Friday, June 18, 2010

Almost lost Larry, too. An update

You may remember I posted about the tragic, sudden and shocking death of our beloved, five-year-old Lester (pink nose). In the past two weeks, shortly after getting Lester's autopsy report from Purdue University, we almost lost Larry. He is coming home from the hospital today.
Before I discuss that, the results of Lester's autopsy did support anaphylaxis- asphyxiation due to a sudden allergic reaction. Unfortunately, that's all we know. So we'll never know if it was to the rabies or the distemper shot or whether the shot was the correct dose or a wrong dose.
Since no explanation is forthcoming from our former veterinarian, we'll never know why no one was around right after Lester got vaccinated, why there was no crash cart, why no one was there to administer a shot of Benadryl or Epinephrine to stop the reaction. We'll just never know. We will always miss him. May he rest in peace. Hopefully he is hanging with his Great-Aunt Mookie in kitty heaven and listening to her stories about Myrtle, Murphy and Maynard.
Meanwhile, in an effort to give Larry lots of attention, besides tons of hugs and kisses and snuggling, it was discovered Larry liked chasing loose shoelaces. Since this was reminiscent of the famous time when as a four-month-old (or so) kitten he flew through the air like a squirrel to get a string that had accidentally flipped up on the blade of a fan on the cathedral ceiling, we were encouraged.
So, many nights of "playing shoestring" ensured. In the last week-and-a-half Larry started acting mopey again, then sluggish. Then he started throwing up. Then he wasn't eating or drinking, so off to the vet he went.
Not only was he severely dehydrated, necessitating an IV, but he still refused to eat, drink or poop (sorry) at the vet's office during an overnight stay. So they kept him; x-raying his stomach they saw nothing really, except a lot of constipation. Dehydration continued, along with vomiting, no eating, no drinking and nothing passing through. A barium enema x-ray still showed very little, and all that came back out was the barium.
So, unfortunately, but thankfully, Larry had to have exploratory stomach surgery Thursday where 19, yes, NINETEEN inches of shoestring were removed from his stomach in a wad. Turns out x-rays only show metal objects, they said. (?) The doctor measured the shoestring; that's how we know, and Larry's "Dad" got to see it.
We feel terrible, not dreaming he would try to eat a thick, 51" shoestring. We were trying to keep him playful. The veterinarian explained that a cat can slurp in a long piece of string just like we would slurp in a long piece of spaghetti or a giant snake would slurp in a person (okay, I made that part up, but that's what I envisioned). And I can joke a tiny bit, because Larry is now fine and headed home today, feeling so much better! His toy box, however, will be getting an overhaul.
By the way, this is the same Larry who spent a stay at the vet after a piece of black mesh fabric was removed under anesthesia from his butt (sorry again), where it had become lodged. We suspect a tiny fabric bow, that untied itself and got much larger after he "slurped" it. In a later adventure, Larry also had to be rushed to an out-of-town pet emergency room after quickly "slurping" a pill that was dropped on the floor before we could grab it. Oh, Larry!
So, pet lovers, use this as a heads-up to be aware of your pets' shot reactions and also to think carefully about the kinds of toys, chew-things and amusements you give them. Also, on a side and possibly related note, a mouse in the house was captured on one of the few nights the house was completely cat-less. Hmmm.


Bryanna Lenan said...

Once my dog ate a big long piece of tooth floss... he was a puppy... we gave him peroxide and he threw it up. But it was nerve wracking! My Mom was in complete panic mode!LOL! Im glad Larry is ok!! Whew! Who would think it??


anna @ frosted petunias said...

I stumbled here while doing my Mad Tea Party rounds. Was admiring your art and became so sad to hear about your Lester. I lost my 3 yr old kitty last December after she developed a tumor from a leukemia vaccine. I miss her everyday. So glad to hear your Larry is doing well. Enjoyed my visit here.