Friday, December 3, 2010

Brighton's Yule Tide Auction...

Oh my! The Cat Blogosphere is an amazing place! And Gracie and KC and all those 'behind the scenes' humans that put together the fund raising auctions, for cats in need, have come to the assistance of Brighton and I...I am not exaggerating that as I type this, I have tears in my eyes...tears of gratitude and admiration!

Brighton's auction starts on December 9th, just in time for Christmas and maybe a fun place to spend any Christmas green papers your Granny sent you, hahameow! I have been scouring my place for things to donate too, and today am heading up into my attic to sort through my Christmas decorations to see if there is anything I can part with that would bring smiles to someone else. (Just to tempt all of you, my whole Christmas tree is always all cat ornaments except for 1 bird and 1 mouse, of course!)

Just so you don't have to go searching the Curlz and Swirlz archives looking for posts about Brighton and his very serious medical crisis, I have edited those posts and here they are...

Back on June 1st, this was my post about Brighton...

I knew ML would get the word out to the CB (even though she herself is recuperating from a recent illness) and already Brighton is receiving lots of healing rumbly purrs! As all of us with cats know, they like to hide their illnesses and things can go from Super to Serious very quickly!

I was away on vacation and my petsitter (and her wonderful husband and their 4 kids) were caring for the kitties while I was away. They know my cats welll and even have a Furrydance kitty of their own, Pixie, so they know their personalities and behavior well. They said he was feeling fine on Sunday, playing with the kids and very 'interactive'.

On Sunday (around 5pm) they came by, and stayed for an hour or so like they always do, and Brighton didn't come downstairs to greet them and play and they found him curled up on the bed in the sunniest room of the house-the guest room. He did play a bit, and didn't want to leave the upstairs to follow everyone around the house as they did their 'cat chores' Someone had vomited but she didn't know who, but made note of it for me.

I got home at 1:00am Monday morning, after spending all day in airports and planes, dreaming of a nice long restful sleep and day off on Tuesday before I headed back to work. But while Brighton got off the couch to greet me and followed me into the bathroom (so I could use the 'litterbox'), he was wobbly and missed the jump onto the sink twice and when I picked him up he growled and leaked bloody urine (mostly blood) onto his fur and me and the floor.

I am an hour from the Emergency Hospital that I trust, but knew I didn't want to take him to the one nearby. I did a quick check of the house, looking at the litterboxes and for any other evidence of blood or vomit and found red pawprints in the kitchen sink and his favorite cat bed was wet with urine and blood.

So I loaded him up and jumped in the car, sped over to The Hope Center and they whisked him right back to the treatment room and started their workup on him. His bladder was full and he appeared blocked but the blood tests showed he would have been an anesthetic risk at that point (BUN 230 -- should be around 24; Phosphorus 8.2 -- should be around 4). They started an IV for fluids, gave him pain meds and I waited...

Within a couple of hours, the phosphorus came down enough for them to put him under anesthesia and place a urinary catheter, empty the bladder and I waited some more...for him to come out of recovery. The doctor came up and talked with me after every step of his treatment and I knew we were both worried but I felt he was in very good hands and had 24 hour monitoring and nursing care.

He got quite cold during the anesthesia, and his temp was down to 94 so they had him in a Bair Hugger Warming System and I got to visit him before I left at 4:30am and even though he was sleeping still, I kissed him on the cheek and whispered in his ear and I went home to try and get some sleep, not even sure I could relax enough to do that.

But I took an Excedrin PM and fell asleep for a few hours, not even minding when about an hour into my sleep, the vet called with a morning report. He had made it through the night and was sitting up and pretty alert, in spite of the pain meds which make them sleepy, too.

I drove over to visit him in the afternoon and he was hooked up to 3 'lines'--IV for fluids, Urinary cath and collection bag, and one even on his tail (I forgot to ask what that one was for) and he was wearing an Elizabethan collar to prevent him from chewing out the IV's and urinary catheter.

He looked very sad, and I tried to be strong for him and gave him a nice massage and lots of kisses. The nurse said he ate some canned food and was head bonking them (to the best of his ability in spite of his 'cone head') and I am waiting for an evening report from the vet, although it's now 10:00pm and I hope they don't hesitate to call in fear of waking me! They repeated his labs this evening and I am praying for the kidney values to show some improvement and give me hope for another day.

Update: It's 10:30pm and the vet just called. Some good, some bad news. Brighton's BUN has come down to 130--good news; He is eating--good news; He is not anemic--good news; and he is being a good patient--who couldn't fall for him?

But his Total Bilirubin (a liver test) is elevated and the doctor is concerned about pancreatitis or bile duct problems, though his other liver tests aren't too out of whack. If it's on the rise in the morning, I will need to have an Internal Medicine consult and probably an ultrasound to look at his liver. Also, as he is on IV fluids, they are watching his heart murmur to make sure he doesn't get over hydrated and go into congestive heart failure.

