Friday, July 04, 2008

Worried about Lady

A few days ago, Lady started scratching at her right ear and shaking her head as if she were trying to dislodge a foreign body. She was rushed to the vet, who found nothing wrong with her ears.

Then, a day or so later, Lady started drooling quite a bit and was unable to eat her solid food. Soft food helped, but only a little. The vet noticed that her tongue looked swollen and sick, and took a fine-needle aspiration (FNA). He said that he wasn’t sure what’s wrong with her. Could be an insect bite, he said, in which case the problem will go away within a few days. Or it could be—God forbid—a malignancy. He said that he was mentioning this not because he was sure it was, but because it is within the realm of possibility. (Still, he commented that under the microscope he had seen cells that were large and fragile, and had large nuclei with prominent nucleoli. I looked all that up, and it appears that those traits are characteristic of cancer cells.)

There’s no conclusive diagnosis as yet. The vet gave Lady a long-acting antibiotic and some painkiller, with instructions to continue injecting her with painkiller at home as needed. If the problem persists, he wants to take a biopsy.

As readers of this blog know, Lady and I go back a long time, at least a decade before she found her permanent home, and she was already fully grown when we first met. We figure that she was already getting on in years by the time she went to live in her forever home, so there was no telling how long she would stay with us. Still, we’re hoping that this is just a nasty scare, that she will heal, and that in a few days we’ll look back on this with a sigh of relief.

The main thing now is to make sure that Lady can eat and drink, and indeed she can. A FNA under the tongue must be extremely painful, but thank goodness, the painkiller is working.

So far, so good. We’re hoping and praying for the best.

Cat with pillow

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