January 26th, 2010

napping together

Hobkin Update: Another Downswing

Hobkin's breathing has continued to get worse again. He's wheezing and each breath is labored, and his appetite has fallen back to accepting only crickets and mealworms. We've put him back on continuous oxygen therapy. I gave him an early dose of furosemide (Lasix) last night, and I plan to administer subcutaneous fluids before I have to leave for work.

We're going through cycles of aggressively treating the fluid in his lungs with intensive meds at the vet's until he starts recovering, bringing him home to recuperate, seeming to be on the mend, and the fluid building up again. We need to find and treat the cause of the fluid build-up in order for him to get better, and we need to do that before his strength gives out.

Discovered that Hobkin still has all his teeth. Since the vet was only going to pull the one tooth if it was an easy and quick extraction, I have to assume it was neither. He didn't actually give Matthew a post-procedure rundown so I don't even know if Hobkin's tooth was all that bad. Apparently the vet office had a staff meeting right afterward, so the vet wasn't available for consultation. I find that quite frustrating.

Hobkin has a follow-up appointment on Thursday. I assume the vet plans to tell us what he thought of the tooth then, but Hobkin's not going to make it that long without another Lasix injection, preferably later this morning. The unspoken assumption was that the results from his blood work would be discussed then, too, but I'm hoping they'll be available before then. Also, the new antibiotic they prescribed for Hobkin tastes vile and Hobkin won't take it, even if it's doused in whipped cream. Need to find out if the pill form is any better and small enough to conceal in a cricket (that actually works with the furosemide tablets--and I'm so glad about that I don't even care about the eww factor). If not, I'm hoping they'll allow us to administer it as an injection at home. But they won't give us the furosemide in injection form for home use. FDA regulations. I'm also concerned about having to give Hobkin so much furosemide. It can cause an electrolyte imbalance, especially with Hobkin not eating properly, and they've also got him on prednisolone. And corticosteroids can cause an additive potassium-depletion effect in combination with furosemide. And while I can help offset that with subcutaneous fluids, the fluids that I'm injecting may just end up building up in Hobkin's lungs.

I haven't been able to sleep at all tonight. Worry and fear and stress don't make for peaceful slumber. Hobkin is curled up in my lap right now. He's so beautiful. His coat is thick and lush and soft beyond belief. When I hold him in my arms, it's like cuddling the warmest, softest stuffed animal in the world, but even better, 'cause the stuffed animal cuddles and loves me back. I've been watching him and listening to his breathing get more labored and the occasional wheezes in his chest become louder and more frequent. I look at him, my beautiful Hobkin, and I can't understand how he can be sick. And I listen to the small, distressed sounds he makes with every breath, and it breaks my heart.