24 August 2011

Tabby Tuesday on Wednesday

Oops! I meant to post this picture of Tinsel yesterday for Tabby Tuesday. Here it is Wednesday already. And it's actually almost Tabby Thursday. Oh, well.

I've been up to my ears this week finishing up some projects. My friend (and helper) Tinsel is never too far from my work. She likes to monitor everything I do, especially if it has to do with ribbon or pop dots. :)
On the subject of Tinsel, I took her to the vet yesterday for a third check of her blood. A bit of background: Back in the winter, her doctor suggested she have a thorough blood work-up because of her age (10 years!) and due to the fact that she had lost a bit of weight. (He didn't seem to believe that Lily sometimes eats Tinsel's food or intimidates Tinsel to the point where she won't eat. HA! He should visit our house at mealtime!) 

So Tinsel had the blood test last winter and unfortunately, her white count was extremely low. A low white count can be a sign of several very serious illnesses. But all of her other blood tests were perfect, so the vet didn't see any immediate cause for alarm. A high white blood count suggests a recent/current infection, but a low count can be indicative of a long-term infection so Tinsel went on a round of antibiotics. We re-checked her blood 10 days later, but the count was up only slightly.

Of course I spent considerable time researching (and worrying about) all the possible causes of low white blood count. Trust me, if you're a kitty person, you don't want to even THINK about any of the scary things I learned. But in the end, I decided to trust my instincts and not worry. I've had cats all of my life and can recognize a sick kitty. Tinsel is a perfectly normal girl in every way -- her appetite and activity level are quite fine. As if to prove this point, a quick check of the scales showed that Tinsel has gained almost a pound in the last six months!

On her visit this week, Tinsel's white blood count was up a little higher, but still considerably lower than it should be. Again, all of her other blood tests (and organ function tests) were perfect so the vet doesn't recommend any additional testing (which would involve bone marrow sampling) at this time. He thinks that Tinsel may just be a kitty whose body doesn't manufacture enough white blood cells. So for now, we just have to watch her for illness and infection -- she would have a hard time fighting anything off without antibiotics.

Tinsel's vet is now calling her an "outlier" -- a kitty whose blood tests fall outside of the normal range. It's just how she is made. And we love her just the way she is!


Heather said...

I'm glad it's nothing serious! Believe me, I know what it's like to worry. Our Sam is 15. I've had her since she was 5 weeks old when hubby-then-fiancee surprised me with a little ball of fur. Over the winter, I found a knot on her belly that turned out to be mammary cancer. I was devastated!! We had it removed, and I watched her suffer for a week or so while she healed. Well, now it's back...I love her with all my heart and can't bear to think of putting her through the surgery again, so...we're just waiting. She acts perfectly normal, for a 15-year-old cat...so maybe it will be a while before we have to really worry about making any decisions. Still, my heart hurts knowing what is coming eventually. :(

Janet said...

Heather, thanks for your comment. I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through with your kitty. That is something we all fear. :( They are truly members of the family.