Yael --Kitty EMT in training
I love Don Radlauer and will be eternally grateful for his sending me to an amazing vet. Pandy and I got there fully 45 minutes early since I didn't know how long the trip would take and didn't want to risk being late. When we arrived and this fabulous vet looked over the vet records I brought she said, "No. She's not going to die. And there is no need to talk of putting her to sleep. We can definitely get her through this, I've seen much worse cases make a full recovery." Then, for the next hour and a half she showed me and taught me exactly what we are going to do so that Pandy makes a full recovery.
"Are you afraid of needles?" she wanted to know.
"Only when they are aimed in my direction," was my response and I'm more than willing to get over any fear I might have if it means saving my cat's life (and of course also for human beings too :).
So I learned how to insert a very large needle into my kitty's neck to give her subcutaneous fluids. The kitty didn't even wince when I inserted the needle into the skin and gave her her first dose at the vet's office. I will have to give her fluids every day for 10 days. The vet provided me with the bag of fluids and 10 disposable needles.
I will need to work out where and how to do this operation in my apartment because the bag needs to hang a couple of feet above the kitty and the kitty will need to be in my lap or resting next to me for the 10-15 minutes it will take for the fluids to drip under her skin. I am sure I will be panicking tomorrow when I have to do this for the first time unsupervised.
Pandy gets a prednisone pill every day for the next 10 days to supress her immune reaction and keep her body from attacking itself. That is the insidious part of this parasite --it makes the body attack itself instead of attacking the parasite. She will stay on the doxycline for another month to a month and a half. Her immune reaction to the parasite causes her to become anorexic --hence not wanting to eat. Thus I will need to force feed her, fancy feast because it is the easiest to get down them of all the wet foods, 4-5 times a day giving her at least a teaspoon and a half at a feeding. The vet showed me a very effective way of doing it, much like pilling a cat: turn the cat so her head is away from you, lean over her, pry her mandibles open and insert a pea-sized lump of room-temp wet food onto the back of her tongue, then hold the mouth closed and stroke the throat until she swallows. Repeat.
Thank you vet, thank you Don, and thank all of you who have been emailing me and writing notes of good wishes for the kitty and me!!!
Well, I do want to try to learn how to be an EMT (for people) but starting on animals has got to be good training :) There are a couple of folks, Jameel and AL, who are EMTs but what is the difference between an EMT and a MDA course --or are they the same thing?