In the morning they will repeat the organ function tests. They won't pull the urinary catheter until his kidney values are closer to normal but I am hoping he will improve enough soon to be able to be discharged and have me do home care on him-sub q fluids etc...but while I know his care is going to be expensive, I feel like I have to try and get him well! He is young--only 4 years old, and he holds a very special place in my heart.

If I have to spend all my income tax refund, take 'kitten money' out of savings and put off my garden improvements and patio...well, it will be worth it to have him still in my life!

I talked to ML a little about doing a fund raiser for Brighton, as I know how much the CB pulls together for cats in need. Right now, I am so shattered by what is happing with him, that I can't really concentrate on much else...writing this post tonight took all my effort to complete but I knew our furrends were worrying and purring for Brighton and I just had to let you all know, and thank you for your thoughts and prayers...

Then on June 2nd...

The vet just called! Much improvement!

BUN 48, CREAT 1.6, PHOS 3.9, TBILI 0.5. Urine slight pink tinged.

Will remove catheter around 2pm and see if he can void on his own. If so, will probably discharge tomorrow.

I will visit him tonight after work.

Look what rumbly purrs and purrsitive thoughts can do
and the excellent vet care certainly makes me feel positive, too!)

and June 3rd...

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has visited to check on Brighton over the past couple of days and will purrsonally visit each and every one of you this weekend, cuz I know some of you are 'new' visitors to our bloggie! And some are very frequent visitors...I treasure each comment and they feel like warm hugs, which I very much need right now!

On Wednesday night, about 6:00pm, I stopped by The Hope Center to visit Brighton, and they asked me if I was ready to nurse him at home...of course, I said Yes! They had taken out his catheter about 2:00pm and his bladder was empty so he hadn't urinated yet.

I was a bit anxious about taking him home, afraid he may reblock during the night, but I knew I could take him back if he did before he got into bad trouble again. I so wanted to sleep with him last night, but he was still dribbling urine a bit and he was a little woozy from the pain meds and relaxants he is on, so I set him up in the bathroom adjoining my bedroom.

I visited him every 15 minutes or so, staying with him, kissing-bonking-massaging him, and he was in the litterbox a lot! Just drip-drip-drip with lots of concentrating on his part. He wasn't really straining, but possibly due to swelling, he was having a slow go of it!

I stayed up with him til about 1:00am and he ate some baby food, nibbled at his favorite treat, t/d dental diet and he asked for I felt comfortable knowing I'd be awake again at 4:30am to get ready for work.

He did urinate a few larger clumps during the night, which was encouraging. So I loaded him up to go into work with me for Dr E to evaluate him and to collect urine for further testing, repeat his chemistry panel and give him some sub-q fluids.

Dr E was able to express Brighton's bladder and collect a sample of urine, still slightly pink tinged and with a small blood clot in it. No crystals but lots and lots of white blood cells. He just started on antibiotics, but we submitted the sample for Culture and Sensitivity anyway in case he has a resistant strain of bacterial infection. Those results won't be back for 72 hours but hopefully what he has will be sensitive to the Clavamox he is on now.

She said a bacterial infection can also cause a blockage, with debris and mucous forming a plug. I would be happy if he didn't have to have a prescription diet, but of course, I would make any adjustments to all the cats 'lifestyle' if it meant keeping him healthy!

Brighton is on pain meds, and also meds to relax the bladder and reduce inflammation, but it's really only been just over 48 hours since his treatment began, so I am hoping as each day passes, he will become more comfortable and urinate more easily. Dr E added another relaxant to his meds, midazolam, which is an injection just once a day. He got it this afternoon and really seemed a lot more comfortable.

I am glad I have the next 3 days off and can be an attentive nurse. I am going to tempt him with all kinds of tasty stinky goodness, give him pedialyte to drink and buy him a water fountain, too.

I am purraying by this time next week, he will be feeling better, and enjoying the companionship of his buddy, Disco and will be back to sleeping with me once again!

and June 4th...

Here's the Friday update on Brighton, and my thanks again to all of you who are watching his progress and sending your purrayers.

He is still taking a long time to get a silver dollar sized spot o' pee out, but I actually saw him make a 'stream' a time or two and that's an improvement. I still have him confined to the bathroom so I can monitor his litterbox leavings but he seems content and resting.

While I was cleaning up the bathroom this morning, I let him out into the bedroom and all his buddies said hello to him (oh, I gave him a bath, much needed and now that he was feeling better, I wanted to wash the 'hospital' smell off him, as there is no way to stay 'pee free' when one has a catheter in place. A little later, I found him curled up on my bed, happy to be home!

He was a very good patient getting his sub q fluids this morning and ate a whole can of Fancy Feast Medleys, so all's well with his appetite, too. His blood chemistry panel shows improvement over yesterday, too. His BUN is 36, Creatinine 0.9, Phosphorus 4.8.

