Wednesday February 10th, 2015 I noticed that one of my cats had urinated on the floor and there was a pinkish tinge to the urine. I was unable to take my cats to the vet until the following day, but I took them both just to be safe. The vet informed me that my almost 3 year old cat King Alexander the Triumphant (Xander for short) was suffering from a UTI. They gave him a general antibiotic injection and told me to bring him back in three weeks, or sooner if he seemed to be getting worse. The vet visit and antibiotic injection ran me about $230.
That night I noticed he was having some trouble urinating and the little drops of urine that he could pass looked red instead of pink. The vet had told me that it would take a day or so for the medicine to kick in so I naively assumed that was a problem that would be taken care of by the antibiotic when it kicked in. The vet had said his kidneys didn't seem to be hurting him and that his urethra wasn't blocked.
On Friday I noticed that Xander was spending a lot of time hiding under my bed and when he wasn't hiding under the bed, he was lounging inside the litterbox for hours on end. I thought he wasn't feeling well because of the antibiotic and told myself if he got worse, I'd call the vet. I went off to work that night slightly worried.
Saturday morning I picked Xander up to cuddle with him while I took a nap. He felt cold and wasn't as responsive as he normally is. He also started yowling and growling every time I moved. My other cat, O'Malley, came over to investigate and possibly cuddle too. O'Malley stepped on Xander's stomach and Xander screeched loudly but made no attempt to swipe at O'Malley like he normally would have. I slept for about 30 minutes with Xander next to me and when I woke up it appeared that he wasn't breathing. Upon closer inspection, he was breathing but very shallow. He also felt like a corpse. I immediately called the vet and they reffered me to All Cats Clinic on Bradley Park Drive and told me to get him there immediately.
When I arrived at All Cats Clinic they immediately took his temperature and said he had a lower temperature than he should have. Upon further inspection, and lots of yowling on Xander's part, they told me that he had a blocked urethra and that if I had waited any longer Xander would have slipped into a coma because of the toxins built up in his system. They said he needed surgery ASAP or he would die. They gave me a rough estimate on the surgery (about $560) and said they needed a $500 deposit before they could start the surgery. As a cocktail waitress with grown-up bills, I do not have that kind of money on hand. I called my mother who agreed to front me the money for the deposit so that Xander could get the surgery right away, even though she would have to borrow the money to do so. They went ahead and performed the surgery and said I could probably take him home Monday. A few hours later I recieved a call from the vet informing me that Xander was stable but the toxicity level in his kidneys was such that he would need to stay an extra night and may even have permanent kidney damage. They won't know to what extent his kidneys are damaged until they flush all the toxins from his system and run some more tests on his kidneys.
Update: On Monday the vet called me and told me that he needed to run some blood tests because Xander had not stopped bleeding and he was worried about a blood disorder. He recommended that I take him to Auburn University's Small Animal Hospital about 45 minutes away. They took some blood samples to send with me to Auburn and Xander developed some excessive bruising within minutes. The final bill from All Cats Clinic was $680. And off I went roadtripping with my poor sick kitty to Alabama.
When I arrived at Auburn they whisked Xander away to do an evaluation and then came back to tell me that they were going to run some blood tests and keep him overnight with another urinary catheter. They didn't find anything on the blood tests so on Tuesday morning they told me that they recommended running an ultrasound so that they could check out his bladder and kidneys. They found that his bladder is a little bit inflamed and there is debris in his bladder. He also still has quite a bit of blood in his urine. They are going to keep him a few more nights on fluids and with the urinary catheter to make sure that all the debris gets flushed out and that the bleeding stops.
The highest cost estimate from Auburn is about $2,000 but I won't know the final costs until Xander gets better. I was able to borrow money for the $1,000 deposit they required.
After sharing Xander's story on my Facebook wall and a Facebook page for cat lovers, I had a few people message me saying that if I set up a GoFundMe account, they would like to donate some money for my furbaby. I would like to stress that Xander has already gotten treatment and is in stable condition. I will be able to earn the money to pay the debt accrued, though it will take me a while. I am setting up this account because some very kind people have told me they would like to help me out. Please do not feel obligated to donate because, as I've said, I will be able to earn the money myself eventually. However, if you'd like to throw a couple bucks Xander's way to pay off his treatment debt sooner or if you'd just like to share Xander's story, any contributions or shares would be greatly appreciated by my furbaby and I.
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- Dennis Edes
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