Aby-a-Day – 9 April: Timing is everything (Part one) (Medical Monday)

As most of you, I think, know, I moved from my beloved Boston to Sweden in June 2016. But what I haven’t had a chance to explain yet is…

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…my beloved Boston veterinary clinic, South Boston Animal Hospital, moved from East Broadway between H and I Streets (which is now, rather disconcertingly, a nail salon so fancy it calls itself a “nail bar”) to…

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…Yeah. Right. In. The. Building. I. Was. LIVING. In.

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It’s one of the few things I really, really miss about my life back in the US. The fact that, for 15 short, precious days, my vet’s office was in the first floor of the building I lived in. I mean, literally…all we had to do was go down the elevator, go out the front door, walk a few steps outside…and yeah. You’re at the vet. The awesome vet that you love, not the sucky one you go to because you have no options.

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We were lucky enough to go there three times before we left.

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The opening was supposed to be on my birthday, 1 June, but it was delayed because of…reasons. We visited on 6 June and work still wasn’t quite finished. There were caution cones all over the place.

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They did have impressive wifi set up already, though!

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Jacoby was eager to check everything out.

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Angel was…rather less enthusiastic about exploring.

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This was our fist visit to the new location before moving. Next week, come along with Jake and me to the SBAH grand opening party!

Aby-a-Day – 2 April: Cat Scan (Medical Monday)

Last month, I posted about Jacoby’s only urinary incident since we moved to Sweden. At that time, I could not find the photos of our first trip to the vet when he got an ultrasound. Well, guess what? I was looking in the wrong folder!

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Like most vets, there is are separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs. They had this poster in the cat waiting area.

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Not too sure about this Abyssinian, though…

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This was our first trip to what became our regular vet hospital. We came here because the place Björn used to go to wasn’t able to fit Jake in for an emergency when he started showing signs of bladder distress. This place was able to see us that day…and I was so impressed, they became our regular vet.

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As usual, Jake calmly explored both the waiting room and the exam room…Uh, Jake? I think the doctor’s meant to sit there, not you.

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As we hadn’t been seen here before, Jake needed to be weighed.

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4.36 kilos. Not bad, that’s a little over 9½ US pounds.

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After they checked him out, they decided he needed an ultrasound to see what was going on with his bladder. Normally, they shave the belly, but since we had a cat show in Finland coming up in a couple of weeks, they very kindly did the scan with all his fur on.

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It just made him a little messy from the gel.

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Then the lights were turned off and he got scanned.

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Turns out, it wasn’t crystals this time at all! He had a little polyp in his bladder.

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In case you can’t see what is going on in the scan, the vet made me a little sketch to describe the polyp.

He didn’t even need antibiotics; they just gave him Buprenex and Metacam. He recovered perfectly, and when we went back for a recheck and second scan, the polyp had resolved itself. I wonder if it’s the better quality food that’s fended off his UT problems?

Aby-a-Day – 19 March: Angel at the vet (Medical Monday)

The first time we took Jacoby and Angel to the vet was in September 2016. We went to introduce ourselves (which turned out to be pointless since we ended up going to the other vet in in town), to get a refill of Angel’s Amitriptyline prescription, and to get both Jake and Angel their EU Passports (about which more in an upcoming post).

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Angel can be a little skittish and fearful at home, but she loves to explore when we’re at the vet.

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She’s so cute when she’s curious.

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Before the passport can be issued, the vet needs to scan her microchip to make certain she is really herself and not an imposter. Microchips are much more important in Europe than they are in the States. Besides being listed as the cat’s version of a social security number, they are also required for pet insurance, and every cat’s microchip is scanned when you check in at a cat show.

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Yep, Angel is Angel!

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Jake is happy to just chill on a chair while Angel explores.

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Angel watches as Björn takes Pyret out of her carrier.

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While the vet and Björn attempt to have Pyret examined, Angel checks out the floor again.

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Abys are so different from other cats at the vet.

Aby-a-Day – 12 March: Takes a ticking and keeps on licking (Medical Monday)

Disclaimer: This post contains images of a disgusting, blood-sucking parasite…no, not the one currently occupying the White House…I am talking an actual arachnid. If you’re squeamish about creepy crawlies, you might want to scroll quickly.

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The first summer we lived in Sweden, Jacoby went out on several outdoor expeditions in the tall grass on the slope near our apartment.

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A day or two after one such outing, I petted Jake and felt…a lump. I inspected it more closely, and…EWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwww!

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It was a tick! A big, nasty, swollen, blood-engorged tick! I don’t do exoskeletal, multi-legged things (except lobsters, crabs and shrimp), but Björn grew up next to a lake in Sweden and has dealt with ticks many times. He even had the appropriate extraction tool at the ready.

