Thursday, February 18, 2016

Taking the Cat's Blood Pressure

Animals are now getting much of the specialized care humans do.  I've known for a long time that cats and dogs can be given chemotherapy for cancer, but it should also be noted that it's roaringly expensive and rarely effective as anything more than a fatal attempt to cure what can't be cured.  Yet another reason for the greatest gift owners can give their pets - euthanasia.

Our cat Minuit (French for midnight) had a routine annual exam the day before yesterday and yesterday her vet, Dr. McDonald, called to report on her blood tests.  Her kidney values have been a little high and special kibbles, while helpful, are not the be all and end all.  He wanted us to bring her in for the day to have her blood pressure measured every three hours.

It turns out that an elevated BP can be a sign of kidney disease.  He wants to rule out disease before heading into hydration treatment down the road.  IF she has high blood pressure - 150/95 is normal - treatment can start using either a calcium or beta blocker med.  Just like many of us take a BP pill every morning.

But I was bemused by the idea of taking a cat's BP so I asked where the cuff goes?  "On a paw or the tail," he said, matter-of-factly.

"The tail?!" I shrieked with laughter and will pause for a moment to let you laugh at your own visual of this.  Bear in mind that all cats hate the vet and are not going to be co-operative (to say the least.) 

After Googling images, I saw that the cuff is applied very near the base of the tail.  Because of the trauma for the cat - caged, vet, something around the tail - the first reading is discarded.    The whole process reminds me (unpleasantly, you may be sure) of hospitalization for 24 hours observation.  Minuit, believe me, I feel for you.  We'll call, okay?

The ZsaZsa Report
Admittedly I have been slack about this, but she hasn't been doing anything but lying in a hospital anyhow.  On Monday she was discharged to apparently go quietly home and pop her clogs.  The lung surgery that proposed to kill the infection she got from her feeding tube (please explain how surgery can cure a lung infection?) was cancelled.

The headline said that her family was gathering to say goodbye and I can't see Paris Hilton pulling on a black dress and grieving at the bedside unless she thought it would get her some ink and two paragraphs later I read that this surgery has been postponed for a week.  ZsaZsa, you've got seven days - run for it!

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