Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Buster File

Buster on the roof, King of the Hill
At 8:30 p.m., when we left Buster at the hospital last night, he was one hour out of a two-hour surgery and freezing cold. They had him packed with hot water bottles and warm towels. Poor little guy's eyes were unblinking and glazed. He was growling and mewling. The vet was pleased that he'd begun to shiver and generate some body heat. His temperature increased from 90 to 95 and should have been 101. We spent a few minutes with him trying to be comforting, scratching his head and telling him how good he was. Kills you to see them, so helpless and suffering.

What happened?.....Thursday afternoon he suddenly went from being his usual active, playful self into almost total immobility, assuming a rigid "sphinx" position. He wouldn't eat or drink. Friday we took him the vet where they found he was somewhat dehydrated; they gave him saline solution.  X-rays revealed nothing. "Sometimes", Dr. Jones told us, "they just get dried up for some reason and need a boost to return to normal." We weren't that lucky - Saturday he was still still. Back to the vet where he had a sonagram; the vet was now suspecting some kind of intestinal blockage, as he'd not eaten or drunk anything. Here's the sonagram. Doesn't it look like a little mouse is stuck in there?

The little felt mouse they bat around had been missing for a few days and we thought it might be the culprit, but then we found it at home in the sofa cushions.

For diagnosis of the blockage, they Xray'd him for a base line, then dripped barium into his gut. After a couple of hours they X-ray'd him again; you can see if the barium is going through the gut or backing up. Buster's gut, sadly, was backing up - we could see where the barium stopped just past the stomach. They decided to operate.

Poor cat was shaved, splayed out, gassed and operated on. His mouth was bloody from another anesthetic he needed.  He endured cuts through all his abdominal muscle into the intestine, exploration up and down, where they found..........


We have these all over the house - Richard wears them when operating any kind of noisy equipment, we wear them in the movies during the previews; I put one my hearing ear in when I have hyperacusis.

As we all know, cats play with small objects, batting them around, chewing on them - bugs, sticks, small stones. Poor Buster had the misfortune to swallow this thing and it got lodged.

The vet's assistant told us they retrieve all manner of objects from dogs and cats guts.  One of the most unusual and interesting object they told us they'd retrieved from a pet's gut was a woman's thong underwear. Hmmmmm.
Earlier today Alvarado Hospital called to say Buster was recovering on plan but his eyes are still dilated. We're hoping he'll be okay. He sure won't be on the roof in his King of the Hill pose for some time. 


  1. Oh my god! Poor kitty. We had our own little sojourn to Dr. Pyne's veterinary office yesterday. Had a short primer on little dogs' occasional need for anal gland manipulation. yuck.

  2. praying for buster. beautiful baby!

  3. Oh, Helen,
    Poor Buster! I hadn't read this yesterday or I wouldn't have been blabbering about a silly crossword puzzle. But on the other hand, what's better than a crossword puzzle to keep your mind off things like this? I'll bet doing it was a comfort and probably talking (typing) about it was, too. I had a dog that swallowed string wrapped around stones and had to be operated on. The vet said it looked like a necklace. He offered to give it to me! Did Dr. Jones give you the x-rays?I hope Buster is feeling better today.