Saturday, August 15, 2009

Scruffy Status...

Thought it was about time to bring you up to speed on our newest feline addition Scruffy. It was about 3 months ago that we took him to the vet for a neuter job, shave to get off all the mats that were causing him discomfort, and a dental to fish out 2 broken canine teeth. We also found out he was FIV+, the kitty equivalent of HIV, so he could safely be introduced into our herd only if there was no fighting or blood or saliva exchange. As a reminder, here is a shot of him in the "quarantine bathroom" looking none to happy or attractive!





My how times have changed! Here is a portrait as he watches TV with dad. After his treatments for fleas and mites reduced his scratching and skin irritation and as his hair grows out, he is a handsome boy! In those three months he has gained nearly 3 pounds. While a near-fixture on the couch, he has never showed any signs of hostility towards any of the other cats (we introduced him to the others in a dog crate, which seemed to work well), though many of the others hiss at him when they want their owner's attention. Generally, he is doing very well.




However, he still walks like he is an old, arthritic cat - my thinking that it was his mats that made him uncomfortable to move was not the case. So with Hannah needing her annual checkup, Scruffy made another trip to see Doctor Darowalla a couple weeks ago. After a look at his teeth (vets can judge age with that method), she estimated him to be a young adult, about 5 or 6 years old. After seeing him walk and judging from the way he flinches as you rub your hand down his back, she thought he might have suffered a spine injury. Sure enough, the X-rays show one of the vertebrae is compressed, with almost no gap, with calcification growth pinching part of his spinal cord. While she considered it inoperable, she thought that anti-inflammatories and glucosamine might help. After a couple weeks of this therapy, he still moves tentatively, but now seems a little faster and perhaps with less pain. His range the last week or two seems larger as he is exploring parts of the house for the first time, so I think there is a little improvement. But mostly, he is very happy to be in his new home - he has expressed no interest in going outside, and since he spends so much time on the couch, is always ready for some interaction time from Mom or Dad - what more could you ask from a cat?!

3 comments:

torie said...

he's a cutie! what an improvement!

Anonymous said...

...these films indicate that poor scruffy may have been the victim of some fool abusively swinging him by the tail when younger.

Nice that kitty now has a kinder, and gentler place to call home. dr.las:D

Sherry said...

We also go to Dr Darawolla, We love her! She's going to be a hard act to follow when we move to TN.