Monday, November 09, 2009

How Goes the Weekend

It's too hard to catch up on the days I missed but just to tell you.

Saturday started with Aura sneezing. A lot. She was sneezing Friday night, really, and very snotty. Phoenix was planning to take her to the vet because it might be a flair up of her, wait for it, Feline Herpesvirus. Apparently, Herpes-1 is what caused the infection in her eyes that resulted in her very near blindness. I had two conditions for bringing this kitten into our home. The first was that she didn't have any diseases that could infect my cat. I was not given all the information. My roommates never said the kitten had Herpes. They said the vet said she was ok to be adopted. No responsible veterinarian would ever recommend a sick cat with an incurable contagious disease to be brought into a home with perfectly fine cats. If I had all the information, I would have said no. If they pressed, I would have told them to wait until I took Miss Luna to my parents' home where she wouldn't be exposed. The damage is done. I didn't know, we brought her home, the other cats are already exposed. I can't take Miss Luna out of our home now because she'd only bring the virus to Callie. I hope Miss Luna doesn't get sick. And I hope she forgives me for not asking more questions.

Phoenix also let her two cats lapse in their inoculations. She should have gotten them up to date before bringing a new cat into our home. There is a vaccine against Herpes-1 (it's part of the Feline Distemper vaccine: Rhinotracheitis) but, like any virus vaccine it doesn't prevent one from catching the virus, only helps to lessen the severity of it. Miss Luna is up to date, so if she gets sick, it shouldn't be bad. The other two cats had minimal coverage, if any at all.

The first step was to take Aura to the vet, where the doctor told us he never would have recommended a cat with her condition to be brought to a home with other cats. Still, she's with us now, our cats have already been exposed. The doctor recommended a specialist if we wanted to see if her eyesight could be saved, and gave us some drops for her eyes and an antibiotic for her sneeze. He also was very kind to update the other two cats on their vaccines without a full office visit (and thus, more money). He didn't have to help them out like that, the situation we've put our cats in was not of his making, after all. Very kind.

The first vet also said that Aura had all her shots. She's too young for shots! I didn't realize this at the time either. This leads to my second condition. I told them they really need to consider if they can afford another cat, especially with Phoenix going to nursing school in January. Phoenix said they had. I think they were only considering the extra cost of food and litter and maybe annual shots, not that this kitten has a disability and will need extra care. Phoenix admitted as much to me. Even I didn't figure it would be like this, though. Of course not, I didn't know.

This kitten has Herpes. She will never be rid of it. It can lie dormant in her for a time, but it will regularly become active. When she's shedding the virus, she may experience symptoms (swollen eyes, sneezing, she may even have the sneeze for the whole of her life) and she may not. Those times will be when our cats are most likely to contract it. We can quarantine her when she is showing symptoms, but we won't know when she's shedding the virus without them.

The Feline Herpesvirus is also very common. It's likely that our cats already have it and have just never shown symptoms. It's also possible that recent exposure, or even just the stress of the new kitten in their home, can bring out symptoms. If left untreated, it can cause the cat to stop eating and therefore lead to death.

The new vet suggested sending Aura back to the shelter for more care while she's still shedding the virus. That's not possible, as it wasn't really a shelter, but the home of a friend who has a soft spot for animals. He doesn't have the room to quarantine a sick kitty, he doesn't have the funds to get her the meds she would need. We've already done it. Our cats are already exposed. It does no good to send Aura away now, especially when we will give her the care she needs.

I know it's the only thing we can do at this point, but sometimes I can't help but feel like I made a bad decision that put Miss Luna at risk. I didn't have all the information I needed and I didn't ask for it. I could have and I should have but I didn't and it's too late now. I would like to come back to this post in a few years and say that Aura is doing fine and hasn't had any more symptoms and the other cats are also doing fine and haven't shown symptoms and wasn't I silly for worrying. That's what I would like to say.

Let's see what three healers can really do.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

oh honey, that really sucks. I'll keep you all in my thoughts. Good luck. PS. you did nothing wrong, you trusted friends, who trusted themselves to handle a situation, that's what friends do. All that can be done now its to love them all a little more and to forgive yourself, because you didn't do anything wrong.