I took him to the vet because he was breathing a bit hard, and I was petting him and felt a lump that seemed weird. Worried that he may have some kind of intestinal blockage or something similar, I took him to the vet.
Not a big deal, he's young he'll be fine. The vet advised me that there was no lump, but that she was concerned about the breathing. Maybe it's heart worms... but they are treatable. She advised I get a lung X-ray for my panting kitty. Then we will know better what might be going on. Off T-rex went to the back for an X-ray and out came the vet looking concerned a while later.
"He has fluid around his lungs, it doesn't look good," she informed me soberly. We discussed options and I gave the ok for her to aspirate the fluid around his lungs to make him a bit more comfortable and check him for leukemia. She came back looking a bit confused. It wasn't fluid around his lungs and she wasn't sure what it was. He was also negative for leukemia, so she thought it could either be FIP or some sort of hernia where some of his organs were up around his lungs.
After some more discussion, and texts to my husband, and tears, I decided to have him checked by a ultrasound tech. For that he stayed at the office until the afternoon and the mobile lab went to the vet to check him out. Turns out he has granulomas around his lungs AND on one of his kidneys (remember where I was told I was crazy and he didn't have a lump?)
This is probably from dry FIP and we have no clue how long he has. He has been on fish flavored steroids for a month now, but his kidneys are now huge. I can feel them when I pet him. The panting is gone after the steroids though. He seems relatively comfortable but he's really slowing down--- at only 1.5 years old.
It's been a blessing to have him with us this long. He's our "foster failure" --- one of our first foster cats who we just couldn't part with. He loves life, loves the girls, is gentle and friendly with huge ears and inquisitive eyes.
|Cuddling with our foster mama cat|
|Ok OK, i shouldn't have put the wreath on the cat tree|
|Helping us with our Easter celebration|
We've been discussing sickness and death with the girls. It's been hard to discuss but I feel like it's better to take the mystery away from this process. They've known he was really sick from the moment I brought him home from the vet, and they know soon he won't be with us. I gently remind them occasionally that he is still sick and is unlikely to get better. I remind them to be gentle with him. That's all I can do for now.