(Photos by Dan King)
What is it about the fall and winter holidays? I think it was about this time last year that I started having problems with Elvis, and now JellyBean is sick. On Tuesday JellyBean didn't eat breakfast, and as with most of my crew, not eating is generally a sign that something's seriously not right. On Wednesday, he refused breakfast again and felt hot to me, and I knew a trip to the vet was in order. I already had an appointment for Ranger, so I took Mr. Bean along too, wondering if maybe he was having a bout of crystals in his urine (something we had dealt with maybe four or five years ago when I lived in Elizabeth City) or perhaps cystitis.
The vet couldn't find anything remarkable, other than a temperature of 103.7, and suggested that at this point we just treat his symptoms with some antibiotics. His thinking at the time was that sometimes cats who like to hunt will get bitten by their prey and will end up with cellulitis. So I took him home and started him on Clavamox, which he promptly threw up. In fact, he pretty much started drooling the second I got near him with the dropper of medicine and then threw it right back up once I squirted it down. Every time. Not good.
So this morning I took him back to the vet and with still nothing obvious on the physical exam (other than still having a temperature of 103), we ran some bloodwork. Interestingly, after taking his blood, the vet commented that he didn't look jaundiced. So, we get the bloodwork results, and only two things really stand out: high glucose and a very high bilirubin level. The former could be attributed to stress, but the latter indicates a liver problem. And yet the rest of his liver enzymes were well within normal range. His CBC was normal as well. So what to do?
Well, we got him some sub-Q fluids while there, and the vet gave him an injectable antibiotic as well as some anti-nausea meds. I came home with a second injectable antibiotic to give him tomorrow, more anti-nausea meds for tonight and tomorrow, and more fluids for tonight and tomorrow. We're hoping that the combination of fluids and anti-nausea meds will help him gain an appetite, and I can tempt him with whatever he'll eat. If he's not eating by tomorrow, then I guess it's back to the vet on Monday for more tests, possibly ultrasound. I've been exceedingly good about not using any credit cards for the past several years, but it's beginning to look like I'm going to have to go down that road now.
I keep thinking of Elvis at this time last year and on into Christmas. I truly hope this isn't deja vu. Say a prayer for JellyBean.