Content Note: Pet Illness
Some of you are already aware of this through emails and texting, but I wanted a centralized place for updates.
Primary Cat started vomiting at fixed intervals on Thursday evening and into Thursday night. We at first thought he had a hairball blocking his system and got him some hairball paste to eat Friday morning, but by Friday afternoon he had started up again and was vomiting foam. At that point, he'd thrown up maybe 20 times in 24 hours. We couldn't get into our vet, so we took him to the local cat hospital. They did x-rays and blood work and announced that he had a bacteria that causes pancreas problems -- they gave us an oral antibiotic to give him, and gave him liquids and an anti-nausea medication by IV while there.
Today it has been crucial to get him eating again, or his internal systems could shut down. Absolutely nothing we've been able to do has worked to get him to eat. We're facing either taking him back to the animal hospital for hospitalization and IV fluids and food -- something they aren't super keen on because he's a high-stress cat and the environment and experience could traumatize him a lot -- or syringe-feeding him food liquids (low-sodium chicken broth, tuna water) until he starts eating on his own. Obviously, all this has been very stressful and has pretty much ensured that I won't be at the computer for an extended period since I have to keep an eye on him at all times and he prefers the safety of the closet right now.
I'll post updates here as they come available. Thank you.
Update 1600 hours (2/16): I'm back home; Primary Cat has been left at the hospital for barium treatment (to look for esophageal blockage) and for overnight stay with IV liquids and medication. I'm pretty shaky, and feel really dreadful about leaving him overnight somewhere he won't be comfortable and where I'm not there, but this seemed like the right thing to do. We're supposed to pick him up tomorrow at 0730, unless things have taken a bad turn.
Update 1400 hours (2/17): We called the vet this morning and they were concerned because he hadn't eaten all night. They told us to bring in some favorite food, in the hopes that he would eat with us there. I was really quite shocked and upset when we got there, because they hadn't put him in isolation like they'd told us they would -- he's a very high-stress cat and terrified of and aggressive to all other animals, and they knew that, but they'd put him in a room full of dogs and other cats in surrounding cages. I told them that he wouldn't eat there, not even with me present (and he didn't), so they sent him home and said we absolutely had to get him eating within 24 hours.
As soon as we got home, I re-opened the can of soft food we'd taken to the vet and he stumbled drunkenly (from the sedatives they had to give him to take the IV out before we left) out of his carrier, ate half the can, drank some water, and curled up in my arms. He's slept most of the day, with a quick trip to the litter box about an hour ago. Now he's sleeping on the bed with daddy. We're hoping against hope that everything will go back to "normal" and that he won't start vomiting or refusing food again like he was a couple of days ago; we have some antibiotics to give him which are supposed to help fight the pancreatitis.