Bella’s anemia stabilized over night. She is still pretty anemic though, and they confirmed that her platelets are extremely low. This essentially means (at this point) that she can’t clot well, so if she bleeds, she may not stop. This could be a result of her immune system attacking her white blood cells. It could be a result of Lymphoma (which is almost surely going to be the diagnosis but is still currently undecided) causing her bone marrow to slow production of the white blood cells. It all goes hand-in-hand at the moment. Kitty’s blood is all wrong and they don’t know why.
They are running a few more tests today. They hoped to get a bone marrow aspirate as well as a lymph-node aspirate. Bone marrow was a definite. The doc is there and can perform it and no problem. Due to her low platelets, they expect some bruising, but shouldn’t be a big deal. The problem is, there may not be anything in her bone marrow. So that test may still not give us any answers about what her overall problem is. The lymph-node was a maybe. They had someone who might be able to do it, but may prefer the radiologist who can use ultrasound to direct her to the site with greater accuracy so as not to start a bleed. But they may also decide not to do it if it looks too risky, as in puncturing her soft tissues may not clot well enough to stop her from bleeding to death internally. The lymph-node is more likely to give us answers.
If they got both, we should at least be able to give Bella steroids tonight. Steroids should help with the symptoms (anemia, spleen, platelets) but won’t help the Lymphoma if that’s what it is. Since they help with the symptoms though, it will inhibit their ability to formally diagnose if we start her before they have what they need. So if they only got bone marrow today, and if the bone marrow has nothing in it…
The samples, or at least the bone marrow, should have been drawn by noon and sent to an offsite lab to have the results read. It’s now 2:00 and we haven’t heard anything. They’ve told us multiple times that no news is good news, so I’m guessing that they got the bone marrow sample they wanted and Bella is recovering. I’m obviously hoping they also got the aspirate from her lymph-node so we can start making her feel better, but given our track record so far…The results will be returned by 5:00 this evening so we should get an update before this doc leaves at 6.
We went to visit Bella last night. We brought her one of her favorite blankets so she’d feel comfortable and maybe have some reminder of home. She was good. She was a lot more alert and active than Sunday when I took her in. She wanted to jump off the bench and walk around the room to investigate. She was a little unsteady, but I’m sure she was drugged a bit, the floor was slippery, and she was desperately trying to shake the gauze off her wrist which kept throwing her off balance. Not to mention the Cone Of Shame. She kept trying to rub her face on us and kept getting caught. She let us pet her behind the ears and stroke her chin like we usually do. We got some pics and some good quality time with her. Visiting hours are 8-10. Depending on the strength of the animal and the procedures they have lined up, they offer 10 – 30 minutes for visiting. Since we were waiting for the overnight vet to speak with us and she kept getting interrupted by critical cases coming in, we got almost an hour with Bella before it became clear the vet wasn’t going to be able to break away.
She’s holding steady for now I guess. She’s a fighter, she has never given up on anything easily. She looks good. She wasn’t crying or aggressive, she didn’t seem anxious (other than the medical accouterments throwing her off). She seemed to recognize us and always went straight for Shelby’s lap. She raised her tail when I scratched her bum (something she has always done but stopped doing in the days leading up to her hospital stay). It was a good visit. And I like to think that us coming to see her helped with her stabilization overnight. We showed her we still cared, we missed her, we want her home, and she started fighting to come home. And with any luck, we might be able to bring her home tonight.