Quincy, the Old Man
This morning, when I went to feed the rabbits… Quincy had a hard time getting up. He was sitting in the litter box, and seemed to struggle a little bit to right himself. Worried, I let him try a few times before ultimately helping him get out of the box.
We’re trying out a new litter, these past few weeks. So instead of the pellet-based cat litter we normally use, the type we have is more like shredded paper. Very light and fluffy. So what ended up happening was that Quincy was actually sitting flat on the plastic, with nothing underneath him.
Seeing this, I wondered if maybe the surface was just too slick – and that’s why he had a hard time sitting up.
Sadly, when he was on the carpet… he had the same problem. He was on his belly, with his back two feet kicked out to one side. Despite several attempts to push himself up and to actually sit up… he wasn’t able to.
This had me pretty concerned.
I ended up calling our vet and they said to just bring him on in.
At Chicago Exotics, they gave him a quick exam and did a few things: blood work, and they also took him in back to see if he could hop. I learned that at the vet, animals will sometimes try to “mask” their ailments due to stress. They interpret the doctors and strangers as predators, and may not reveal things that might come out when they’re at home in a relaxed environment.
They took Quincy back and got some blood, and cleaned his ears some. And when they made him hop around… he didn’t lke it, but was able to. The vet said this was a good sign, since he was at least able to move around. He didn’t have much of an appetite, but that may have also been due to being under duress.
Originally, I thought that the issue was due to his arthritis. Quincy has been having problems hopping around lately. He was just in at the vet about a month ago, but since that time… he’s had a harder time moving around.
On some occasions, when he gets too excited and tries to move too quickly, he’ll fall over onto his side (and then have to right himself up). But today was a more serious turn, as he wasn’t even getting up at all.
Before we try to treat the arthritis, the vet wanted to rule out any other issues. Blood test for diseases, and a test for E Cunniculi (something he’s had and is usually dormant, but can flare up). Once we’ve ruled these things out, we might try to see if it’s an arthritis issue.
I have to say – I know Quincy is an old man. And Liz and I have a feeling that we don’t have a lot of time left with him. But this morning, when he was there on the floor – it was really hard for me to get him into the carrier.
For a moment there, I didn’t want to take him to the vet for fear that they would tell me he would need to be put to sleep.
On arriving home Quincy seemed to be a little better (he was moving around a bit). I ended up going in to work, but when I arrived home in the evening… he seemed like he was moving around slightly.
He’s not racing around the room, but he does seem to be able to get up and move now – which is very different from this morning. I’ll have to keep an eye on him these next few days, and see how things go – while we wait for the test results.
A part of me hopes that it’s something medical, or something that can be treated. I worry that it’s his bones and his age, and it’s just his body getting on in years. I would love it if there was some magical thing that would alleviate this issue. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.