We’re back from the vet surgery. Louis Catorze has chubbed up to a mighty 3.45kg, he doesn’t have ear mites, and I only parted with £9 in total, but unfortunately this was it as far as good news was concerned.
Firstly, the skin scraping test couldn’t go ahead. As the name would suggest, the test involves scraping deeply, and presumably painfully, into the problem area to get a thorough cross-section of cells to analyse (not just the top layer) and, because poor Louis Catorze’s face is in such a dreadful state, the vet felt that the risk of infection was too great. His booster vaccinations couldn’t go ahead, either, as he needed an antibiotic jab for his messed-up face and the two injections aren’t compatible. So, after all my efforts to try and synchronise treatments to minimise vet visits, I need to take him back in 2 weeks for his boosters, when they will also review his face and whether it’s fit to be scraped. Although, to be honest, if it’s true that I should “trust my own observations more than test results” (the vet’s words, not mine), I’m even wondering whether to bother at all.
Louis Catorze also had his ears cleaned whilst at the vet surgery and, whilst I wasn’t present for this, I could tell how it had gone because the nurse who handed him back to me afterwards had the look of a pained woman. I asked her if he’d behaved himself. “Erm … well … he didn’t like it very much,” she replied hesitantly. “But we were able to do most of it.”
The worst part of today is possibly the fact that, far from being able to reduce the Atopica, we’ve been told to increase it. In fact, Atopica seems to be regarded as the last-resort medicine to try when nothing else has worked so, if we can’t find a way of making it work, we have nowhere else to go. I really didn’t want to increase it but it seems that Louis Catorze’s immune system isn’t equipped to fight off possible infections from his broken skin, so we have no choice. And gross, dusty greenhouses and sheds are the worst possible places for him to be in whilst he has open cuts on his face, so we need to keep him indoors until they heal.
So the outlook isn’t especially positive for my poor boy right now. I’ve shut him in the attic for the moment, which must seem very cruel but it’s the cleanest room with the least stuff in it, and there’s a nice big bed with freshly-laundered anti-allergy bedding. I shall keep going up for regular cuddles with him, then, when Cat Daddy gets home, I’ll let him have a wander through the rest of the house and hopefully he’ll want some time on the sofa with us.
He could really use some good wishes right now, so please send him healing, itch-free thoughts.