Fireworks explode over Boston Harbor near Faneuil Hall on New Year's 2003. (AP Photo / Lisa Poole)
Just got back from the vet: Good news! He's sending an email with technical details as soon as he gets a minute -- is on emergency duty so rarely gets a minute, of course, so it may be awhile. Doctors and technicians are available 24/7 at Angell Memorial, the salvation of many an ailing animal in the Boston area when local vets are unavailable. They're also a center of cutting edge research in veterinary medicine. When the automobile traffic is light, as it was this afternoon, it's only 25 minutes away. During normal traffic times, it can take 45 minutes or more to get there from Chelsea-by-the-Sea.
We listened to the good doctor's explanation, but all we really heard was the longed-for word that Tiny doesn't seem to have anything serious the matter with her. Irregularities on x-rays seem to be an expected result of her lifelong airway disease, feline asthma, and suggest we should consider possible future course of treatment. We gave Dr. Grossbard a big hug of appreciation and made a generous end-of-year contribution to Angell [You are so predictable. --ed]. 'Will add info and kitty pix here later on for our wonderful commenters who have been asking about Tiny and lending their support. For now, just feeling happy and ready to celebrate the New Year with one of our infamous candlelight dinners -- for two -- followed by watching the spectacular Boston Harbor fireworks simultaneously on TV and out the front windows. Boston's world-famous "First Night" has the most unspectacular website imaginable. Geez. We were hoping for a great photo we could use here . . . Had to find one at random in cyberspace instead (above).
Fun sidenote: When we asked Dr. Grossbard for a written description of his diagnosis so we could post it on our blog, we were delighted to learn that he knew what blogs were but as a veterinarian shied away from blogging as it would mean a zillion commenters asking for free advice. It would quickly get out of control. As we noted, he wouldn't have time for anything else [a business opportunity for some enterprising person?]. There ARE some web sites where colleagues post questions and answers for each other regarding unusual cases, however. When Tuck mentioned that our humble blog just passed the half-million mark of visitors, the doc seemed to sit up and take notice.
Update: Excerpts from Dr. Grossbard's report:
Fortunately, Tiny's clinical condition has improved with the antibiotic therapy. There is no way of knowing she has some component of viral or bacterial airway disease (pneumonia) without doing invasive diagnostic tests such as the thoracocentesis or what's called a transtracheal aspirate. Given the fact that she is improving, I would not push for those test because they are relatively invasive and have potential side effects. It is very possible that she picked up a viral or bacterial airway infection that may have added to her prior airway disease and caused the clinical signs that made you bring her in to see me initially. My recommendation would be to continue the course of oral antibiotics and monitor her "asthma" episodes. It may be helpful to keep a diary of her attacks and include things such as time of day, relationship to feedings, interactions with other pets or people, weather changes, etc. This information may be useful when decided how to manage her long-term.
Final radiology report is pending. Doc recommends we consult with our regular vet or one of Angell Memorial's internists regarding long-term management of her inflammatory airway disease/asthma. Meanwhile, as of New Year's Day, she came to wake us up for breakfast this morning and ate her food with gusto.