Saturday, December 01, 2007

Another Doctor

Poor Callie got to go to the doctor again this morning. Poor baby; two vet visits in a week! She must think I'm punishing her for something.

Fox came over to help out since dad is busy working all day, and that allowed mom to do the weekly shopping without delay.

I made a game plan for getting Callie in the cage, and then we went to it. It had never previously been so easy! Maybe it helps to have a game plan, and a friend nearby who can start it earlier. (I'm talking about putting Callie's feet in the cage, since she usually used them to brace herself outside. Fox got hold of her feet right away and the poor thing never had a chance!) She still cried her little cry all the way.

I used to work for this DVM, Dr Springer, I really like his methods and how thorough he is, and that's not just because I worked for him. He looked at the x-rays, mentioned that he was impressed that Dr Ruth took them without sedating my cat, and was also perplexed by the shadow between her femur and tibia. It took three of us (his two employees and me) to hold her down while he manipulated Callie's knee. Poor Callie howled like I have never heard her howl before. It was hard to watch, because I knew it hurt, and she was really fighting the three of us while he did it.

Dr Springer wasn't so sure about it being major arthritis, he thought that it might have been trauma like an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (that's one of the two that cross right behind the joint and the easiest to injure, even in humans). That spot on her x-ray (that he made it a point to say he'd never seen before in a cat) could just be a hematoma (that's a fancy word for a bruise, basically a collection of blood where it shouldn't really collect as a symptom of an injury). Then he asked me if she hurt herself recently. No, not that I know of.

He decided that, while Dr Ruth's advice was sound, he preferred not to give lots of aspirin to cats because their liver can have a hard time with it. It sounded a lot like what I had read about (not) using essential oils on cats. He said we really wouldn't be able to tell for certain without surgery, and he didn't recommend that at this time. Whew! He decided he'd rather treat it like an injury than arthritis, and he gave her a shot of cortisone and some cortisone-like pills to start her on in a week and change, and orders to re-x-ray in a few months to see what's happening.

Now, this just hit me (and Fox, you've got to tell me what you think): Dr Springer had asked about an injury, of which I knew none. What if it is the result of an injury, and what if that injury happened sometime between Friday night going to bed and Saturday morning breakfast? None of us were awake, she could have done anything. She could have twisted wrong while jumping or ran into something while running from Miss Luna that hurt her knee and viola! Sudden and unexplainable limp. If this is the case; 1, it's the best scenario for Callie's poor knee and 2, it will take a long time to heal. The knee joint doesn't get a lot of blood to begin with, and it will take a while for a hematoma there to get reabsorbed. The anti-inflammatory cortisone should help.

Dr Springer also had a look at her teeth, and I tell you, I was amazed. I saw what Dr Ruth pointed out to me on Monday: her gums were really really red and it looked like they were growing over her teeth. When Dr Springer opened Callie's mouth, however, it looked like a regular, tartar-filled cat mouth. That's a relief! I don't know what the deal was on Monday, I saw what Dr Ruth saw, but I guess it took care of itself. Maybe the aspirin helped.

And, just in case anyone is reading this and gets ideas in their head, never give an animal cortisone and aspirin. One or the other. And always follow the advice of your vet, or the advice of the vet you choose to follow. This has been a public service aside.

I'm going to try it Dr Springer's way. I was expecting cortisone to begin with. She was walking a lot better today anyway. Maybe it really does just need some time to heal.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I agree
PS Say Hi to Callie for me