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took max to the vet today - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
took max to the vet today
He's been chewing at his lower belly lately, and making some very frustrated sounds as he did so. He also looked like he'd dropped some weight. So off to the vet we went.

Consensus at the moment is that he has another infection. The skin on his belly is extremely thickened, and they tried to aspirate some stuff from under there to see what was going on, which pissed him off. One of the doctors said that it reminded him of the skin version of T-cell lymphoma, which he hasn't seen in cats, but he has seen in dogs, so I think they're going to look for that. Right now, they're going to treat him for another bacterial infection.

They also said that he was kind of dehydrated, so they gave him some fluids, which really pissed him off. I wanted to have them show me how to clip his claws, but we all figured he'd been through enough for one day. Next time, maybe, we'll do the claws.

When we got home, it did seem that he'd perked up a bit and he was eating like someone was going to take it away from him. I'm going to go out in a few minutes and do some grocery shopping, and get some gooshy food to put his pill in. But right now, he's looking much more lively, and giving himself a good bath, which I don't think he's done in a little while. And he hasn't chewed at his belly since we've been home, so I haven't put an e-collar on him yet. Tomorrow I'm going to swing by Petsmart and get him a bed and see if they have a proper e-collar there.

Meantime, I'm going to try to keep track of his behavior here so I can tell the vet next week when I talk to her again.

i feel: hopeful hopeful

12 trips or shoot the rapids
xianghua From: xianghua Date: December 21st, 2006 01:08 am (UTC) (base camp)
If he's got any external irritation, there's a WONDERFUL herbal product that my vet recommended- it's gotten hot spots that hadn't improved on the first three antibiotics to clear up.

Link here: http://www.schreiners.com/

I'd send you some of my bottle to try but I've only got a little left....
tashabear From: tashabear Date: December 21st, 2006 01:11 am (UTC) (base camp)
It looks like it's meant for horses -- do you use it at full strength for small animals, too?
xianghua From: xianghua Date: December 21st, 2006 02:10 am (UTC) (base camp)
Yup- even down to rabbits and ferrets (used it on the incision for Puck's biopsy), as per vet's instruction. It also tastes REALLY foul, so is good anti-chew stuff.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: December 21st, 2006 02:22 am (UTC) (base camp)
Good to know. I will make a note of it, and see if I can find it at Petsmart tomorrow.
xianghua From: xianghua Date: December 21st, 2006 02:37 am (UTC) (base camp)
Petsmart doesn't carry it but some tack and farm-type stores (and natural food places) do.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: December 21st, 2006 02:49 am (UTC) (base camp)
Our Petsmart has a State Line Tack in it. :-)
was1 From: was1 Date: December 21st, 2006 04:19 am (UTC) (base camp)
I hope it won't turn out to be anything serious and that he'll be okay.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: December 21st, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Well, we'll se. He's FIV positive, so it's always a fight.
snarlingbadger From: snarlingbadger Date: December 21st, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC) (base camp)
With regards to nail trimming. Because it sounds like he's a handful, I'd suggest making it a 2 person operation, at least until you've got the hang of it (I trim my pets by myself, and don't let go, even if they're scratching or biting, because I don't want them to think that's the way to get out of it... but I digress).

Also, a towel is very handy. To wrap around the parts of the animal that aren't being trimmed.

The Holder is in charge of keeping the animal as still as possible. This means one arm supporting the weight of the animal, preferably holding it against his/her body. The second hand holds the limb whose nails are being trimmed. NOT the paw. Preferably holding just behind the elbow, and keeping it as still as possible.

The Trimmer has the nail clippers in one hand, and with the other hand, pushes on the paw to extend the claws. Before cutting, take a look at one of the claws. Hopefully, they are at least somewhat translucent, so you can see where the pink ends. DO NOT cut into the pink. This will cause bleeding, and a VERY unhappy pet. You want to trim as far up as you can without nicking the pink. If you're nervous, err on the side of caution.

I've also heard of people using Dremels to basically sand down claws (and seen it done at a zoo, with parrots). But I'm not sure my or my roommate's beasts would put up with the high-pitched whirring sound that close to their toes.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: December 22nd, 2006 12:01 am (UTC) (base camp)
He's actually really mellow, and lets me play with his paws all the time. He'll probably be fine with me trimming them; I've just never done it before, so I wanted some professional guidance. Yesterday I didn't want to mess with it because he'd already had a lump aspirated and fluids inserted by IV, so he'd had enough of being held down for anything.
snarlingbadger From: snarlingbadger Date: December 22nd, 2006 12:04 am (UTC) (base camp)
Ah, fair enough then. Glad to hear he's used to you touching his paws - I've known a few cats that HATE having their feet touched.

Good luck. I'm not technically a professional, but I've owned lots of pets & used to work at a few vet clinics.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: December 22nd, 2006 12:16 am (UTC) (base camp)
He lets me touch his paws, clean his ears, look at his teeth, clean the gook out of his eyes... I couldn't ask for a nicer, more patient kitty.
12 trips or shoot the rapids