Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just Getting Too Old. )-:

About a month ago Hamlet had an 'accident' in his bed, unloading a whole bladder full of urine.  He is always a trooper about getting to the litter box, so this was a very unusual behavior uncharacteristic of him.  He had 'leaked' urine the odd time when having seizures, but never like this.  Since that episode he has been having a bit of difficulty breathing, and when it became so bad he had open mouthed breathing, we rushed him to the emergency veterinarian.

After running all the tests that would eliminate possible deterioration or disease in Hamlet's system, and trying different medications that might improve his breathing, the vet sent X-rays to a specialist online for assessment.  The online veterinarian, and our own vet, have concluded that there is a possible mass that could be cancer restricting Hamlet's ability to swallow or he may have had a stroke back in December when he had his accident.  All methods of searching further for answers would be more painful for Hamlet, which we don't want at this point, so we are taking our lead from his behavior and symptoms.

We have assumed that he is about 20 years old, but an X-ray also showed up previous damage to Hamlet's shoulder that happened before we rescued him, suggesting a possible longer history than we are aware of as it was completely healed by the time we took him in.  His muscle tone has been deteriorating quite markedly for the past year, and his spine is very prominent as the result of the type of muscle wasting that happens with old age.

Hamlet may have exhausted all the lives he is going to, and it is likely we will have to let him go.  We are asking too much to expect the old guy to go on forever, and he has had a great run at life's experiences.  I just wish we could give him more as he has given us so much over the years.

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