Tabs' temperature was taken and it was very high - 41.24 degrees. That's very, very high, indicative of some infection. So an ear-prick blood sample was taken and it showed the presence of "band cells".
These are immature white blood cells produced by the body to fight infection. It means the infection is quite severe. The X-Ray (taken on Thursday) did not show anything much. Palpation also did not indicate that there was any blockage. She is also not constipated at all. Using the high up-down fever as a gauge, there were two possibilities - pancreatitis or FIP. But FIP usually affects kittens below 1 year old, so it is not likely. Yet, it cannot be ruled out.
I was quite shocked. How could Tabs get FIP? She is indoors and she is not in contact with any sick cat. Pancreatitis is equally worrying. But the causes are too many and hence, we cannot pinpoint the exact cause. It is due to the inflammation of the pancreas, which in turn could be caused by many factors.
In any case, the only thing to do was to put Tabs on drips and give her a Clavomox injection to address any secondary infection due to bacteria. Then, force-feeding is absolutely necessary as we do not want her to get a hepatic liver (fatty liver).
I decided to stay with Tabs all day until closing time. Connie says she can manage the booth and one of our readers, Kelly Lim (bless her!) offered to go down to PWTC to help Connie. Lester would be going down too.
Tabs wasn't happy with the drip, of course.
It took quite a long time for her to settle down.
She settled down after a few hours.
I was able to force-feed her the blended ID using a syringe. From 10ml, we increased it to 15ml, then 25ml and finally to 30ml. She has to get enough food to avoid getting the hepatic liver. And the vet said Tabs is overweight. A cat her size should only be 4kg, but she weighed 4.45kg on Tuesday and today, 4.32kg. That's overweight and she has to reduce some weight.
Oh dear...then what about Bunny, Tiger and Cow? They are definitely overweight. Obesity can cause many health problems. And the worrying thing is that when the cat is sick, obese cats have a tendency to develop the hepatic liver as the body will metabolise the fat and it can choke the liver.
Her temperature was taken after a few hours, and it went down to 40.6 degrees, which was good. But her heartbeat raced. It was 200+ and that was worrying too. Finally, she managed to sleep and I did not wake her up for food. The sleeping settled her down and her heartbeat slowed down a little.
By evening, Tabs was growing fed-up of being force-fed. Or, maybe she just hates the ID. But the vet already had it blended into a liquid paste so that made feeding much, much easier. Tabs has to be on ID just in case it is pancreatitis. The diet has to be low-fat.
I think Tabs gets stressed quite easily as her heartbeat increased again. Her temperature was taken at about 7pm and it was 40.8 degrees. Oh dear...this was not good. The vet decided to take another X-Ray to check her lungs.
To my relief, the lungs are alright. No fluids. Everything else also looked alright, actually.
It is not hairball, not sentinel loops. We don't know what it is except that it is causing her the high fever.
Tomorrow, the vet will do an ear-prick test for bilirubin to see if she is jaundiced. Based on her eye colour today, Tabs is not jaundiced. She is also not dehydrated. If her fever does not come down by tomorrow, the vet will start her on another antibiotic to address another group of bacteria. He wanted to give the Clavomox time to do its work first.
I asked if it could be toxoplasmosis. It is possible, but again, it's hard to tell.
Since we do not know what the cause of the illness is, we can only treat the symptoms.
It reminds me of Indy in Nov 2011. He was so sick, he was hospitalised and put on drips and the vets could not really pinpoint what was wrong with him. Scans and X-Rays were done too but no conclusion was reached. He finally recovered....and is now the alpha of the brood.
I really hope Tabs will recover too. I hope her body will be strong enough to fight off the infection, whatever it may be.
Please get well soon, Tabs.
P.S. My friend helped send the X-Ray to her vet and her vet also thinks it's not hairball or constipation.
P.P.S. I also sent the X-Ray to another vet (this would be the 6th vet), and he also thinks it is not hairball. He says to test for pancreatic amylase test. He too suspects it may be the pancreas.