Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The neutered male fights for his life

"He's an alpha," the cat lady said to me. "I adopted him from the SPCA. He is neutered as the SPCA does not release cats that are not sterilised. However, he goes around the neighbourhood fighting with other cats and at home, he is the boss of my other 2 cats.

"But he is a very protective and caring cat. When we had a puppy, he would prevent the other cats from going near the puppy! Once he saved my husband from a viper attack! That is why we all love him so much."

"Are there still vipers in Singapore, a concrete jungle?" I was surprised as one sees HDB flats and condos every where. They house almost 95% of the population.

"Yes, where we used to live. Cobras and pythons too. That is why we shifted out from the Seletar air base."

This white cat is 7 years old and he certainly has the size and standing to command respect from the neighbourhood cats. He did not come home one day and when he did, he just flopped on the floor and passed a lot of blood in the urine. T

"The grandmother thought he had died. He had no movement. He just lie on the floor. It was after midnight. We quickly phoned for the vet and got Dr Jason Teo to attend to the cat."

Now 4 days later, the cat looks bright but will not eat. The parents and a teenaged boy visited him daily. I explained the progress of the cat as I do day duty. "The figures for the white cell count, the blood urea and creatinine are doubled the upper end of the normal range," I showed the blood test report. It is likely that a type of bacteria had severely infected the cat's kidneys. Does he hunt rats and mice outdoors?"

The mother said: "He does catch geckos, but he does not eat them. I don't think there are rats and mice in our neighbourhood. Will he survive the kidney failure?"

"It is hard to say," I said. "A younger cat may have better chances of survival. He does not vomit but he also does not eat and he eats everything when he was normal." Dr Teo had advised them the prognosis and it was bad.

We will have to wait and see. The owner brought the cat's favourite canned food. The cat thumbed his nose at the food. He would rather drink. He is still being treated.

This case shows the importance of taking a blood test before treatment. The owner asked me: "Was the blood test taken before or after the treatment?" I showed her the date of the report which was the day the cat came in for emergency treatment. That satisfied her.

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