Raleigh made another journey to a veterinary hospital yesterday, this time for a more detailed examination. The news is not good, but neither is it too bad (ie. irreparable).
Peachy does not have ear-mites (anymore?) but does have an ear infection. For this, anti-biotic drops were prescribed. He also has an eye infection, for which different drops will be given. The doctor thought he may have a congenital deformity in the tear duct that keeps his eye from draining properly. I recalled then that when I had been applying earlier drops (which were weaker than those now prescribed), I noticed that while the drop was ‘absorbed’ in his right eye (that is, it remained in the folds and crevices of the lids), it flowed more freely out of the left. In any case, the infection is being treated.
Raleigh’s biggest problem is that he has stomatitis. The doctor said that it could be treated with steroids but that might not end it, and may, since my newest cat is FIV-positive, cause more problems than it treats. She recommended that Raleigh have his teeth removed. Most of them, if not all, will have to come out.
As the majority of you reading this probably know, cats usually do well without many or any teeth. My foster-cat, Parker, had most of his removed (not due to stomatitis, but simply due to bad teeth; he didn’t floss, I think) and was the better for it. He clearly felt less pain, was more active and used his mouth more while playing. He is a happy fellow. Raleigh is already a big fan of soft-food, so feeding him if he has no teeth will not be a problem, and he has tested hard-food, too. He likes it but hasn’t eaten much, possibly because it is painful to chew it, or keep in his mouth.
In a couple of weeks, then, this poor fellow will be heading back to the hospital for a longer appointment.
Good news, however, includes the doctor’s opinion of Peachy’s heart and lungs, which sound good. He has gained a little weight since his neutering (I was concerned that I was not feeding him enough). Also, when he came home, he did not have the frightened reaction I had thought he might. He had been spending much of his time hiding behind the couch in the library; in the past few days, this behaviour has changed and he has ventured out much more. I thought the doctor’s visit would set him back, but it does not appear to have been the case.
I try to spend time with Raleigh every evening. I put him on my lap and stroke his sides and under his chin. When it was time to get up last night, I set him aside and before I could stand, he had crawled back onto my lap. But the end of lap-time wasn’t so bad, as it meant the bed-time snack was about to be served.
Bit by bit, physically and emotionally, Raleigh is improving. If there is the right home for him out there, we will find it for him. Until then, he will stay with me, and re-learn the ways of the inside-cat. That includes, unfortunately, at least one more journey to the hospital.