Iris sick…

On Thursday Iris woke up with a limp.  She was favouring her right front paw, and was acting somewhat depressed.  We took her to our friendly vet, Doctor Michelle, who couldn’t find an obvious problem, but suspected a puncture wound hidden somewhere.  Dosed with an anti-inflamatory and a prescription of antibiotics, we took the little one home.  She perked up, had a big dinner and seemed much happier.   I gave her the first dose of antibiotic. Part of the “prescription” was to keep her calm…yeah, right- Iris is a million mile an hour kitten, so slowing her down was about the best we could do.

On Friday morning, Iris refused to eat and was very lethargic.  Her limp was pronounced again, but had migrated to her left front leg.  She was shivering uncontrollably, and it took a lot of cuddling to get her to stop.  She seemed stiff and uncomfortable all over.  I ran her in to the vet, who checked her again and was puzzled: Iris’ temperature was now elevated a couple of degrees, and the “migration” of the pain from right to left leg suggested something other than a normal injury.  The vet asked to keep Iris at the clinic for observation and to begin rehydrating her.  Blood tests and a change in antibiotic was also part of the plan.

By Friday evening, Iris was resting comfortably at the vet: one good thing about being born at the clinic is that it seems like “home” to her, and she knows all the people there.  The best guess at that point was that she had experienced a systemic reaction to one of the vaccines she had been given the previous week.  Basically, all of her joints were irritated and inflamed, and she was reacting as if her body was fighting an infection. 

Iris is still at the vet this morning- they just called to say that she’s eating again, and seems to be doing well.  They are going to observe her during the day, and we might be able to pick her up tonight.  The vaccine reaction seems pretty certain as the cause of her problems.

The house seems empty without Iris, even though we have six other cats.  Nimbus has been (by his normal standards) very friendly the last 48 hours: I think he’s wondering where Iris is at.  A tiny little 1.3 kilogram critter surely can disrupt my life, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Nimbus has noticed her absence as well.  The last week or so, I’ve been laughing every day as Iris discovers new things and finds different ways to cause havoc.  I think the laughing has been good for me. 

UPDATE: Iris came home with us Saturday night, and is back to her usual self (I.E.: getting into all sorts of mischief).  She’s eating well again, and bouncing around with nearly the same energy she had a week ago.  A week or so of medication should clear up the last of the problems.

4 thoughts on “Iris sick…”

  1. *big sigh* For a moment I was thinking the worst. That would be a terrible way to start the Monday. I worry about mine when I’m gone as she falls into serious depression without her people (ie Me)and only tolerates my mother as a surrogate and the bringer of food for a short while. She won’t purr until I’m back. If anyone had a familiar….

  2. Thank you for the comment, Leaha. I had some rough moments Friday morning, that’s for sure. I guess, though, it is a reminder to me to not take life for granted. My furry companions aren’t invincible, and neither are any of the special humans in my life.

    The fragility of life amazes me at times. There are some creatures (people and animals) that seem to me to be “Alive” with a capital “A”. Something about them latches into some aspect of me in a way that inspires. And yet these exemplars are no more immune to disease and accident than the rest of us- in fact, quite often they seem fated to burn out quickly. However, I think losing them, or the threat of their loss, is harder for me to bear.

    Anyway…Iris seems to have finished off all of her dinner upstairs and is thumping around like a small elephant- time to go and be inspired or something 🙂

  3. Hi Kelly,
    I have 4 9-week old kittens. This morning I woke up and all 4 were favoring their left, front leg. They received their first vaccinations a week ago. I’m wondering if Iris had had her vaccinations anytime before she got sick and was favoring her leg? I am just so worried and you are one of the few sites with this kind of feline symptom posted. Please feel free to email me privately with any insight you can provide.
    Thank you so much!!
    P.S. Love your website.

  4. Greetings, Irene, and welcome to my blog 🙂

    Regarding your question: Yes, and Iris’ symptoms were, or so the vet surmized, a reaction to the vaccines. There was a gap of several days from the time of vaccination until when she showed her symptoms.

    What our vet told me is is that this kind of reaction to vaccines happens occasionally. The way it “presents” is as atypical lameness accompanied by general depressed responses: sort of like the cat is fighting a flu bug or something. Usually it doesn’t happen again with future vaccines. It’s more or less an immune system response.

    Iris is fine and continues to get into all sorts of trouble every day: I am probably a bit over-protective of her, though! Hopefully your kittens are doing fine…

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