At 18 years of age, Toni is our eldest resident. Toni was one of a number of cats being kept by an elderly man under horrendous conditions. Under order of the Board of health, the cats were removed by the local animal control facility and taken to a vet’s office.Because of her advanced age, the Animal Copntrol Officer asked for Toni to be euthanized.

Toni was literally lying on the table at the vet’s, waiting to be euthanized, when a vet tech ran in and begged them to hold off while she called Tabby’s Place to see if we had a spot for Toni.We were very happy to be able to take Toni.

Because of her age, we drew blood during her intake examination and sent it off for analysis.We were thrilled when the results were all well within normal ranges.We were hopeful that, despite her advanced age, she was healthy.But while she was in a holding cage, we saw that Toni had chronic diarrhea.Fecal analyses showed no parasites, so our vets decided to treat her with several antibiotics to see if the symptoms resolved.Unfortunately, the diarrhea continued and we began to notice blood in her stool occasionally.

We decided it was time to persue alternative diagnoses, so we scheculed Toni for an ultrasound.The ultrasound showed that Toni has a mass in her colon.Toni3.jpgWe are consulting with our vets and other experts and trying to determine the best course of action for Toni.The three choices we are considering are

  • Have a colonoscopy performed.If they can reach the mass and get a biopsy, we would have a definitive diagnosis.
  • Have surgery performed.This would allow them to biopsy the mass, as we all as remove it and resection her colon, if that looks feasible.
  • Treat her with steroids.This means that we would be treating her without a definitive diagnosis.But, it is a good choice if we believe that the other options are unlikely to yield useful results.

Toni2.jpgWe will decide on the best course of action for Toni in the next few weeks.We will ponder this decision very carefully, as the trade-offs are not obvious and we want to do what is best for Toni.

Given her age and condition, the likelihood of Toni being adopted is obviously very slim.But even if she is not adopted, Toni can live out her life in comfort at tabby’s Place.