Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Four Days To Milkman... [G]


Milkman Triathlon

Maybe...

So as of last Friday evening, we thought Dylan was pulling out of whatever was wrong with him. Saturday he slept a lot but still seemed to be on the mend. On Sunday, though, he started sneezing. Just a few sneezes, here and there. But still. Then yesterday afternoon, I noticed that he was getting congested. Last night at bedtime, we noticed that a red rash was starting to form on his temples and ears. And this morning, when I got up to take him to the vet, the rash had turned bright red and a bunch of red, raised bumps had appeared on his neck, front legs and on the tops of little front feet. The vet looked in his mouth and found blisters at the back of his throat.

She isn't sure, because there isn't a test, but she strongly suspects, given the way it started (fever and a limp) and the way it's progressed (to upper respiratory symptoms with oral and skin ulcerations), that his mystery virus is the new virulent systemic feline calicivirus (VS-FCV) that's going around. And as of tonight, he's starting to show the facial edema that's also characteristic of the virulent strain.

She is encouraged that he's still eating and drinking even though it must be super painful for him to do so, but still, VS-FCV has a high mortality rate and she warned me that even if he gets better, he is likely to get worse first. I'm supposed to bring him in first thing every morning to be nebulized until we see some improvement. Also, we have had to separate him from our adult cats as he is now in the phase where he will be shedding the virus. Our adults cats are vaccinated against VS-FCV, but still, it's a highly mutable virus and vaccines are never 100% effective anyway. So, he's quarantined in the kitchen and we are trying to spend as much time with him as possible in there with him in order to keep him as happy and comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

So, needless to say, Danskin is now out of the question. If a miracle occurs and he is showing definite signs of recovery by Thursday, I am going to do the Milkman Triathlon instead. The registration deadline is tomorrow but I called and they let me sign up by phone. That race is on Saturday and is much closer than Austin. I would drive up there Friday night, camp by the lake, do the race the next morning and drive back that afternoon and Boy Genius would be Head Nurse To Dylan while I'm gone.

Given how bad Dylan looks right now, I actually think it's unlikely that Milkman is going to happen for me either, but anyway, that's my plan B for now.

Please keep him in your thoughts. That's a baby picture of him at the top. He still looks pretty much the same, only sick. I really cannot believe this is happening. He was in foster care since he was two weeks old, with me since four weeks and is about twelve weeks old now. He has never been anything but healthy other than a minor eye infection which he had when he and his littermates were transferred from their first foster mom to me. He had only ever been away from our house four times prior to his visit to the emergency clinic last week - twice to the shelter for shots and testing and twice to the off-site adoption center with his brothers, none of whom are sick as far as I can ascertain. Typical incubation for VS-FCV is 1 to 5 days, so if indeed that's what he's got, he likely picked it up at the adoption center. And if not there, then at the shelter when I took him for his second set of shots. Unbelievable.

8 comments:

Kate B. said...

You know we're pulling for Dylan and thinking good Unitarian thoughts.

I'm completely paranoid about Farley now. He's doing well on his antibiotic, but I found a tick on his ear tonight and am now wondering what kind of shelter crud that could have been carrying...

Vegan Run Amok said...

Thanks, Kate. Around here the risk with ticks is erlichia (erlichia canis) which affects their blood's ability to clot. Standard treatment is 30 to 60 days of antibiotics (doxycycline, typically). If he's already on doxy, that's helpful. If you're concerned about erlichia, ask Dr. L to do a snap test for you. Not expensive and if he is + it's a lot better to treat it now than once it's more advanced. Off to the vet myself now...

John said...

I'm hoping for the best! That kitty looks like a fighter to me, so I have faith.

Vegan Run Amok said...

Thanks so much, John! He does seem to be a fighter and is doing pretty well under the circumstances. The facial swelling last night freaked me out but he doesn't look as bad this morning - although it might be a cyclical thing. He's talking a lot this morning, too, which is good news as he IS a talker but hasn't said much if anything at all since he initially got sick. Thanks again!

Jenny said...

I'm so sorry to hear about poor little Dylan and also your triathlon. You are such a great kitty mom, and are doing so much for him! You should feel proud.

We will be thinking of him and checking in on your blog for an update.

Vegan Run Amok said...

Thank you, Jenny! He seems a little better this afternoon, although that could just be the steroid shot she gave him. But I'm less worried that I was last night, at least for now.

the little one said...

Am catching up. So sorry to hear about Dylan. Sounds like he's making good progress though.

I can't believe how you switched to another event so easily. That's so awesome.

Vegan Run Amok said...

Thanks, TLO! He's doing MUCH better now, we got really lucky.

I'm actually pretty proud of myself for pulling the event switch out of a hat like that! Thanks!!