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.