Pirate took Bella and Penelope to the vet last Monday, partly for their new-kitty-from-the-shelter checkup and partly because one of Bella's eyes seemed inflamed. The vet thought it was an upper respiratory tract infection (quite common in kitties that have been in shelters or kennels, apparently), and gave us erythromycin ointment for her eyes, which we've been diligently applying 3 times a day, as directed.
It seemed to be getting better for a couple of days, then started to get worse. When I got home from work today, it looked bad enough that I called the vet. Sure, they said, we're open until 7 and can take you as a drop-in. The bus wouldn't have gotten us there in time, so I phoned bff2112
to beg a ride from him.
Two and a half hours later... it turns out that it is now a very
bad infection. The poor little beastie has a corneal ulcer on her left eye (which makes me cringe just to type it), and the right eye doesn't look well either (although not nearly that bad).
So for the next two days, I need to be giving her eyedrops once an hour; then every 4 hours for two days; then every 6 hours for 10 days. In the left eye, that is — the right eye needs to get the drops every 6 hours for 14 days. Just to make it that much more complicated.
The drops are Ciprofloxacin
(which the vet had) and Idoxuridine
(which they didn't have, and for which I will need to phone around in the morning to various human pharmacies until I find one that has it — which, according to the vet tech, may be challenging). We're also administering drops of her own blood serum
— they drew blood from her and spun it in the centrifuge to separate out the serum, then sent it home in a test tube with an eyedropper to accompany it. Apparently blood serum has certain protective and healing effects that the vet thinks might help.
, 500 mg twice a day — big huge pills that I'm having to cut in half to even fit down her throat. I'm very glad that I had recently read about the dangers of erosive esophagitis
which can result from dry-pilling a cat; it means I can feed her right after giving the pills to avoid the danger.
My motivation to not flake on the hourly administration? Well, according to the vet, we're trying to keep Bella from losing the eye... or possibly going completely blind.
I'm kind of freaked out about this right now, as you might imagine.
And for the added degree of difficulty, spiritualmonkey
is out of town until next Monday night (for work, so it's not like he can cut the trip short)... and at my own work, we're in one of the worst, busiest times of the year, getting ready for the annual conference we put on (March 1-3, in San Diego — at least I don't have to go down there for it). Oh, and we're hella broke at present, since the monkey has been getting only a shift or two per week. I was bracing myself for the debit card to get rejected at the vet's, but either I'd misfigured the balance, or the overdraft protection kicked in. Whichever, I don't really care at the moment.
I checked the bus schedule. The express bus takes 8 minutes to get between the stop closest to work and the stop closest to our apartment. Figure roughly 10 minutes to trot home from the bus stop, medicate the cat, and trot back, then another 8 minutes on the bus (assuming it's on schedule, which is not a safe assumption), which adds up to 25-30 minutes out of each hour. I just don't see how to make that work for the two days that she needs to be getting the drops hourly. I sent BossLady a desperate email about the situation and am hoping that I can work from home for the next two days. If not... I'm calling in sick.
For the record, bff2112
is a dear, wonderful, mensch of a human being, and I am profoundly grateful to have him as a friend. I had told him that I'd be fine taking the bus home, and he didn't need to stick around, but he (being an insightful kind of guy) ignored what I said and stayed with me & Bella for the whole appointment — and managed to ask the vet several intelligent questions that I wouldn't have thought to ask.
I'm going to have a glass of wine and draw up the medication schedule for the next two days. By that point it should be close to 11:00, at which time I'm going to give Bella the next round of drops, then set my alarm for midnight and crash for an hour... repeat, repeat, repeat.