Mar. 23rd, 2010 10:11 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
[personal profile] helen99
Sithreal is in the hospital. Last Monday he started looking ill (the day before that, he had seemed fine). By the following morning, he had fluid in his lungs and was gasping for breath. We rushed him to the vet, who said he either had heart disease or cancer, there being more probability of cancer, because he'd had it before. That vet aspirated the fluid out of his lungs and prescribed a strong diuretic to get rid of any residual fluid. She advised me to take him to a cardiologist.

I called another vet (one who makes house calls) to come and see him. He also advised me to take Sithreal to a cardiologist. Two vets had advised me to take him to a cardiologist, even though the probability was cancer. I started to have hope that it was heart disease, because that is at least treatable.

You know you are having a very bad day when you say "I hope it's heart disease".

I'd hesitated to take him to a cardiologist, because I was fairly certain the illness was not heart disease. However, if I didn't, and the illness was, in fact, heart disease, I would never forgive myself. So I took him to the cardiologist.

He performed an ultrasound Echo Cardiogram on Sithreal's chest to determine if it was heart disease. The heart looked perfect. He continued looking around the chest cavity. He found what looked like a mass in the upper thorax, about an inch across.

The only way to tell whether or not the detected abnormality is malignancy is a biopsy. The vet said that I'd done right to take him off the diuretic, since it was not heart disease and the diuretic had made him dehydrated. He transferred him over to the emergency care unit for hydration and stabilization.

Sithreal was too weak to do a biopsy today, especially not on his lungs. The vet (a different one at this point) said that sometimes the lungs can collapse from aspiration and too much irritation. He opted to do another ultrasound on his abdominal area first. Sithreal had pain in his abdomen during normal palpitation by the vet (though this could be due to kidney irritation from the diuretic). After the ultrasound, they put Sithreal on fluids to try to increase his strength.

If they find something in the abdominal area, they'll take the biopsy from there. Otherwise, they'll wait until he's stronger to do a biopsy on the abnormality detected in his lung. They have not told me anything yet. No answers until tomorrow.

They suspect the cancer has recurred, or more accurately, that there were instances of it that were not detected when he had the original cancer surgery last year.

Or not, as the case may be. They're still doing tests. Whatever it is, it is not good. I visited with him tonight. He hardly recognized me. He was mostly asleep, his third eyelids mostly covering his eyes, which seemed irritated and runny. But he wasn't asleep - he was still sort of conscious, eyes sort of open. Finally at around 9 pm, visiting hours were over and I left. I don't think he noticed when I left - he had drifted off. There was no record in his chart of him having received an anesthetic. I don't know if I'll see him alive again.

April 2010


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