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Between cringing and making “ew” noises, I wasn’t much help.

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So I just held Jake still and took photos.

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I am so glad that Björn knows how to handle these monsters. It was hard enough just taking and editing the photos!

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All I know about ticks is what I’ve read in the Warriors books, and I was fresh out of moss and mouse bile.

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Of course, I could have always looked online for instructions on tick removal…but there was still that whole “I don’t do bugs” thing, so…

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…it’s a good thing I have Björn.

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Because…Ew! Ew-ew-ew-ew! EWWW!

Aby-a-Day – 5 March: Pyret at the vet (Medical Monday)

For a cat who lived such a long life, Pyret only went to the vet a handful of times. When she was young, of course, she got her routine vaccinations and her spaying. And then after I moved her, we brought her along with the Abys. She always hated the vet, and medical attention of any kind (as she demonstrated with alacrity when I gave her that pill one time), so it’s very fortunate that she was very healthy and had good, strong teeth.

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She was a good traveller to the vet, anyway.

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When we took Pyret to the vet this year, she had a panic attack.

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She hyperventilated.

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And the vet was very concerned.

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Apparently, being examined by a vet threw Pyret into a panic attack.

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So I brought Pyret in for her own, private vet appointment.

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At the time, she weighed 3.05 kilos. When she died, she was only 2.6 kilos.

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Because Pyret was so old, we wanted to get a blood sample to check all her levels. And to do that, we needed to draw blood. And to do that, Pyret needed to be sedated.

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The vet used a short-term drug to knock her out.

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Once she was unconscious, they worked quickly to get a blood sample.

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Ultimately, the results were positive, with some low-grade kidney failure – nothing unexpected in a cat of her age. She was prescribed a special renal/hepatic medicinal diet, but was otherwise given a clean bill of heath

Aby-a-Day – 26 February: “It is the life of a crystal” (Medical Monday)

Jacoby has had one attack of his UTI crystals since we moved to Sweden. It was back in October 2016.

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Okay, he doesn’t seem that sick in this photo, but trust me…he was having issues back at home.

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This was actually the first time we visited our veterinarian. We came here because the vet Björn used to take Pyret to couldn’t make room in their busy schedule for a UTI emergency.

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I have to say, I was impressed.

I mean…they got my phone number wrong in their system…

…so they sent me a post card because they couldn’t ring or text me!

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When we went back, Jake got an ultrasound of his bladder. My vet back home in Boston was jealous of their in-house ultrasound equipment.

I thought I had gotten a photo of Jake getting his ultrasound, but I can’t seem to find them. I did get this illustration of what was going on with him, however. It wasn’t actually a crystal problem at all this time…he had a polyp in his bladder. The vet illustrated it for me.

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On the way out, we passed a cat food company’s ad and Jake wanted to check it out.

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He took a good, close look.

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Perhaps too close. Okay, Jake, we get it…you are one with your virtual, plastic model of your UTI.

Aby-a-Day – 19 February: Better living through chemistry (Medical Monday)

Today is a special day in all our lives, especially Logan. We went out to Skultorp to visit Min Veterinär for a very special reason. Logan got a Supralorin implant. Supralorin is chemical castration…temporary, but as good as the real thing.

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Obviously not aware of the size of the needle he was about to have stuck into his shoulder blades, he hopped down to greet the vet.

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So very blissfully unaware of what is about to happen…

Before the implantation, our vet sprayed between his shoulder blades with lidocaine. Logan is a very fastidious cat, and he is constantly grooming himself (which is one reason he hates wearing his diapers). So, naturally, he wanted to groom off the stuff the vet sprayed on him.

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Apparently, lidocaine tastes nasty.

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Really, really nasty.

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He sulked about that for quite a while.

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Vocally. Very vocally.

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He was pretty annoyed at me.

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Given that he was suffering from lidocaine-taste flashbacks…

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…Which from his expression were just as bad as the first taste.

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Once the lidocaine had had time to take effect, the vet came back and prepared for the implant. Logan looked at me like I was violating his every right. What he doesn’t know is, the implant will make him happier, and he won’t have to wear the diapers that he hates.

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He blamed me. Look at that body language.

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The vet prepared the implantation needle.

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And then, in it went. It will take two to three weeks for the implant to take effect, but after that, Logan will be like a surgically neutered cat in every way. After that, he will be a stud cat in my breeder Lisa’s program.

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The best part is, we have up to two years to show him and earn titles in the Champion (unaltered) class. But eventually, he will be surgically neutered, and when he is, we can start over from the beginning and show him in the Premiership (alter) classes and earn the titles all over again. He’ll have a nice long showing career!