Saturday, April 05, 2008

Diagnosis and mortality

I'll club some seal cubs later to compensate, but I've been nursing a very sick kitten for the past few weeks. She was diagnosed with FIP, and the vet wanted to put her to sleep on the spot. I felt she should have a chance - she's a Bengal, and they're very talkative. When the vet picked her up she complained. The vet thought this meant her abdomen was painful, I thought it was because she is Bengal. I was right - when I picked her up by the abdomen she didn't complain.

Bengals are unusually intelligent cats. This kitten's mum can open the lift-latch doors in my cottage. She jumps up, clings on, opens the latch, drops down and pushes the door open. The kitten knew the difference between me and the vet, tolerated me picking her up, but scolded the vet.

So I took her to my curmudgeonly friend, a farm vet who looks at my animals on the grounds that the dogs are as big as calves. He gave me some diuretics and some steroids, and suggested that if she gets worse I put her under one of the wheels of my Land Rover.

That doesn't really convey the gentleness and concern with which he picked here up, massaged her abdomen, felt the size of her liver and kidneys, suggested there might be grounds for optimism. He's an old boy in a cloth cap, with Countryside Alliance stickers on his cars, his wife and daughters ride to hounds, and I'd rather trust my animals to him than any vet with posters up for specialised food for dogs aged between 2 and 2 years three months, with names beginning with "R", for £20 per kilo.

The kitten got better. She's attacking one of my feet as I type.

FIP has a mortality rate of close to 100%. I wonder how much this has to do with the type of diagnosis I had initially.


Mac the Knife said...

You may well be a bloody republican FJ, but anyone who loves cats is clearly an individual of worth and nobility. I doff my hat Sir... :)

Longrider said...

Ah, another cat person. Our cats are terrified of the local Bengal tom who comes in and tries to dominate them from time to time. Our tortoiseshell queen is the only one prepared to give him his marching orders.

I'm glad your kitten made a recovery.

And I second Mac's sentiments.

Anonymous said...

The modern 'townie' vets are the pits. My brother who is not wealthy, took his cat to the vet. The vet refused to allow him to take the cat back home because it was too ill, then charged him £60 per night for accommodating the animal. What should have been a £60 consultation, turned into £400 before he could get the animal back.

JuliaM said...

"FIP has a mortality rate of close to 100%"

So does life...

As long as your furbabe has a good quality of life and isn't in pain (and who better to know that than you..?) then let her enjoy it.

"I wonder how much this has to do with the type of diagnosis I had initially."

Diagnosis and treatment by tickbox. Coming soon to the NHS no doubt.