Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bert update

I just got back from taking Bert to my vet. I wanted to get a second opinion and be able to talk about all the options. The vet did the physical exam and felt something that seemed like a mass as well. It wasn't sounding good. We talked about exploratory surgery as a possible option and potential prognosis, which wasn't promising. I was really sad to hear this, but it felt good to get a second opinion, so I knew I did the best I could for him. The vet said if it's a tumor, he might have but a few months to live, with or without the surgery.

The contract vet that the CCC's works with (who Bert saw on Monday) only does house calls. Since she doesn't have an office, she's not able to do surgery. Apparently my vet knows this other vet, and she offered to donate the use of their surgery facilities, equipment, and medicines if the contract vet was willing to do the exploratory surgery at her office. Wow!

My vet then listened to Bert's heart and heard something like a murmor. This could complicate surgery, so, she did an x-ray. The x-ray revealed that the enlarged mass that both the contract vet and my vet felt, is likely not a tumor after all, but rather a very enlarged spleen, that may be caused by an infection, possibly mycoplasma. She said enlarged spleens in cats are not common.

She ran a fecal test too, and it showed giardia, which is probably the source of the diarrhea and gas. 

We start by treating the giardia and when the diarrhea is gone, I'll take him back for a followup exam. At that point she might take some blood to look for the infection and we start treating it. She sent me home with panacur and some prescription food to help with the diarrhea. 

Oh, and his heart is enlarged, she's suspects he has heart disease. She said if we get these other things fixed up, she would talk with one of the other vets at the clinic to see if she would be willing to donate an ultrasound so we can measure the thickness of the heart and know more about the severity of the heart disease.

So, as you might imagine, this vet visit was accompanied by a wild intense mix of emotions. At first when the intestinal mass was confirmed, my heart was feeling heavy, two vets confirming the same thing meant Bert wasn't long for this world. Then when she came back with the x-ray results, she seemed happier, more hopeful. Now, I'm feeling excited and hopeful but very nervous about getting my hopes up. Could his troubles really just be from giardia and an infected, inflamed spleen? Seems too good to be true! 

As we were about to pay the bill for this visit, I was told there would be no charge for any of this. Wow! Their extravagant generosity on top of my stifled excited, joyful hope about brought me to tears. I was quite willing to pay, but they wouldn't have it.

So, I think it's too early to say we are out of the woods, but I sure feel a lot more hopeful than I did before this visit. Meanwhile, for Bert, it'll be lots and lots of this:

chin scratchies

cheek scratchies

head scratchies

and of course tummy rubs

Right after we got back, I gave Bert his first dose of panacur and he ate it right down in his fancy prescription food. He did awesome at the vet, he was scared but super friendly and sweet. He loved it when the vet and technician rubbed his head - that's so his favorite thing! Thank you everyone for your kind comments, they have helped me in more ways than you can know.

prescription food, yummy!


  1. One thing at a time...but it sounds like Bert may be around for MUCH longer than you thought...HIP HIP HURRAH!! Thanks for the update, and boy oh boy--you sure know some FABULOUS vets.

  2. I'm just catching up on several days of reading and saw your last two posts about Bert. It always feels better to have a plan of action, even if there are no firm answers. We have our paws crossed for Bert!

  3. Oh this is good to hear! We are all here for you and Bert! So happy he did so well. Your Vets rock!

  4. We're cautiously optimistic, since heart disease is so serious, but we sure are glad Bert doesn't seem to have a tumour after all. He's just so grateful for the love and TCL, isn't he? Poor love. It was a lucky day that he ended up with you!

    P.S. Ditto Trish: You sure do know awesome vets. Cannot imagine any of them here going above and beyond for a client/patient like that, i.e. waiving the fees.

  5. I pray all Bert's problems are able to be treated. He sure is a love bug.

  6. I agree with the Katnip Lounge "one thing at a time", SOOO HAPPY that everything appears to be more hopeful though, and...a vet that didn't charge? You are truly blessed!

  7. We are so happy that things are sounding more positive now. We all send our very best purrs and prayers to you handsome Bert.

  8. We are optimistic with the prospect going forward with Bert. Even if he does have some heart disease, it is treatable with medication and medical checkups. It's not an automatic sentence. We are hopeful and glad he is doing better. What an amazing gift of compassion from your Vet too!

  9. mom has tears of good to know that it may not be as bad as feared. my friend had a cat that was diagnosed with a grade 4 heart murmur when she was rescued from a hoarding situation...the shelter wanted to put her down saying she would have a short miserable life. Kelly refused to believe that and Shea lived 5 years with Kelly. :) paws and fingers crossed (and kitty kisses to your vet)

  10. One day at a time...glad he takes his medicine and enjoys his prescription food!

  11. all that and you weren't charged, I think I'm crying for you.. Purrs of healing and health for Bert.

  12. I am so so sorry that I missed this and could not add my love to him and prayers. The Lord sees and guides us and you got to see His love.

  13. Skootch has had a heart murmur since I adopted him as a kitten, and he's 16 now. It is not necessarily a death sentence. As Katnip Lounge says, "one thing at a time". You certainly have wonderful vets, that's for sure. Hopefully things will continue to look up for dear Bert!

  14. Fingers crossed that this is all solvable. Poor guy. It's so hard when they're sick.


Thanks for sending in your comments!