Carma the Cat’s Injury

I took my cat, Carma, to the vet because she had a rather large lump on her cheek.

My lumps. My lumps. My lovely kitty lumps.
My lumps. My lumps. My lovely kitty lumps.

My wife noticed the lump at the beginning of the week. I felt it on Sunday and it felt like it was only fur back then.

The lump grew as the week went on and it became clear that we needed to get her some help.

She wasn’t eating, drinking, or moving around as much as she usually does.

We made a vet appointment and I looked up her symptoms online.

While we were worried about cancer at first, her symptoms matched up with an abscessed tooth. She’s had tooth problems in the past so a tooth infection didn’t seem too far fetched.

When I took her to the vet the diagnosis was not an abscessed tooth, but just an abscess. She had an infected wound on her cheek.

Something had punctured her cheek and gone through into her mouth. There was nothing in the wound and the wound was about the size of a cat tooth so the veterinarian guessed that it was a bite from another cat.

Carma never goes outside for long enough periods of time to meet other cats. The only possible culprit is our other cat, Lucky.

They must’ve gotten into a fight and Carma got the worst of it.

The treatment for an abscess is to puncture the sac of accumulated pus and let it drain.

They did that by shaving the fur on Carma’s cheek and then poking the lump with a knife. Seems odd that you’d treat a puncture wound with another puncture, but there you go.

Carma came back from the vet with her right side covered in blood and pus. She was also quite grumpy.

Best shot I could get of Carma covered in ooze.
Best shot I could get of Carma covered in ooze.

The vet told us that Carma would clean off the blood and pus herself, which she did.

She also got blood and pus all over the blankets in our room despite giving her a towel to bleed on.

She is a lot happier now. Moving around more, eating, drinking, coming downstairs, etc.

Here's the injury after she cleaned it up.
Here’s the injury after she cleaned it up.

We’re also trying to get Lucky to be less inclined to bite her. Any tips for that would be appreciated!

Either way, Carma is on the road to recovery with twice a day antibiotics. Hopefully her summer coat will grow in and her shaved face will return to its former luster.

-GoCorral

Happy Kitty!
Happy Kitty!

Acceptance Wall

Normally I’d post something about D&D on Monday, but this week I’ll be showing off something that came in the mail recently.

My first graduate school acceptance letter.
My first graduate school acceptance letter.

I got into graduate school! Hurray! Validation!

This year I only applied to local schools as my wife is in the first year of a two year program for her teaching credential.

I applied to two programs at the college I got my undergraduate degree from and a third program at a nearby CSU (Sac State).

I’ve been rejected from one of the programs and have yet to hear back from the other one, but Sac State has accepted me! Woohoo!

Assuming the other program doesn’t accept me, I will be driving to the capital every day to learn and research science stuff.

The professor I’ve been placed with studies salmonella. I haven’t read up a lot on it, but what I saw on the papers she’s published was interesting.

Salmonella typically hurt your body in many ways one of which is by attacking your macrophage cells. Macrophages are the part of your immune system that eats bacterial invaders.

The salmonella bacteria don’t like being eaten by macrophages though. They protect themselves by putting poisons into your macrophages.

The professor has helped discover how this process works and she is attempting to harness the power of salmonella for good, not evil!

You see, if salmonella are so good at invading macrophages and killing them, they can also be used to invade macrophages and help them.

We can modify salmonella to make it deliver medicine to macrophages. This could do a number of things.

It could protect against auto-immune diseases like HIV. It could also super charge the immune system to assist the fight against other bacterial infections. These two things are some of the most sought after effects in medicine right now.

HIV is a huge problem throughout the developing world, so the interest in that is obvious.

The second effect, of boosting the immune system is even more amazing in my opinion.

Bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, STIs, and many others are currently treated with antibiotics. But bacteria can evolve and become immune to these antibiotics.

Researchers can come up with new antibiotics, but in a few years the disease will have evolved immunity to it again.

But what if you treated the disease just by making the immune system better? The bacteria can still evolve past this, but it takes much longer to do that than to develop antibiotic resistance. Possibly long enough that the disease can be eradicated entirely? That would be astounding.

While my original goal was to get entrance into a PhD program, working on making people immune to disease doesn’t sound that bad either. I think I’ll be quite happy at Sac State.

That’s all for tonight!

-Mister Ed