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Wednesday has bladder stones!

Wednesday went to the vet today. For several months she has had blood in her urine and sometimes makes frequent stops in the litter box. We’ve taken her in for a urinalysis three times, and no signs of infection other than the blood were found. The first two times antibiotics were prescribed. When she still had the same symptoms after the second course of antibiotics, and the third UA showed no bacteria again, just the blood, the vet said to just watch it and not worry about it. This didn’t sound right…four months or more of bloody urine, no infection, and she plucks all the hair out in her belly area. SOMETHING is going on, and Joy’s fear was bladder stones.

We decided to go for a second opinion and decided to take her to a clinic someone had recommended. When we tried to book the appointment and explained what it was for, however, we were told that the charge for a ‘second opinion exam’ was twice the regular exam price. I’m still trying to figure out the logic of that. We opted to try another clinic a former coworker of Joy’s had recommended. Well, there’s another clinic we won’t be going back to.

OK, messy things happen at animal clinics so there are sometimes smells. But what assailed our nostrils when we came through the door was …umm…lets just say a ‘human’ waste smell. Maybe their restroom was near the front of the clinic. Maybe someone was having some digestive disturbances. Regardless it was pretty potent. We found other things a bit unsettling, like the stuffed cat figure on the shelf made out of REAL fur…rabbit and not cat I assume, but kinda creepy, as was the giant cowboy painting of a group of trappers leading horses weighed down with skinned hides and antlers. Well, we were already there so we made the best of it.

The vet seemed nice, immediately recommended an X-ray which is what we’d hoped for. Showed us the film and Lo and behold, there were the bladder stones Joy had suspected, two of them the size of peas. But two things bothered us; one was that she told us Hills CD-O (O’ for oxalate stones, as Wednesday had oxalate crystals on one of the three UAs) would disolve the stones. That didn’t sound right to us (as far as we knew, only Hills SD disolves stones and that is for Struvite not Oxalate) and she called us later to correct herself…but a vet should know that stuff. The other thing is maybe a little nit-picky…when she first came into the room, reading the chart, she looked at us and said “a dilute calico, huh?” and kind of laughed. We weren’t sure what she meant, and later realized that apparently she assumed this was some whimsical description we had made up, as opposed to the term used for a calico that is also a blue dilute. She wasn’t laughing in a mean way…and so maybe not everyone is as particular as us about using correct color terminology, but again you’d think a VET would have heard of a dilute calico.

So now we had a NEW dilemma: a cat that needs surgery and two clinics we don’t want to go back to…

There is a clinic just up the street from us where Joy gets some prescription food that most vets don’t carry. They always seem very nice there and I don’t know why we didn’t just try them sooner, but anyway Joy called them for a quote on the surgery and the Dr. himself called her back. He explained everything in detail, the price was very reasonable, and he seemed very nice. Wednesday’s bladder surgery is on the 16th. I sure hope everything goes OK.

Teeny-tiny, wheat-colored spiders

We have spiders in our house. Lots of them. I haven’t been able to identify them except to determine that they are NOT brown recluses, so, since they are harmless to us and the furkids, we don’t mind sharing the house with them. These are teeny-tiny little wheat colored spiders that live in corners and don’t seem to make webs, at least not ones that are visible to me. About a month ago there was a sudden increase in the population of the little critters–enough that it became a bit of an annoyance because several times we found them running across our shoulders or legs on their way to wherever it is they were headed at the time. But it occurred to me that we’d also had a plague (thanks to my overzealous plant-watering) of tiny fungus gnats, which these spiders eat. More food, more spiders, I guess — we don’t have an infestation, we have an ecosystem. Anyway, the gnats are now gone and so are the excess spiders. We only see them occasionally now.

Last night I went into the bathroom and turned on the light and noticed one little spider running willy-nilly all over the floor. I kept careful track of where it went so I wouldn’t inadvertently step on it, and then noticed, in the corner under the sink, spider 1 had encountered another spider. Now things were getting interesting… are teeny-tiny wheat colored spiders territorial? Would spider 2 defend its little corner, and a fight ensue? I turned on a second light so I could see better. Spider 1 scurried up to within a half inch of spider 2, and they both just sort of sized each other up. Then spider 1 began a little dance. Looking closer (and since these little guys are maybe 1-2 mm long, that means I was now crouched down on the floor with my face practically on the linoleum) I could see that spider 1’s pair of short little leg-like appendages, which are called pedipalps, had black bulbous tips. I remembered from one of my spider books that this indicates an adult male. Aha, so spider 1 is a boy… and since spider 2 was a bit bigger, it would be a good guess that was a girl. What I was witnessing was some sort of spider courtship. Eeeewwwww… I decided to give the two some privacy, rather than cross the line between scientific curiosity and ‘spider voyeurism’. I also didn’t want to have to explain to Joy, if she happened to wake up, why I was crawling around on the bathroom floor at one in the morning, staring into the corner under the sink.

Lilly feeling better

Lilly is doing much better and feeling great, she even went scampering through the house yesterday. The phone rang and I was running from the other end of the house to answer it, and both dogs decided to chase after me because it was also time for their walk. I haven’t seen Lilly run like that in a long time, and she seemed very energetic outside, too. Part of this was probably due to the cold front that came through and made it very cool and pleasant yesterday; all of the animals always get frisky when the weather suddenly cools off. Come to think of it, that is probably why Olive was tearing through the house like a maniac this morning. It is still fairly cool today but I think it is supposed to heat back up for the weekend.

Do-Not-Call Registry

Yippee, it’s Friday! Another work week over. Unfortunately Joy has to work tomorrow but she does have Sunday off…so I just have to come up with something to occupy myself for a whole Saturday. My crystal ball tells me that there is a weed-wacker and a very tall lawn looming in my future, and probably a vaccuum cleaner. Maybe I might even get to that big box of pictures I keep meaning to scan.

The site for the US Government’s National Do Not Call Registry is up and running. If you have problems with telemarketers, you might take a moment to visit the site and register. They are being flooded, though, and it may be a bit hard to get the form submitted. I read on a news site that they are estimating that the site is getting 1,000 hits a second. I did get our numbers submitted after a few tries. Just wait until those creeps from MCI call again, after we’d twice asked them to put us on their “do not call” list! One of my favorite cartoons about telemarketing is the March 30, 2003 panel at userfriendly.org…

Lilly’s ultrasound

Lilly’s ultrasound showed no abnormalities inside or out! 🙂
None of her assorted lumps and bumps appear to be invasive at this point and they found no mass inside her abdomen. For the past two years, we have been living under this dark cloud of the unknown mass in her stomach area that we’d decided not to have investigated, figuring she was on borrowed time, and now it appears there was nothing there to begin with. I am very glad we didn’t put her through a painful surgery to find that out…between the recent blood panel and urinalysis we ran on her and her recent trip to the vet, she appears to be in great shape physically, as long as we keep her tummy troubles under control. Since we know what set off the recent episode, it should be fairly easy to avoid a repeat of that. We’re going to try her on some Glucosamine/Chondroitin to see if we can ease her achy joints a bit.