Monday, November 17, 2014

Blanco: The Trials and Tribulations of a Battle-Scarred Tomcat

Blanco is a 15 year old neutered male cat. He appeared, one day, and won the hearts of a family with his rough and tumble scruffiness. He was several years old at the time, and you could read his past like a newspaper on his raggedy coat. He was probably about 5-6 years old when he was taken in, neutered and tested. He was also FIV positive - not surprising, since he was a battle-scarred un-neutered male wandering the streets. However, he was otherwise healthy, and his FIV positive status did not deter his family. They confirmed that he was positive with an IFA test, and then continued to treat his battle wounds.

Dermatitis of Blanco's ear
All four of his canine teeth were fractured from fighting, and one was infected. The other three had broken far enough down the tooth that the canal to the nerve and blood supply was open and at risk for infection. He was scheduled for dental care, and lost a total of 10 diseased teeth, and 4 more teeth were discovered to be missing. He also got a microchip.

After his dentistry, his owners noticed that he was no longer "teething" and chewing on things around the house.

Dermatitis of Blanco's nail beds
Starting in 2011, Blanco began to have issues with itchy skin. He ran through several different antibiotics and tapering doses of steroids, before his dermatitis responded well to a combination of Prednisolone and Atopica. Since that time, he has been comfortable in his skin.

Later in 2011, Blanco began losing weight, and his senior bloodwork showed that he had developed hyperthyroid disease. A month later, he came in to our hospital to stay with us for a week while he received Radioactive Iodine treatment for his hyperthyroidism. His thyroid has been normal ever since.

In 2013, his kidney values began to creep up. So far, they continue to be only mildly elevated, but we are continuing to monitor them regularly.

Blanco's right eye is becoming cloudy and discolored
In 2014, Blanco started to suffer discomfort from old injuries to his right eye. The lens had been displaced by the trauma from a fight long ago, and when he started to form a cataract due to old age, the problem became worse. The body started treating the lens as a foreign body and he developed a condition called "uveitis".  The pressure in the eye decreased, and the eye became sensitive and  painful. On October 14, he had an enucleation surgery to remove the eye, and on November 6th, he came in for suture removal. His mom and dad were very happy and reported that he was brighter, more active and must have been in a lot of pain before his eye was removed. Now he is doing great, and as long as he is doing well, we don't plan to see him again for 6 months. At that time, he is planning on participating in the high blood pressure screening study that is going on, right now at our hospital.

If anyone wonders whether FIV positive cats can live a long and fruitful life, Blanco is happy to say that he has been FIV positive for close to 10 years, and feels great due to the loving family he has, and due to the exceptional care they give him. We appreciate that they turn to us to help give him that care, and we hope that he has many more FIV positive years ahead of him!

Blanco's right side after suture removal
Blanco's proud, scarred face
We can't wait to see how handsome he is when all his fur has grown back!

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