Print Story Boy is getting extra super scratches
By BadDoggie (Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 11:18:38 AM EST) cats, PKD, kidney, hospital, vets (all tags)
There's a missing topic. I can only find "dog".

My girl cat is still in hospital. This is a good thing. My boy cat is a hero and is busy cashing in on it which is why it took so long to write this dairy.

My girl cat's name is Stelpa. I didn't like her original name but it was a Germanic-based word meaning "girl" which, coincidently, is exactly what it still is, just in a different Germanic language. She's also called "girly-girl" on occasion, even by those who've never heard me say that. She's that cute.

My boy cat has a bunch of names. His original name was even dumber than hers. Ever since the first time he humped my arm he's been "Dirty Little Bastard", or "DLB" for short. I also occasionally referred to him as "Boy" and while that wasn't meant as his actual name, BG started using it and it's stuck. "Boy" it is.

Stelpa and Boy arrived in this world on 28 October, 1998, two very cute but -- according to the Cat Fanciers' Association -- totally un-showable short-haired purebred Persians. Mum shelled out $800 for the pair of 'em. Why the hell she chose the singularly most high-maintenance breed I'll never know, but I'm guessing it was to keep busy, what with retirement boredom and all the kids out of the house.

They helped keep her sane when my father died a few years later when she died did the same for me. I got very attached to them and took them home with me to Germany where they seem to be quite happy.

Stelpa's not long for this world. Her kidneys have been ravaged by feline polycystic kidney disease (PKD). She's been in the hospital here since Sunday midday. Her long-term prognosis is the same as her middle-term prognosis: death. Soon. Her only hope is a kidney transplant, something only done in a few clinics in the US. Finding a donor is hard.

And this is the point where I went all Wile E. Coyote. I had a Great Idea. Boy is healthy. He could donate one. Glub knows how much he pees so they must be strong.

For now, the short-term solution has been serious electrolyte infusion. Stelpa has anæmia and an extremely low hæmatocrit. No surprise, that, not with end stage renal failure. What good was the rehydration and washing out without fixing the blood? Strangely she has type A, very uncommon in Persians. Boy has blood. Boy is her brother. Boy has to have the same type. Boy is going to help his sister.

Off we went to the hospital today so he could be tapped. They asked me about my call to the US clinic yesterday. It was as I was telling them that I'd left voice mail but was thinking of using Boy as the donor that the smoke cleared and Wile E. Canine noticed he was standing a few feet past the edge of the ledge. They're siblings. The disease is genetic. It's caused by a dominant gene.


I had them do full bloodwork on him and check for PKD as well.

Around 2pm I got a phone call. "Hi, Mr Canine, the good news is..." and I knew. I only half-listened as the doc told me how they took 30ml of blood from Boy and gave it to Stelpa and how much better she's doing. I wasn't paying much attention: I knew that would be the case. I also knew that when you start by telling me "The good news is..." that there's bad news to follow. Better news still was the fact that Stelpa's numbers were still improving from the infusions and we should probably let her stay another day (for around €200) as long as improvements could be seen. I agreed and then beat her to the punch.

"But the bad news is that Boy has PKD as well, right?"

Right. But according to his numbers he's still doing well and I could expect a few more years for him. Or I could try to swing two transplants.

There's also his right eye which was  always much darker and a little bigger than the left, but it appears to have grown a bit more. Glaucoma? Some other disease? No idea. I have to make an appointment with an animal opthalmologist. The cats aren't done spending my inheritance yet.

Stelpa will most likely be home tomorrow. Half of Boy's stomach was shaved for the ultrasound (they got lots of extra pictures for me) and part of his front leg for the IV. For some strange reason they also shaved a bit of his neck -- maybe they'd considered that for the needle stick. For his ordeal and battle scars he's getting lots of super scratching every time he calls. The little bastard better not get too used to that.

< See you on the other side | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Boy is getting extra super scratches | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
When by debacle (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 04:35:21 AM EST
will you decide to cut your losses?


Right by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 05:09:29 AM EST
This is the question I will have to answer for our cats.  Boy cat (long hair, may have some Persian in him) had a UTI last year, and cost us about $400 in vet bills.  Right now, I'd say that we shouldn't spend any more, but I know that if push came to shove that I'd have a hard time saying no.  Mrs. Houser2112 would certainly have a hard time saying no.

[ Parent ]
We spent about 3k on a puppy by debacle (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 05:21:27 AM EST
That did not live because of renal failure, so I understand how you feel.


[ Parent ]
Probably the next time she crashes by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 05:33:58 AM EST
I'm now more prepared for it and I have a much better plan on how she can die peacefully and leave her brother's noggin intact (such as it is). However, I plan to fight that crash with sub-q infusion if I can get the hospital to play along, EPO, B12, iron, steroids (due to the anæmia) and anything else I can add to the arsenal. I don't give up easily but she's looking less and less a likely transplant candidate even if a match is possible.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
when i was at guelph by misslake (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 05:18:51 AM EST
the vet college kept a weird little kennel full of all these horrible, ugly, unadoptable, behaviorally fucked kitties and puppies.

they were all quite well loved and respected.

they were the blood/tissue donors.

they lived out thier lives in well fed comfort, saved from euthanasia. 
surley that isn't the only source for veternary cat blood? doesn't it work like human organ donation? can't your vet call up all the other vets in town and ask them if they can get a few units of blood or a spare kidney from anyone?

surely that woudl be really easy for someone - vet: sorry, fluffy's been run over by a car and she ain't gonna make it. there is a sick persian across town that might be saved if you donate fluffy's kidney. thier owner would really appreciate it.
bereived pet owner: of course, i empathise completely with the impeding death of a beloved companion, surely this is a noble tribute to fluffy's years as lap warmer. please send them my cat's organs with my kind regards!

i'd give you one of my kidneys if it would help.
hope they feel beter soon.

Only a few transplant clinics: all in US by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 05:30:31 AM EST
Started at UC Davis, a couple of the originators have moved out. One's in Philly. Nowhere else in the world. And cats have to be type-matched as well. My cats have Type A blood, most common in cats, very uncommon for the breed.

There's only limited blood banking for pet blood; the hospital had none on hand for Stelpa and couldn't tap other animals already there without the owners' permission. They said they couldn't reach most of the candidate owners. Shit happens, Boy seems OK.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
Don't know about cats by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 06:09:10 AM EST
but whereas humans have four (or eight) blood types: A, B, O, AB, each in with Rh+ and Rh-, dogs have 13, each with a Rh+ or Rh- (although about 40% have the "universal type"). And the shelf life of dog blood is no longer than it is for humans (about 30 days for whole blood).

That said, it's certainly doable and is being done, but pretty much only in large urban areas. Dogs have to be adults less than 8 years old and at least 50 pounds to donate.

Ah: I see cats have three types: A, B, and AB.

[ Parent ]
Boy is getting extra super scratches | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)