My Little Girl Needs Lots of Mojo!

Posted by barb on Jun 14, 2005 in Cute Pets, Random Thoughts |

Potted Artemis

Artemis was at the vet again today — her second day in a row of X-rays. Yesterday we took all three of the kids in for their annual check-ups, and we mentioned that Artemis had been breathing heavily occasionally for no apparent reason, and the vet wanted to look into that more. So we left her there for the afternoon to get X-rays of her chest.

When I picked her up, I found out that there wasn’t anything obvious on the X-rays. There was one interesting thing, but it wasn’t causing her heavy breathing. Apparently when she was little — likely when she was in the womb — something happened that caused her chest to get dented inward, and so her rib cage has a noticeable divet. Her abnormality, though, makes reading her X-rays a bit of a challenge, because much of her anatomy is moved around from where it should be.

They had also looked for fluid around her lungs, and found nothing. In addition they gave her a diuretic, but I can’t remember what that was suposed to do. Before we left, she got a shot of steroids, which would to help the vet determine if the cause of her heavy breathing was asthma or allergies.

I took her back this morning for another X-ray. When I went to pick her up, the vet said that they saw a mass in her chest cavity, up near her heart (which is further up than it should be, due to her developmental abnormality). He said that it could be one of three things: (1) nothing at all, but it looks weird due to her odd anatomy; (2) thymoma, a cancer of the thymus; (3) lymphoma.

The next step is to figure out which of the three things it is. To do this, we’re giving her prednisone for a week, and then she’ll have another X-ray next Tuesday. If it’s (1), then nothing will have changed, she won’t have cancer (at least thymoma or lymphoma), and we won’t know what’s causing her heavy breathing yet. If it’s (2), then the prednisone should reduce the mass, and, with further prednisone treatment, may put the cancer into remission (if not, thymoma is frequently operable). If it’s (3), then the prednisone should also reduce it; however, it may also cause chemo-resistant cells to form. So, if it’s not (1), we’ll need to figure out with of (2) or (3) it is; and if it is (1), then we still need to find the cause of her heavy breathing.

I’m not sure which cause to hope for, though. With (2) or (3), we would at least know the cause, but it would be cancer; and with (3), even on chemotherapy (which the vet assures me is not as bad for cats as it is for humans), best case is that she’ll be around another year and a half. With (2), though, they can frequently get it into remission. With (1), she won’t have cancer, but breathing problems can also arise from cardiac problems…though I don’t know if he’s ruled out allergies or asthma…

Artemis needs all the mojo you can send her.

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Jun 15, 2005 at 7:40 am

Bad time for vet visits right now I guess. Moo with her murmur and now Artemis. Hope it turns out to be nothing.

Jun 15, 2005 at 7:19 pm

OH NO! Poor baby!
Keep us posted.


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