I took him back into work (aka the vets) for a squeeze and a urinalysis and Dr E was able to squeeze out a stream. OMC, she was excited about that--vet's are funny sometimes! And his u/a showed improvement, too. Still no crystals, and 25% less white blood cells, too. Still sort of iced tea color but that's ok for now. The culture results will be back Sunday and we will know then if he needs to change the antibiotic he's on.

I am pleased with his progress and I dropped the emergency hospital an email with his 'status report' as I know even though they see lots of pets there...they like to hear happy endings! They were very attentive to him and and I both and I felt so good knowing he had 24 hour care, a heated cage, someone monitoring his breathing (because of his heart murmur, being on IV fluids can be risky and can push them into congestive heart failure sometimes) and some extra TLC cuz our previous pet sitter is a vet tech there.

and 0n June 6th...

Brighton has had a stable weekend, not as much improvement in urine flow as I had hoped to see, but he is feeling good, eating well and taking his meds and sq fluids like a good boy.

His culture results at 48 hours show no bacterial growth so that will probably be negative after 72 less worry. He has started sniffling, so I hope that doesn't worsen and hope he didn't pick something up while hospitalized or the stress cause him to have a URI recrudesce. He's already on antibiotics, but I have added Lysine to his food starting today.

CatHerder had asked if he was on a special prescription diet for Urinary Tract disease, and right now, the answer to that is no, since no crystals were found in 3 urine samples. His blockage was due to protein material, not crystals. For right now, he is on an all canned food diet and no dry kibble, to help increase his water consumption, as canned food is 87% water. It is possible stress could have brought on FIC (Feline Interstitial Cystitis) although I have gone away on vacation before with no problems.

I am truly hoping his urine stream improves, which may mean changing or adding medication--anti-inflammatories and/or anxiety meds, and I pray he won't need that 'last resort', a perineal urethrostomy to enable him to urinate normally again, as that surgery is not without it's risks and problems, too.

Here's some links to info on Urinary Tract Disease in cats:

He will go in to work with me tomorrow for a follow-up exam and to express his bladder and look at another urine sample. So keep him in your thoughts and keep the purrs coming...

Brighton just went in for his 6 month follow up and lab work, and he's doing pretty well. He did have some kidney damage because of his blockage, so that will need monitoring every 6 months, and this time the vet did find 3 struvite crystals in his urine sample, so I am going to add a prescription urinary tract canned food to his diet now, even though he seems symptom free.

His urine is very concentrated, not a good thing for him, and the vet thinks he may be holding his urine too long (a normal cat should urinate 3 times a day) so I will need to pay closer attention to that (hard to do with 4 cats using the 5 boxes) but it may mean confining him to one room for a while to be able to know.

He is only 4 years old and I want him to 'grow old' with me, so anything I can to do help that, I will do! And to all involved with putting together this auction to help me pay off his large vet bill, I can't thank you enough for caring and working so hard to make this happen! Mega Purrs to you!

And if you have something you wish to donate to Brighton's auction or just want to learn more about the auctions, you can click on this link Furriends of the Cat Blogosphere or just email Gracie, Auctioneer Supreme, at gracie1915 at frontier dot com


  1. Wow, poor Brighton, what an ordeal!!! I can just imagine your vet bill must have been MEGA!!! I will certainly keep an eye out for his auction to begin :-)

  2. We're sorry to hear Brighton is still having medical problems, but hope they will stabilize and we know he is getting the best care available with you, Teri, to watch over him...Healing purrs for him and best of luck with the auction...We hope you all spend a happy weekend together...Sending love and big hugs...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki

  3. Ter-
    for those of us who have no idea what the auction is or how it's put together can you give a link or something? I'd be happy to donate some quilted cat beds for the cause.


  4. We remember This! It was a very frightening time. We'll definately check out the auction!

  5. Brighton is one brave little fighting kittie. Hopefully soon all this will be behind and he will be as good as new soon. The auction is soon to start and I hope that we can raise a lot of $$$ to help with those bad vet bills.

  6. Christmas blessings to Brighton from California and my two rescued kitties. Thank you for your comment on my blog today. It meant a lot.

  7. We're just waiting for the auction to begin...Our Derry's has just finished so we understand the overwhelming gratitude you are feeling.


  8. Precious sweetest Brighton. Give him my love again. And I remember when he was so ill. It is so frightening and we pawrents really suffer just as much.]
    xox Brighton and all the rest of you.

  9. Poor Brighton and we hope that things get taken care

  10. Poor Brighton went through a lot. We will be watching out for when his auction starts.

  11. We'd like to donate something for the auction so we will go over to Gracie's right now.

  12. We will look out for the auction - Brighton is very fortunate to have you as his mom so he can be at home while you carry on with his meds.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  13. Kisses and hugs to you and Brighton, and a wishing you mega bucks! xoxo


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