Yesterday I dropped Newton off at the vet for an ultrasound and a check-up on how he’s been doing in the week since he came back from his hospital stay.
The ultrasound mainly reminded me that ultrasounds are expensive. We learned that he has signs of heart disease, with the walls of his heart starting to thicken. Given his age, that’s not a surprise. It doesn’t really shine any light on the heart murmur he’s had for most of his life, though. He also has some mottling on his liver, which could mean any of a number of things. But as the vet pointed out, even if it turns out he has a tumor, am I really going to put an 18-year-old cat through radiation and/or chemo therapy? Probably not (especially since he’s had trouble with just plain sedation for a number of years now).
I kind of wonder whether I should have done the ultrasound at all, since what was it going to tell me that would have made me behave differently? I guess if we learned he had something really seriously wrong and we’d have to put him down (depressing as that is), but that’s about it. Really I just want him to be happy and comfortable for the rest of his life, so I don’t plan to put him through a big production if something heads south.
The good news is that his blood test came back and almost all of what they tested for is back within normal levels! One item – I think one of the kidney indicators – is still a little high, but it’s down a lot from where it started. And the vet says we can cut back on giving him subcutaneous fluids to every other day, and cut back his potassium supplements to only once per day. So that will make everyone happy. She’s very pleased with how well he’s responded.
On the home front, he’s clearly not able to do all the things he used to be able to do – he has to pull himself up when he jumps on the bed, for instance. Although he can jump up on the kitchen counter fine, so maybe he just has trouble judging how far to jump. I also watched him jump down from things today, and his rear legs are much more stable – he was still a little wobbly when we brought him home last week (of course, he’d just spent 4 days mostly in a cage).
So it looks like Newton’s going to be with us for a while yet. Which is good news!