Pre-anaesthetic bloodwork gave my vet enough cause for alarm that she cancelled Ratty's surgery*. It seems that she has an extremely compromised liver, but the cause is not apparent. For that matter, the effect hasn't been apparent either, if you consider that Ratty only stopped eating a bit over a week ago, and that the antibiotics she's been on since that time had improved her gums to the point that by Good Friday she was chowing down on her dinner once more.
There are four main indicators in the blood of liver damage; usually a cat with liver problems will show markedly increased levels of at least two of these factors, with the remaining two being elevated to a lesser degree. But not the Rat. She has three normal-level readings but the fourth one is more than four times where it is supposed to be.
Bloodwork also revealed the presence of the bacteria haemobartonella felis, a parasite that attaches itself to red blood cells and damages them, leading to anaemia.
Vet kept her in overnight in order to repeat the tests today, and also to get a urine sample for testing. Urinalysis came back a-okay (kidneys are good!) but the other results were the same as yesterday's.
So. The bacterial infection can be treated with a three-week course of Vibravet, hopefully with a full recovery. But the liver remains the mystery. At this point, vet is betting on a liver abcess which is also treatable with antibiotics (Flagyl being the drug of choice here; poor Ratty, two different drugs each day.) We'll treat for a fortnight then vet wants to see her again (sooner if I'm worried or if there's a change for the worse). After three weeks the bloodwork will be repeated and we'll see if there's any difference in the results. If there's no change, or a change for the worse, then an abdominal ultrasound might be in order.
And all because her mouth was sore. As mentioned, she's eating again; even at the vet's yesterday where you'd expect her to be off her food, she polished off the plate they gave her. So whatever it is, it hasn't affected her appetite at all. I hope we get to the bottom of this. As my vet says, if we can find, and eliminate, the cause of the liver damage, she could be fine for years as the liver is a regenerating organ.
Poor little rat. Here she is, looking gorgeous:
And here she is with her last-ever baby, Saavik Swan Song (Little Floss!)
* at the end of it all, she still got her teeth cleaned; vet was able to pick the tartar off while Rat was awake. Apparently she just sat there and let the vet do it! I can't even look in her mouth without her developing 27 elbows and using each one to wriggle out of my grip.
Mind you, she got her own back by refusing to use the litter tray provided and instead peeing in the overnight cage that the vet provided. That's my Rat :^).