Theo and I have been on a jaunt, so the kittens haven't had a lot of attention today! I will be making up tomorrow, and snap a load then, I promise :)
So I had an appointment to take Theo to a specialist internal medicine unit at an animal hospital, to try and work out what is going on in his insides. It's quite a long way from our house, and I needed to do the school run on the way, so Theo had already been cooped up for several hours by the time we arrived. The vet was lovely, fastened the door and let him roam around the room freely, to work off some of that energy. It was much appreciated.
Soon it was time for the examination. Theo wasn't impressed, and let the vet know it, hitting out and trying to bite my hand. poor old Theo, such a gentle boy usually, but goaded to absolute fury with the prodding and poking he's had lately. I held one end whilst the vet poked the other. Grrrrrrrrrr, said Theo.
Then the vet said 'There's a mass there that's obviously painful...' and frankly I didn't take in very much right after that. A mass. We all know what that means. Oh. My. God. It was the equivalent of being doused in a bucket of ice cubes. I do remember he went on to say it could have been some faeces in the intestine... believe me I've never wished for poo quite so hard! It wasn't a good day after that. Theo was booked in for an ultrasound, full bloodwork and urinalysis later on. And I came home, trying not to weep.
Anyway... to cut a long story short, he had his ultrasound and he does NOT have a mass. He has an area of fluid that could indicate inflammation, in fact it likely does, as there is clearly something going on, but they did not find any tumours. Thank goodness.
They didn't take the blood and urine until he was sedated, apparently Theo told them exactly what he thought of that idea and they decided to wait till he was sleepy before attempting it! Oops, poor Theo, not like him to be so grumpy! So they aren't back from the lab yet, I'll be calling up to discuss them tomorrow. Then he'll go off to endoscopy under a general anaesthetic- cameras going in both ends to have a look at his digestive tract and see what is going on. They will probably take a biopsy at the same time. Then I pick him up Saturday.
He also took part in some research, which made my nerdy soul very happy. It was for the drug alfaxalone, injected direct to muscle. It is licensed for use this way in Australia, and the UK is currently dong it's own trials. It is approved for injection to the vein already, but it is thought muscular injections are more effective. I figured if it was known to be safe in Australia, it was likely safe here, and it meant he had a whole team of people supervising him before and after the ultrasound just to observe, much more attention than he would have had usually. It was a win-win. Everything was, as expected, fine, and hopefully the drug will be approved for use this way once they have concluded their studies as it is thought to be safer- the uptake of the drug is more gradual than injecting straight to the vein which is obviously one big hit. Anyway, so that was interesting.
Planning a very quiet day tomorrow- lots of kitten cuddling and taking it easy. Today was a stressful one.