My beautiful kitty cats turned eight years old on Tuesday. I was going to write a blog posting about them that night, but my blog was having technical difficulties. Props to Kalev, the Overseer of Deb0rking and Tsar of the Nerdery for deb0rking it for me1
While eight years seems very young to me, apparently that equates to 48 in human years (according to the Internets). I recently took the kitties to the vet for a check up and they told me that they needed to do the “geriatric” blood screen rather than the regular one due to their age. I wouldn’t consider 48 human years to be “geriatric” (and Google tells me that cats aren’t usually considered “seniors” until they are 10 or 11 years old), but that was the recommendation. I was a little bit worried that Crick’s results might come back with bad news because she’s a chonk. But she’s as fit as a fiddle, whereas Watson has some health issues.
As you may recall, Watson has a heart murmur and apparently it’s gotten a bit worse. By however they score cat heart murmurs from listening to their heartbeat, his murmur “doubled”. So then I had to get a cardiac ultrasound done to see how bad it really is. They have his cardiac ultrasound results from 2 years ago to compare them to and his heart is mostly the same, except for his transmitral flow rate. Basically, his left ventricle is not functioning at full capacity due to a thickening of the wall of the left ventricle (which they can also see on that ultrasound). It’s possible that it could progress to something more serious and require medication, but maybe not, so right now, we just need to monitor it.
He also has signs of early renal insufficiency: some elevated kidney markers showed up on his geriatric blood screen and some protein showed up in his urine. A further urinalysis showed that the amount of protein wasn’t so high that it requires any meds and, not unlike the heart thing, it’s possible it could progress to a state that he needs meds, but it’s also possible that it will just stay like this, with his kidneys functioning a little less than optimally, but not get any worse. So we just need to keep an eye on this too.
Next up for the little kitties is a dental cleaning. In people, poor oral health can have affect other parts of your health (like inflammation in the gums being linked to heart disease) and I imagine it’s got to be the same for cats. Hopefully it goes better than last time for poor Crick, when she required one tooth extraction and one crown amputation. So keep your fingers crossed that all goes well for my kitties!
- He deb0rked it on Wednesday, but my week was absurdly busy, so I’m only finding time to do this now. [↩]