Saturday, February 23, 2008

Casey is Sick

Fourteen years ago, I saved Casey's life.

Prior to the time that the Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton became a "No Kill" shelter, Casey was there on the list of cats to be euthanized simply because she'd had the bad luck to be placed in a room in which several other felines had developed severe upper respiratory disease. Much to my horror, the Manager of the Shelter, along with some of the then-Board members, had determined that the only way to permanently eradicate the problem was to evacuate and euthanize any cat who had been exposed. I couldn't save everyone, but I did save Casey. And we've been best friends ever since.

So when I got up this morning and saw Casey vomit a few times, I took notice. I wasn't overly worried until I observed that she was also straining to defecate, and seemed quite uncomfortable.

I quickly realized that I needed to get her to a vet, and bundled her up for the 45-minute ride to Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Chelmsford, where my animals have been clients for many years.

The staff at Countryside hurried us into an examination room, and before long, Dr. Tiffany Rule determined that Casey would need to be admitted to the hospital, for X-rays, IV fluids, and other diagnostic procedures.

Within an hour, Dr. Rule called me to let me know that the X-rays indicated that the large, palpable mass she felt was a severe bowel impaction, and that Casey was suffering from obstipation, and possibly, megacolon, which Dr. Arnold Plotnick describes as:

"a condition of extreme and irreversible dilation and poor motility of the colon, usually combined with accumulation of fecal material and the inability to evacuate it."

Obviously, not a good situation at all. Casey may have "idiopathic" megacolon, meaning that rather than being able to point to a specific cause of her condition, no one really knows why it would have happened to her.

Casey is currently being treated, and I'll know more tonight. In the interim, I've read everything I could find online and have joined the Feline Megacolon Yahoo Group, grateful to find so much information on a problem that was previously unknown to me.



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