Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Different Form of Sampling

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Back in November I adopted a dog who is trapped in a cat's body. Nicky (formerly Mikey) ended up at Greenbelt Animal Shelter because his owner moved to an apartment that didn't accept pets. Kimba is less lonely now although she does not appreciate being chased around by a big black cat.

Unfortunately when I started packing, Nicky started thinking outside the box. Though the most likely cause is anxiety created by all the moving upheaval, I wanted to rule out a UTI or urinary crystals since either can lead to a fatal blockage if left untreated. Nicky wasn't able to produce a urine sample for the vet on an initial visit, so I had to drop him off one morning on my way to work so he could sit in a cage all day until he had a donation ready. At 4:30 pm I received a distressing call from the vet informing me that Nicky had "flipped out" during the collection procedure, and the technician was having to go to the hospital.

Needless to say they didn't get a sample this time either so I was given a home test kit consisting of plastic cat litter, a syringe, and a test tube. I isolated Nicky in my bedroom last night with a brand new cat box containing the non-absorbant plastic litter. I was not optimistic that this approach would work, but at 5am on Sunday I was awakened by the dulcet tones of Nicky scratching the plastic litter! Despite the early hour I was able to gather the urine and transfer it to the test tube with the syringe like an enthusiastic chemistry student. Mission accomplished!! Now I just have to drive over to Bethesda tomorrow and drop off the sample.

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