Artemis is stable, diagnosis unknown

“I’m so glad she’s doing well, I really didn’t know if she’d make the night,” said our vet Glen Kolenc a short time ago. And yet Artemis did make it through the night, thanks to interns Dr Helsa Teh and Dr Dharshinee Rajkumar and their team at the Sydney After-hours Veterinary Emergency Service.

“On presentation Artemis was collapsed and her gum colour was slightly muddy,” says the discharge statement. “She was given oxygen by mask and started on shock rates of intravenous fluids. Her blood pressure improved afterwards.” Artemis then spent the night in hospital on the drip, with methodone for pain relief.

While there is a lesion in her mouth which, as I explained yesterday, “could be a tumour”, the report also says that “her small kidneys and very dilute urine despite being dehydrated is suggestive of kidney disease”.

This morning, thanks to James Neave providing transport and Kate Carruthers covering the bills for now, Artemis was transferred back to our regular vets at Pet Vets, Petersham. She’s back on the drip and at the start of a few more days in hospital while tests are run and diagnoses reached.

At lunchtime Dr Emily Payne called from Pet Vets to say the first of the blood results were back. They show very marked kidney disease going on, “all kidney-related enzymes high”, “this all relates to kidneys”. And if it is kidney disease, well, it’s generally manageable long-term. It could even explain the mouth lesions: ulceration. We’ll find out more over the next few days.

However for the time being it’s mostly a matter of getting Artemis her strength back and then figuring out what’s going on. There will be uncertainty for a while, but she’s alive and now in no immediate danger.

My especial thanks to the many, many people who’ve given support, both personal and financial.

Donations have now well exceeded $2000, and this will probably cover the emergency treatment, hospitalisation and diagnoses currently scheduled. Whether further treatment is needed remains to be seen.

Of course if the mouth lesions do turn out to be cancer then we’re in for a bumpy ride. But it may not be that, and Dr Payne emphasised that at this stage we simply don’t know.

Thank you, everyone.

Right now I’m mentally exhausted, and I didn’t get much sleep last night. I will respond properly to comments in the next instalment. But for now, I’m taking a nap.

[Photo: Artemis, 30 May 2004.]

14 Replies to “Artemis is stable, diagnosis unknown”

  1. About 15 minutes ago, Dr Emily Payne left a voicemail update about Artemis — which I’d missed because I was just waking up from a nap myself.

    “She’s drinking a bit of water for us, and she has eaten a very small amount of food as well, so that’s good,” said Dr Payne. “And she’s purring when she gets a pat.”

  2. Well that just made me a smile! Great news!
    Purring = the sound to make humans do as you wish 🙂

  3. It seems to me that people do like personal stories, and that people do care. I think it’s really sweet the kindness people have shown to you and to your cat who is important to you. I also like that you said it brought tears to your eyes. There are humans beyond our screens!

  4. What people forget is that blogging took off because it was so real. Stil, you always put your life out there for all to see, you’re the real deal as they say. Your wore your heart on the sleeve of HTML.

  5. @Frances Jones and @Marc Lehmann: While I’m a bit too tired this morning to catch up on all the comments yet, I will pick up on your point here about personal stories and openness. I think you’re 100% right. Anyone working in mainstream news media will tell you that the human angle is needed to turn, say, a large story about a tragedy into something manageable. And a story like this is something almost everyone can relate to in some way.

    I am continuing to be blown away by people’s generosity, though. This morning I found another $845 that came into the bank account, in addition to the now $2100-odd that’s arrived through PayPal. I can’t identify the sources of some of that, as some banks don’t list the account name the funds are coming from, so here’s a big thank-you to those people too.

  6. I would like to thank you for posting about this. Obviously I learned about this via Twitter and when you originally posted about it, the vets thought it was food poisoning. I lost my cat in Jan 2010 very suddenly at age five. To this day I have no idea why, as she passed before I could get her to a vet.

    In my endless search for answers I looked up food poisoning and found that something I’m feeding my other cat (thinking I was doing the right thing) can be in fact toxic to her over time. If you hadn’t raised this, I may never have known.

    We should never underestimate the importance of animals in our lives. I too battle with depression and know how important my cats have been in getting me through the dark times.

  7. @Shaunnagh: Some good points you make there. In the long conversations with the vets these last few days I’ve discovered all sorts of weirdnesses. One is that lilies — yes, the flowers — can cause acute kidney failure in cats. They don’t even have to eat the flowers themselves. They can just be crashing about in the undergrowth, get pollen on their fur, lick it off — and then end up having severe liver disease for the rest of their life.

  8. @Stil: lilies cause liver failure? When we got a family cat, when I was about 12, the cricket was playing in the background of the home where we were choosing from among the available kittens. I recall there was a little black and white boy cat, and a gorgeous tortoiseshell girl. I suggested the name “Lillee” for the girl, inspired by the TV coverage, and my parents loved the name so much that we had no choice but to get her. We changed the spelling to Lily eventually, but I never realised I’d done the equivalent of calling a horse Paterson’s Curse. Weird.

Comments are closed.