man who owns him is a single dad, unemployed, who, bless his heart, scrounged up $6 and some cents, to take in, with his cat, as a copay. That is just precious.

The other three are from the Seavy Repeat colony: Puff, Roady and Patches. The names given these strays are endearing. When a cat, even a stray or feral, is given a name and called by that name, they respond as if they belong and are loved.

The Sprite Oldies old woman talked to me this morning. Her husband isn't doing well, she said. When I first arrived at the colony, she said he had been sick and that she had been also. I asked if it was the flu, and she didn't know. She got over whatever it was, but he didn't. He had no outward signs of being sick, like sneezing or coughing. But as I continued to go out there, to pick up cats, I noticed him getting quieter and he was often in bed.

Last week, when I picked up the mother cat that finally got into a trap, the old woman was tearful, saying her husband felt like his head was huge and was off balance. I said "He needs to see a doctor." She agreed. She was afraid he is having a stroke. By today, he still has not seen a doctor but has an appointment tomorrow.

I wonder sometimes. He supposedly has Alzheimers. What if he really has fluids building on his brain. I know some people. The wife's mom was diagnosed first with Alzheimers dementia. But it wasn't. It was fluid build up in the brain. She had it drained and then a shunt installed. No more memory problems, but the shunt often clogs.

I've met two young women with the same problem. One of them has had the problem pretty much from birth. The other had this happen with sudden onset and she just doesn't know what to do. She had not had a shunt installed. The other woman did, but has continual problems with it clogging, then getting fluid build up.

I guess there are all sorts of causes for brain fluids building up. One of course is head trauma. But the others include diseases like tumors or overproduction of brain fluid or blood, or shifts in brain size that change the ventricles shape making fluid movement not uniform and then there are congenital reasons, like very very narrow spaces where the spinal cord and brain meet. I don't remember them all. I looked it up when the woman, who had adopted a cat from me, got the sudden onset fluid buildup problem. She was devastated by this, not getting any answers, and said she couldn't understand how her husband would love her anymore now that she was so disabled and how was she going to take care of her two children.

I wanted to do research, find some miracle cause or cure online for her.

But, I think it might be an underdiagnosed problem in seniors, and the problems it causes, including memory issues and dementia, written off as Alzheimers. I'm not saying this man has this problem. I don't know what is wrong with him. He could be having a stroke, or it could be medication side affects or an ear infection, anything. He's very old. Old age sucks, as he so bluntly put it one day, when sitting at the kitchen table.

His symptoms are, he says, his head feels huge and he is off balance.

I like him. I want him to feel just fine and be ok. I want his wife to have nothing to worry about, over his health and losing him because I like her, too. But he's 86 years old. And so is she.

Toby is at the vet. I don't know what is wrong with him. I am leaning in my thinking to a gastro issue, like a blockage or something else. I only think this because he vomited, clear, gags sometimes, and walks like a bow legged cowboy. He could have some blockage at the valve, between the small and large intestine.

He could have leukemia and have a throat or other tumor. This is unlikely. His mother and both sisters were tested and were negative. He could have a heart defect, that is affecting him grossly, now that he is in a big time growing spurt. I have seen this over and over again.

He could have a virus like calici or chlamydia that has caused throat and esophogal sores, although he has not been sneezing or had any symptoms of a URI.

He could have a congenital absorption or liver duct issue. These duct drainage defects are very common too.

I am leaning towards gastro issue and blockage. Because of the vomiting, the no interest in food, the way he walks and his slightly low body temp.

HOwever, his wild tail twitching and back skin twitching and now weakness or unsteadiness in his rear legs might indicate he has a nervous system issue from injury, trauma, like being bitten by one of my asshole cats or even from diseases, like leukemia or toxoplasmosis.

How could one kitten be positive, when a mother and the other two siblings were negative and he has not been exposed to other cats, except his siblings and mom? I have no idea and he probably is not positive.

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