"Like some people, this cat looks haggard due to his lifestyle. He may be younger than 5 years of age," Mrs Bell said when I estimated the thin stray cat as 5 years but probably older. Most of his teeth had fallen out. This male neutered cat would not permit me to open his mouth without showing his claws.
My groomer Mr Aung wrapped the cat in a white towel and put the cat on the consultation table. I did not think of using the towel at that moment. I presumed Mr Aung remembered the house-call he attended with me very well as I had suggested a white towel to wrap a house cat. The fortunate well cared for cat adopted by a Caucasian expatriate in this case is recorded at:
Going inside a lion's den
The stray cat was not fortunate as he has lost so many teeth. Now he was very weak and Mr Aung used a string to anchor to his lower jaw to pry open his saliva-stained mouth.
I found ulcers in the middle and both lower sides of his tongue, on his hard palate and in his upper front gums.
"This cat had been living in my neighbourhood for a long time," Mrs Bell said. "He has this salivation for the past two months or so." Mrs Bell phoned me to make an appointment. Should she put the cat to sleep as the cat was in a bad shape.
He was not well and thus he was unable to groom himself. The saliva stained and dried up on his front paws as he tried to clean himself. He was dehydrated. Dull and lethargic. He was neutered by somebody in the community or most likely he was an abandoned cat.
"How do you know he is suffering from feline AIDS?" I asked Mrs Bell as I examined this dehydrated dirty cat with lots of black specks of flea dirt falling onto the consultation table. "A friend told me," she said.
"Are you sure you want to spend money treating a stray cat?" I asked Mrs Bell after I estimated the costs to be more than $500. "Most locals don't even want to spend ten dollars to treat a sick stray cat. This is a part of the Singaporean culture." But Mrs Bell is not a local. "Yes, treat the cat." Mrs Bell said. "I know the English is well known for loving their dogs and cats more than their children."
The cat was warded for a few days for treatment.
1. Blood test showed high blood urea and eosinophilia but no feline aids.
2. IV drip of glucose saline strengthen the cat. He would not permit me to open his mouth on Day 2. He even growled at me.
3. Pain-killers and antibiotics by IV and injection reduced his mouth pain. He could eat on Day 2.
4. He looked quite handsome after Groomer Aung bathed him. He would need a second bath.
5. On Day 2, I e-mailed Mrs Bell to phone me as her phone seemed engaged for a long time. She must have those instant e-mail Blackberries as she phoned me within 10 minutes. She gave permission for dental work for this cat.
"The cat may be toothless," I warned Mrs Bell. "Has he got feline AIDS?" she did not mind the cat being toothless and asked. "No," I said. "He is doing well and will be able to go home after a few days. He should not be out in the streets anymore." Mrs Bell said she would keep the cat indoors with her two cats. That was great news for this vagabond.
"There is no point sending the cat home without dental work," I explained to my assistant Mr Saw who was worried that the English lady may complain about the additional cost for anaesthesia and dental work. "The mouth ulcers will come back again. The cat will salivate again and will cost the owner more money."
"This cat has a disease that causes eosinophils to increase in large numbers," I showed Mrs Lai the blood test result of 6% for eosinophils. She wrote down the word in her book. Ms Lai has so much to do and works from 8 am to 10 pm, 5 days a week to gain the maximum exposure to veterinary medicine for the next two months. "Unfortunately the cause of eosinophilia is unknown," I told Ms Lai. "Extraction of all rotten teeth resolve the problem."
"Go and get the blood results of other cats for comparison," I asked Ms Lai. She brought me a blood test report which showed zero eosinophils in the blood test.
"Do you know how old is the cat in this report?" I asked the young and slim lady.|
"This cat is 18 years old while the case is around 5 years old."
Mr Saw said: "This old cat is dying." My associate is treating the 18-year-old cat which is in her last stage of her life.
Poor Ms Lai has lots to learn about veterinary medicine. That is the purpose of doing internship and I hope she gets accepted in one of the vet schools in Australia in 2011.