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Feeling a tad bit helpless... [Mar. 15th, 2008|06:02 pm]
So, when I brought my cat Chibi to the vet last time, to finally get rid of that blasted infection that keeps returning to his nose, the vet noticed a bump in his ear. I figured that it was most likely an infection caused by scratching. The infection in his nose seems to get him scratching at his ears more. I figured it'd go away with the antibiotic.

Well, the antibiotic cleared up his nose, well and truly. (I asked the doctor for an extended course - deferring to the doctor's judgment, but saying that I really wanted to make sure it wasn't hurt, wasn't maimed, but was well and truly dead, this time.) But the bump hasn't gone away.

The good news (I was told, after a second vet's visit regarding the bump) is that it's regular. He gave me some medicine to put on it twice a day, and suggested an e-collar to keep him from re-injuring the site.

It hasn't worked. The spot has stayed the same, and continually seems to be oozing blood. Sometimes, it clots over, then the scab falls off.

He's also been losing weight over the course of several months.

Tuesday, he goes in to have the growth taken off, and they'll biopsy it, but right now, I'm kinda preparing myself for bad news.

He's still in the e-collar; without it, he'll splatter blood here and there. It's not a lot of blood, but you might be surprised at what a teaspoon or so of blood, spread across your bedsheets, does for the appearance of your bed.

He hates the collar, and I know that it must itch like crazy, and I just wish I could at least relieve the itching for a bit. But I'm pretty much stuck waiting until Tuesday.

Sigh. I've had him since before 1995, and he was an adult cat then (though he grew a bit after we got him, so I assume he wasn't much more than a year old), so if it's terrible news, he's had a good run. But more than being afraid of how much I'll miss him if something happens, I'm wishing there was something I could do to make him feel a bit better now.

[User Picture]From: essaying
2008-03-16 01:35 am (UTC)
Not sure about cats, but dogs can take Benadryl and it helps with the itching. (Also makes them drowsy so they're less inclined to scratch.) It's probably be easy enough to find out if it's safe for cats, and what the kitty dose might be -- it'd at least keep him a bit more comfortable until you find out what the real problem is.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-03-17 04:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for the idea; the itching isn't really *that* bad, it's just enough to make me want to stop it. Right now, he loves to have me play with his face because he can't groom with the e-collar, and every time I go near his ear, he'll start scratching. I'd like to be able to cuddle him without setting that off.
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[User Picture]From: glinda_w
2008-03-16 01:36 am (UTC)
Oh no. GoodThoughts that it's something treatable.

He's *such* a love.

Keep us posted, 'k?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-03-17 04:09 am (UTC)
I'll definitely you posted, and thank you.
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[User Picture]From: ruth_lawrence
2008-03-16 01:52 am (UTC)
:::healing thoughts:::

Here's me hoping the best for your kitty.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-03-17 04:09 am (UTC)
Smile, and thank you.
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[User Picture]From: ruth_lawrence
2008-03-17 04:17 am (UTC)
You're welcome.

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From: iamjw
2008-03-16 02:00 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-03-17 04:09 am (UTC)
And hugs back to you...
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[User Picture]From: ladysprite
2008-03-16 02:04 am (UTC)
Oh, geez - I can only imagine how frustrating and worrisome this must be for you. My thoughts are with you and Chibi, hoping for a speedy recovery and the best news possible.

If there's anything I can do to help, let me know....
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-03-17 07:32 pm (UTC)
Well, if the description I gave above - a blister-like growth that oozes blood - is extremely likely to be X, where X is something limited, curable, and nothing terrible to worry about, obviously, I'd like to know because I'm worried. But I reckon that if this were the case, you'd have said so.

Right now, if it's true, I'd really like to hear that this isn't likely to cause him any danger with anesthesia, that if he's undergone multiple surgeries in the past, he's just as likely to come through this one without any great difficulties.

Because while I can deal with the thought that he might not have a whole lot of time left, that this might be cancer or some other kind of serious, terminal problem, I am having a hard time thinking this could be my last night with him.
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[User Picture]From: ladysprite
2008-03-17 09:58 pm (UTC)
I can't guess as to what exactly it is without seeing it, though if it's confined to just the ear, like you said, it shouldn't be anything too dangerous.

And absolutely, if he's made it through surgery in the past, he should be fine with this one too. It sounds like you've got a good doctor taking care of him, and this should be no problem. Hopefully he'll be home safe and sound by this time tomorrow, and within a day or so after that you'll be getting good news about any test results on the lump.... I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-03-17 11:57 pm (UTC)
Nod. I know you couldn't diagnose anything from a brief written description... It was just, if cats got warts in their ear, and I was describing a hard bump with a cauliflower-like appearance to the top, I figured you'd have said that it sounded like a wart, but it's good that I'm getting it checked out to make sure that's all it is, especially with the weight loss, and all.

A quick Google confirms that he's showing warning signs of cancer, which I kinda-already knew, but hadn't verified. Which means the only thing to do is wait and see what they say after they remove it (and biopsy it, etc.).

But there was that kind of absurd hope that elderly male cats are known for getting earbumpitis, which has frighteningly cancer-like symptoms, but is always benign and easily fixable, and you'd just forgotten to mention it.

And thanks for your comments about him coming through the surgery. I should have thought that through on my own, but he's still acting mostly like a healthy cat, he's not listless or run down or having troubles breathing. I'm just having worst case scenarios play out in my head, especially since I just learned I can't work from home tomorrow. Somehow, being a few miles closer would have made it seem safer.
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[User Picture]From: firecat
2008-03-16 07:14 am (UTC)
Oh poor kitty and poor johnpalmer.
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[User Picture]From: grey_lady
2008-03-16 09:08 am (UTC)
Oh John - I know how we struggle when our pets are suffering. I hope the biopsy results are good news.

I have no idea whether it will help in your case but my Kosh has had a sore on the top of her head that she kept opening up. The vet here recommended that I wipe it down with cooled boiled water with salt in it to keep it clean and help it dry. So far, at least, it seems to be working. *fingers crossed*
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[User Picture]From: 64tbird
2008-03-16 01:45 pm (UTC)
I hate that - knowing they are miserable and not being able to fix it immediately.

But you are working on fixing it, so focus on that - he'll get better.

Our Joe kitty is prone to catching colds. There are few things as pathetic as a twenty pound tomcat sneezing and coughing and generally looking just awful.

We're holding Chibi in the Light and surrounding him with the raucous chorus of four purring cats and a chirruping rat.

Edited at 2008-03-16 01:47 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: kitsunegeek
2008-03-16 08:26 pm (UTC)
*hugs* You have my empathy and my prayers. I wish I could offer more. I can't even suggest (with any certainty) a stop-gap remedy. I would say an anti-itch ointment like Benadryl cream; but I hesitate to put that on broken/ bleeding skin. *sigh* Perhaps clove oil; it is both anesthetic and antiseptic.

Anyway... Goodthoughts, and *hugs*
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From: kightp
2008-03-16 10:44 pm (UTC)
Poor Chibi. I wish I was there to give him his cheek skritches and some time out of the collar.

Try not to fret too much; cats' ears are just *full* of blood vessels, and given the trauma his suffered with the Hematoma of Doom, it may not be anything dire. The vet may be able to cauterize it to stop the bleeding.

I'm going to sit here believing that Chibi still has several good years left in him. And sending good thoughts to you, too, darlin'.
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[User Picture]From: dandelion_diva
2008-03-17 07:43 am (UTC)
Sending all kinds of good thoughts and vibes, hon.
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