Monday, February 21, 2022

Spay Visit

TBT:  I titled this "Spay Visit" because there was no actual operation today.  Lori's platelet count was too low.  I spoke to the vet when picking Lori up to bring her home.  The vet is uncertain about the cause and after asking me about symptoms and behavior at home is downright baffled.  She wants to see her again in 2 weeks.  Also, I did some research when I got home.

Normal platelet count is above 200 "somethings".  Below 150, it is too dangerous to operate.  Lori's is 98. That seems extremely low.

Possible symptoms include :

Bruising - No sign of that.

Localized red areas on the skin and gums - No sign of that. 

Retinal hemorrhage - No sign of that.

Hematochezia (presence of blood in the stool) - Her previous fecal exam in December showed no sign of that, but they hadn't asked for one this time. 

Hematuria (presence of blood in the urine) - The vet didn't do that test this time, but if it is visible to me in the litterbox, she doesn't have that problem.

Lethargy - She is practically hyper-active!  She and Laz chase each other around constantly.

Epistaxis (nosebleed) - No sign of that.

Lack of appetite - She eats like a pig (lots of anything).

Temporary mild illness or infections - No sign of that.

Inadequate diet - The Mews get Fancy Feast and Wellness wet food most meals and a handful of kibble once a day and a few treats.  The vet said that was fine.

Wounds causing bleeding - She and Laz bite and bunny-kick each other a lot.  They both heal nearly scabless.  I have found a few little ones on both, but never any bleeding.  In fact, the vet said the spot where they took the blood sample didn't even bleed.

Parasites - No sign of that.

Bleeding from the gums - No sign of that.

There are some long-term diseases and non-symptomatic conditions that can cause low platelet count.  I won't even try to describe them.  But some are things Lori has been vaccinated for previously; some require extensive treatment (bone marrow sampling, transfusions, etc); and some are "unfixable" (genetics, for example).

So, for now, we just wait.  The vet says platelet counts can spike or plunge temporarily, which is why she wants to see her again in 2 weeks.  Lori might have a perfectly normal platelet count then.

I am, of course, worried.  But there is nothing I can do right now.  Apparently, you can't increase platelet count by any means at home through diet or activity.  I expect that this problem will be overcome at some point and Lori will get a safe and successful spay operation and everything will be fine in a few weeks.

I will have some fears until then, though.  Ayla went through 3 spay operations over the course of a year, and I nearly lost my mind from all the howling and grabby-claws.  I'm not sure how I would deal with a lifetime-unoperable cat.

But today, Lori was happy to be home.  In fact, she was nearly undetachable for 2 hours after returning.  Tonkinese are unusually attached (physically and emotionally) compared to most cats (not saying yours aren't).  But after 15 hours with no food, she wanted my attention more than she wanted to eat anything.  

The next 2 weeks will feel like a year.  And "oh joy" it means she will go into heat again...

Edited to add:  Can't get any vet within 20 miles to schedule an independent blood platelet count sooner than 3 weeks.  I think the term "independent second test" scares them ("professional avoidance"?).  But I am not certain I feel fully confident in the vets I "inherited" from the previous one of 35 years.  I seem to have few options...