Poor Skye/Bad Kensi
Some Higher Power seems to think I'm a good kitty mom because He keeps sending me cats with health problems. I've dealt with thyroid issues, kidney failure, blindness, deafness, and cancer in my cats over the years. After my sweet Sammie lost her battle to squamous cell carcinoma, I thought my next rescue kitty, Skye, would be low maintenance with her measly allergies.
That fantasy lasted all of a week when my vet diagnosed her with Bartonella. You might have heard of it called Cat Scratch Fever. There's a lot of conflicting information out there about the illness. Basically, it's spread by fleas. Skye had been infested with them when she was dumped at the shelter. In her case, the infection manifests itself in severely inflamed gums.
But after a couple of rounds of azithromycin, Skye's oral problems were under control.
That lasted for about five years. Now, it's back. I did three rounds of the antibiotic this time with only temporary results. Last week, my vet gave her an injection of a different antibiotic.
It didn't help. She drools. Her gums bleed. She's not happy.
But what disturbed me even more was a new symptom. We call it "the Twitchies." The muscles on her back at the base of her tail start jumping. Then her tail starts swishing wildly and she takes off, trying to run away from herself. With her running at full tilt and her tail whipping like crazy, she actually knocks herself off her feet. It would be funny if it weren't so scary.
This morning I placed yet another call to my vet to report on the lack of success with the new antibiotic. And, oh yeah, I mentioned this thing with her tail. He told me to bring her in for an injection of Depo Medrol for the inflammation in her gums. He said he'd look at her tail issue while he was at it.
Did I mention I love my vet? I do, I do.
I got there on his lunch break, but he immediately took me back into a room anyway. He gave her the shot and while I was petting her, I noticed a mat of fur on her rump. A-ha!!! That's probably what's got her upset. So he took her into the back to shave the mat. How long does that usually take? Zip! Gone. Right?
About 15 minutes later, a pale, wide-eyed tech came into the room to fetch Skye's carrier and told me she was a little upset.
Another 10 minutes dragged by before the doctor himself returned with a very cranky Skye in her carrier. He had all the answers to my questions, he said.
The "mat" was not simply a mat. It was a huge scab. Under it was a huge abscess. No wonder she was acting spastic! And having it debrided without anesthetic did not set well. My unshakable vet had put a leash on her...one of THEIR leashes... and told me to keep it! He wasn't about to reach in there and take it off. Suggested I not try it either.
Skye? My laid-back Zen master?
Back to the subject of the abscess. My vet ticked off a number of potential causes, but the only one that made sense was...a cat bite.
Ornery little livewire Kensi. Baaaaddd kitty Kensi.
So Skye is back on azithromycin in a higher dose. Seems the same thing that we were going to use on her for her mouth also will help her backside. Including the steroid injection. But I have some antibiotic powder to put on her twice a day until her rather large and nasty boo boo heals. That wasn't part of the Bartonella regime.
Poor Skye. Baaaaddd Kensi.