here is charlie getting his ultrasound on monday! the doctor had to shave his belly, but not down to the skin, so charlie doesn't have to be embarrassed.
the news is not good, but it's better than we were expecting (which was, "make your cat comfortable for the next couple of weeks"). his symptoms, plus the ultrasound results, seem to point to one of two possibilities; lymphoma, or inflammatory bowel disease. both are incurable and will eventually kill him, but both are at least partly treatable, and especially if he has IBD, he could still be around for several years with a good quality of life. right now the doctors are leaning towards the IBD, because the ultrasound revealed his lymph nodes to be normal (hurrah!), but there's no way to know for sure without a biopsy. whichever disease he has, it's affected his intestines, thickening the walls so that it's become progressively more difficult for his body to absorb nutrients from food.
he's always been a very picky eater, but over the past few months he'd been getting more and more picky, until he finally stopped eating altogether, which is why we first took him to the vet two weeks ago. thankfully, what the x-rays seemed to show was a growth, was actually just an awful blockage in his colon (which happens if an animal isn't eating or drinking enough to pass what's left in it), and once we started him on a fluid IV every day to deal with his dehydration, it cleared him out. it's also made him feel well enough to eat periodically, though he only eats small amounts at a time. he's hungry all the time, because his body wants nutrients, but when he eats it seems to make him feel sick, so he only eats a little. and
it apparently has to be the most ridiculously delicious shit in the world or he won't even lick it. dudes, you do not even understand how many fucking cans of processed fish we have in this house right now, trying to get him to eat SOMETHING. do you know how many different types of "fancy feast" there are? THERE ARE A LOT. right now (yay!) he is eating a little bowl of this hypo-allergenic grain-free food that comes in a pouch. he actually ate half, and then went back on his own to finish it off, which is like a total win.
charlie's got another big thing coming up on tuesday -- an endoscopy, so they can get a sample of his intestinal tract and test it to figure out which disease he's got. it's a bit scary because they're going to have to anesthetise him, and he has a heart murmur which could complicate things. but if everything goes well, then the doctors will get what they need, and then hopefully we can get him on some medication and get him feeling better and putting weight back on, and he'll still be here at christmas so he can see how jenna louise coleman manages to become the new companion after being a [spoiler] in the season premiere.
thanks for all the comments on the last post, guys. they were really appreciated. <3