Tuesday, November 27, 2007

There is a Short of It

And it's that "she has a bum leg."

I found a vet really nearby who had a 1230 opening to check out Callie and her poor leg.

Getting Callie in the cage to take her to the vet is an ordeal in itself. Sometimes, it takes all three people in the house to do it. Mom couldn't take off as well, so dad and I had to manage. First, we got the cage out. Callie was sleeping on a couch in another room. We went to get the cat and -- no cat. She must have heard it coming and hid under a chair in the dining room. Maybe it's fortunate that she's limping, because she couldn't get far before I caught her and manhandled her into the cage. She yowled the whole five minutes it took us to get there.

This place was very nice and the people were kind. The assistant checked Callie out first (my baby weighs in at 17 lbs 10 oz!) and then the doctor came in. She did some prodding and some bending and some general things, found she has a really bad teeth problem that will require sedatives to clean up, and gave me an opinion about her leg. She said it looked like arthritis, they could take a few x-rays and find out exactly where, or we could have my regular doctor do that later. Well, I won't be able to follow up with him until Saturday at the earliest, so I just had her do it. They took my cat to the back and said it would be about twenty minutes. Dad and I grabbed some lunch.

The doctor had to see another patient when they finished with Callie, so she napped in her cage (not so afraid of it now) while we waited. Then, the doctor came in with some pretty pictures of Callie's bones. She said she wanted to tell me Callie was an angel while we were gone, but I wouldn't have believed her anyway. They had to tape some of her legs down to get a clear x-ray. Poor thing. She's going to be pissed off at me for a while.

She has a bit of hip dysplasia (which most cats suffer from but it's largely not diagnosed because it's so common and doesn't seem to affect them as much as it affects a large dog), mostly on the left, which caused some arthritis there. She has a majorly bad knee, with an unidentified calcified something between the two leg bones where nothing should be, causing more arthritis. There's also a bit in her ankle. Her toes "click" when bent back, so there could be some arthritis there, but it's hard to tell in an x-ray of the toes.

Callie gets to take an aspirin every three days, and she's got a narcotic-like non-narcotic pain killer if the aspirin isn't helping much. She gets some fish oil added to her food to help reduce inflammation, and is supposed to start on a glucosamine supplement next week for her joints, which I haven't bought yet.

Two hours and $200 later, Callie got sent home with her meds and her x-rays so we can follow up with our regular doctor later.

I'm actually a little upset with him. Wasn't it some year and a half ago when I told him that she was having trouble jumping onto my bed? I had to get her a little stool to help her up. Didn't I mention that she was very sensitive around the hips and really hated being touched there? That was dismissed as her just not liking it. It looks like signs were there, but nothing was done about them before they became a problem. The thing is, I know our regular vet is a good doctor, and I know he does the best he can for the animals in his care. I used to work for him, after all, and I've seen him with a variety of animals and their many cases. Of course, nothing prevents aging. She's halfway to ten years old after all. I've never had a pet as long as I've had her.

But, we'll manage the pain of her osteoarthritis and get her teeth taken care of, and she'll have another ten years to go at least.

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