Monday, November 24, 2008

Not a good weekend

Got up on Saturday morning and checked on fostered cats as usual only to find that Grace was having some kind of seizure. Phoned the emergency contact for the Vet School and took her straight down. They gave her diazepam to stop the fitting, put her on a warmed saline drip and took a blood sample to try to find out what had caused it. I was expecting them to find that she was uraemic, which basically means that kidney failure has caused a rise in toxins which should be eliminated in the urine, but no, her blood results weren't normal, but they weren't bad enough to explain the fitting either.

Because of her age I agreed there wasn't any point in doing an MRI scan as that costs £1,000 and she would have been very unlikely to survive a brain operation if it showed she had a brain tumour in any case. The most likely cause of the fitting was probably a small bleed or clot within the brain, for which supportive care in the hope that the body will heal itself is the only real treatment. 

Sadly they phoned later in the afternoon to say that she'd died. 

Earlier in the morning Pet Doctors phoned to tell me that the rabbit they treated on Friday had died during the night: sad, but not a huge surprise because rabbits are so delicate compared with cats and dogs, and because their digestive systems tend to shut down if any trauma stops them eating for any length of time.

Sad as Grace's death is, at least she had a couple of months' comfort in a (relatively!*) normal domestic setting with warmth and food that she enjoyed. It does reinforce my conviction that, if we are going to take in very old animals at all, we need to move heaven and earth to transfer them to foster or permanent homes rather than putting them into kennels.

*Tim Wass once described my squalid domestic arrangements as, Not somewhere he'd fancy having a cup of tea, but with dedicated care for the animals. Hmm.

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