Last Thursday was Chris’s tenth gotcha day but instead of a big celebration we spent three hours at the vet where the doctor suggested a surgery that would make Chris deaf.
The day started out normal enough. I had made an appointment for 9:45 at a vet that Chris’s vet recommended to do surgery to remove ear polyps. Those ear polyps had been an issue since we adopted Chris but they were benign and not really a problem until recently. That is when they got bad enough to cause infections in both ears, especially the left.
His vet gave him medication for it but after a while the problem didn’t go away so he recommended surgery to remove the polyps. At the time he said there was a good chance that they would come back after the surgery. We were close to our trip to Germany so we put it off until we came back but then the vet said that there were too many polyps or they were too deep. I can’t remember the exact reason but he said it was too complex for his office so he recommended a couple of other vets that could do it. So I made an appointment at a place near me called Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists.
I brought Chris’s carrier into the house and he avoided it like the plague. Normally Chris would be the first one to get inside a carrier after I bring it in the house but times have changed. Chris rarely went to the vet during his first eight years with us so a carrier was an interesting distraction but now it is not so interesting for him. Once inside the carrier he was pretty quiet, like he accepted his fate.
When we arrived at the vet’s office we sat in the waiting room with many dogs and no other cats. They then put us in an exam room where Chris would not come out of his carrier. That is different behavior for Chris that started the last time or two that he went to the vet’s office. Before that, his vet visits were usually just for a vaccination or something like that and Chris was like Dora the explorer when I opened his carrier.
When the vet tech finally got him out she put him on the scale with my help. He was 9.27 kilograms, which I had to convert to 20.5 pounds. That was troubling because his last vet visit he was around 19 pounds, maybe slightly over that. The visit before that he was around 18 pounds. I hoped the extra weight was because of the free feeding while we were on vacation and not a trend.
When the vet saw Chris she asked a few questions about his health, one was about his breathing. I told her that he breaths very fast and very loud sometimes but he always had. He usually does that when he is on someone’s lap and is happy but his breathing will slow down when he is relaxed. She said she asked because the polyps could develop all the way down the ear canal and into the nasal cavity. She then recommended a surgery that would remove the ear canal.
“Wouldn’t that make him deaf? I said.
“Yes,” she said, “but he is probably mostly deaf already.” She said he would still feel vibrations and acted like it wasn’t a big deal but I felt that it was a very big deal. You don’t take someone’s hearing away like you are removing a wisdom tooth.
I said, “He’s not almost deaf. He could be sleeping on the other side of the house and show up at the food bowl as soon as I put food in it.” I told her I would consider that surgery for his left ear, the worst one, but I would not make him completely deaf.
At that point she said she would discuss it with the dermatologist but he was busy so we waited. Chris waited under my chair and did not go exploring like he used to.
Eventually they took Chris in the back and collected samples and then we waited for those samples to be analized. At first we waited in the exam room but they needed the room so we went back out into the waiting room to be with the dogs. By this time a couple of cats had joined the party.
I was pleasantly surprised that Chris was quiet and relaxed and taking his captivity pretty well.
After being there for three hours they finally found out exactly what bacteria was infecting his ears and gave me a two week supply of medication that they compounded to put in his ears. After that they will reexamine him and we will go from there.
I do foresee one little problem already. I accidently tipped over his medication and I don’t know how much spilled out. Oops.
Oh my…….that’s a shame – poor Chris – I really know nothing about ear polyps but having an infection on top of that – well – it’s a lot to take in. Hopefully there’s an answer other than making him deaf – even in one ear. Teddy is sending POTP!
Thanks so much. I will do my best to keep him hearing.
I know you will……it’s what we do…..whenever we can……keep them going.
oh we hope the meds (even without some lost drops) will do the trick and the surgery is no longer an option. POTP to our ginger hero chris!!!
Thanks. I don’t think the meds are a solution. I think the want to kill the infection before deciding what to do. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as making Chris deaf.
I sure hope a good result comes out of whatever is decided so that Chris can be happy and healthy for a very long time.
Thanks. I appreciate the concern.
Poor Chris. I hope the medicine works and no surgery is needed. I think is was right not to to make Chris deaf, because you are sure he is hearing well. What do you think, could you consult another doctor.
Thanks. I have to bring him back when the medicine is gone. We will see then what they advise.
We sure hope the medicine works and surgery can be avoided. Though cats can adapt very well to being deaf if it should come to that.
Thanks. Let’s hope it does not come to that.
Many hopes and purrs that the medicine will work. I sure hope the vets take surgery off the table, although it may be necessary. I just hope Chris will have a good outcome from all this.
Thanks so much.
OMGoodness Chris. I surely understand you hiding in the carrier and under the chair when people are talking about such scary stuff. Good luck with your medicines (what’s left of them, Dad!) and the surgery if it comes to that. Meanwhile, keep listening for the beautiful sound of food going into your bowl. #musictomyears That’s what matters!
Love and licks,
Thanks. We do not want Chris to miss those food sounds.
Poor Chris. I will be praying this medicine cures the infection.
Thanks. That would be nice.
dood….sorree yur gotcha day sucked like a vacuum masheen…..itz knot much; but we send
blessingz frum St Francis two ewe; heerz hopin what ever they gived dad can help,.. sew ewe can say NOE ta sir jerry ~~~ ♥♥
Thanks. Every little bit helps.
Poor Chris. I also hope the medicine works to avoid having to have surgery. If not, I am with you about doing it for one ear (if that’s possible)…maybe get a second opinion? As for the carrier, I keep ours out every day so Cody never knows when he is going to the Vet. I sure wish Cody would gain weight (can’t believe I am saying that), he lost a pound in 6 months when he was checked in October so he is going back on Nov 25 to get checked again. If he has dropped again (which I am frightened that he has) we have to do some investigating.
I wish I could give Cody some of Chris’s weight.
Poor Chris ! We hope the drugs work and that no surgery is needed. Purrs
We are sending purrayers and POTP to Chris – and you – and the vets who will be taking care of him. You may want to do a bit of research on whether removing the ear canal might also affect the ability to maintain equal air pressure in his ear.This might cause him pain.
Thanks so much. I wonder also if it would affect his balance.
Blimey, Chris is a meaty boy. Louis Catorze is only 7lbs! I really hope you find some answers for him.
Thank you. I hope so too.
If cats get very, very old they usually go deaf anyway without surgery. A bit like us humans. I met such an ancient cat. You had to get her attention in a different way.
While it is nice that he comes every time you fill up the food … well, you know the weight problem. A normal house cat should have between 4 to 5 kg. (about 10 pounds)
He has gained a lot of weight lately. I keep giving him less and less dry food (he eats very little of his wet food) but he keeps getting heavier.
I wish I could give you some awesome advice.
That would be nice but I appreciate your concern.
Have you considered getting another opinion on this? BTW, Binga and Boodie both lost most or all of their hearing when they got really old. Boodie can’t hear a thing, but it doesn’t impact her life, other than my human can’t call her (she is always in the kitchen at mealtimes anyway). Still, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do something that invasive without a really good reason.
I think surgery should always be a last option. I now wonder if this surgery will affect his balance.
Oh No that does sound like a rough day. We would agree with you that a surgery that causes Chris to be deaf would not be good. We would really try and find another doc or something. We are sending our purrs and prayers that Chris can get better without the surgery or at least keeps his hearing
Thank you so much.
No operation. If he is losing his hearing, I think it’s better to let him adjust.
Gradual is certainly better than all of a sudden but it is the infections caused by the polyps that is of most concern.