As some of you know from twitter, I've been very worried about Tybalt. Last week, he suddenly got very sick, was peeing indoors (which clearly upset him; he's generally very good about going where he ought to - and I wasn't overjoyed, either) and generally very obviously not a happy kitty.
We went to the vet on Friday. She gave him an antibiotic shot in case the peeing was down to a water infection, but after examining him said she thought he has thyroid problems, and probably that he'd been under par for a bit, but not showing it, the way carts do (or don't).
She took blood to test, which, like the rest of the exam, Tybalt let her do without even trying to get away from her, which is VERY out of character - usually visits to the vet involve hissing, (which I've never seen him do anywhere else) and strenuous efforts to get away, including that thing cats do where they temporarily grow about 7 extra legs all covered in knives, and show their ability to levitate and to double in size. So the fact that he was simply sitting there apathetically letting her stick needles into him was a very bad sign.
We also had a conversation about what the next steps would be if the blood tests showed he does have thyroid problems. The answer is that this needs regular meds, which worried me a lot, as Tybalt has NEVER been a cat who it's easy to get tablets into, and I would have to think very carefully about whether it would be fair to subject him to the stress of forcing tablets into him on a daily basis, as I know from experience that he does get very stressed, and remains stressed for a long time.
On the plus side, he seemed to perk up a lot over the weekend, and the peeing issue stopped, so I think maybe he did have a water infection as well.
This afternoon I got a call from the vet - his blood tests show that he does have hyperthyroidism. They also showed low glucose level so he may also be diabetic (apparently they often go together) They have suggested starting him on the thyroid tablets - basically, IF he can/will take the tablets without too much stress, they can then do urine tests for diabetes to see whether he does have this, and then monitor to see whether he needs insulin or if it can be controlled by diet. They also said that if he cannot take the tablets without stress, it would be unfair to him to let him go on. Which is rather what I suspected, from the conversation I had when I took him in on Friday, but not at all what I wanted to hear.
So there's a lot of bad news.
So they have given me 2 weeks supply of the thyroid tablets to see whether he can/will take them (2 weeks due to Christmas. If he doesn't take them, we will have to go back sooner)
The good news is that while he spurned with barely-disguised scorn my attempts to get the 1st tablet into him cunningly disguised in cat-food, or in marmite (vets suggestion), or cheese (end result, one slightly damp and sticky tablet, and one smug cat with a mouth full of marmite and cheese) I then tried a two-pronged approach, involving a sardine, and my sitting at table with a plate (because people-food is always more attractive than cat-food)
So, three lumps of sardine, (tablet tucked into the 2nd and left to sit for a few minutes so the sardine oil soaked in a bit) this actually seems to have worked. He did look a bit suspicious afterwards, but he ate the third chunk of sardine, so that may simply be because he thought he'd got away with more people-food than normal.
Clearly he's not out of the woods yet - I don't know whether sardines will work long-term, and there's still the issue of whether he has diabetes and if so whether this can be controlled by diet, but things are looking much more hopeful than they were 3 days ago.
So, fingers crossed.
And thank you to those of you who've been sending encouragement and sympathy.