The Story Continues...
Following the first of many visits to the vet, Ginger underwent a 2-week course of antibiotics to clear up the remnants of cat flu and to control the infection that resulted from his decaying teeth. And he responded very well. He started grooming properly again and all of the matted hair around his rump was replaced by sleek smooth hair. His coat was again shiny and well looked after rather than being matted and dull, lifeless and unclean. The skin allergy was also addressed by the antibiotics and the fleas killed off with a flea control treatment. The antibiotics also cleared up the septic lip although the lip appears to be slightly damaged from the prolonged sepsis. As a result, he dribbles a bit! He's also now interested in playing - savaging bird feathers is his current fun activity.
After the antibiotics treatment was finished, we returned to the vet so he could undergo some blood tests to determine if he suffered from feline leukaemia or feline aids and I'm happy to report that he didn't have either.
That then left the way clear for him to undergo the dental treatment and have the six rotten teeth extracted. He was put on antibiotics again as the infection from the teeth was starting to reassert itself and he was on the tablets until the surgery (15 days later, when the vet determined that he was ready to undergo the extractions).
The operation went smoothly and he returned home later that day. Naturally, with such a large number of extractions, he found eating to be somewhat comfortable. But you can't keep a good cat down! After a couple of days, he was eating normally again. A week after the surgery I took him back to the vet for his post-operative check-up. His gums had healed over nicely after the extractions but he still had a bit of gingivitis. The vet was a little concerned that Ginger might be carrying the cat-flu virus - apparently prolonged gingivitis is a symptom. On the other hand, the inflammation may just have been the last remnants of the chronic infection he suffered last year from his teeth. He was put on a further two weeks of antibiotics which, we hoped, would finally clear everything up.
Aside from that, he was in fine fettle. He must have been a lot more comfortable with the teeth removed as his purring became much louder over the following week. And he was much more playful.
After the latest two-week antibiotic treatment, it was time for another check-up visit to the vet. The good news was that Ginger was in good health. His gums had healed perfectly after the extractions. He'd even put on weight, weighing in at 5.2kg (11.5 lbs) which is pretty hefty for a cat. His gums, in general, (i.e. not related to the surgery) remained inflamed even after all the post-op antibiotics. The vet came to the conclusion that Ginger was suffering from persistent cat flu. His only current symptoms were the gingivitis - while no other symptoms were present, he is a cat-flu carrier. Aside from that, he's very healthy. The downside is that he cannot be placed in a home where cats already reside. The vet was adamant about this saying that any household that takes him in will just introduce long term problems for their own cats.
Ginger's still living at his old house. My buddy is still care-taking out there and is giving Ginger lots of care and attention. We're on the lookout for someone who'll be willing to give him a home in the next couple of months. He's such an affectionate cat that I don't think that'll be a problem.
I'd like to thank all those who took the time and effort to send in donations, but the following people in particular who provided substantial donations to cover Ginger's medical bills:
- Wayne Folsom
- Tim Carr
- Amanda Bloxham
- Hilary Bloxham
It's life-affirming to know that there are caring people out there. But the story's not over. Ginger still needs to be re-homed but at least we have a few months to line up a new residence...
One final note: I only recently learned Ginger's real name. Apparently, it's Redpuss!
Gary Nugent, a software engineer by profession, has been a life-long animal lover, especially of cats and is the webmaster of http://www.just-pet-cats.com - a site that helps you make the best choices to keep your cat healthy, happy and long-lived. Information about cats in general, health issues that can affect them, some of their weird and wonderful behavior patterns, their history, and how to choose various products, supplies and toys for your feline furball. And, not to forget about you...there are a few things on the site to keep cat owners amused as well.