Callie: If it's not one thing, it's another. First I had to keep going to the vet to get stabbed because I'm so skinny. Now I have to go back to the vet today because I have a problem with ... ((blush ... how humiliating)) my nipple. My mom noticed a lump on my tummy a few days ago and when I finally let her look at it, my nipple was all hard and black. And I guess I've been trying to fix it myself, because last night the skin around it started bleeding. What on earth does an 18-year-old ladycat need with nipples anyway? No, scritches will NOT help. I'm 18 years old, I'm skinny, my nipple is bleeding, I have to put up with Rocky and all these other cats, I have to keep going to the vet ... I'd say I have a right to be grumpy! If it weren't for the fact that I now get special high-calorie kitten food, tuna-flavored senior kitty vitamin treats, digestive enzymes and all the bean food I want ... I'd really be grumpy!
(From Callie's mom: I'm very worried about this, especially that it might be cancer. Has anyone had a similar problem with your cat?)
Update from Callie's mom: By the time we saw the vet, Callie's entire lower tummy had turned bright pink and she has 2 degrees of fever. Dr. Shew thinks she has just scratched her nipple and it's gotten infected. He gave her a shot of antibiotics, filed her claws to nubs so she can't scratch it, and is having me put cortisone cream on it, plus he gave me some Hill's Hypoallergenic Treats for cats with skin conditions. He said I should start seeing improvement after 48 hours, but if it gets any worse I'm to take her back in right away, and if it isn't significantly improved by Monday I'm to take her back in then. In the meantime, I have to keep her isolated from the other cats. But the good news is, Dr. Shew says he's confident it isn't cancer.
Callie also has a few scabby places elsewhere on her body and she's been scratching and licking obsessively. She sometimes has allergy problems this time of year, but Dr. Shew doesn't want to give her steroids 1) because she has a fever; 2) because of her age and 3) because they'll make her retain water and we won't be able to monitor her weight loss or gain.
I'm hoping that if we can get this under control, we might find out that her weight loss is just due to allergies.
Thanks to all of your for your advice and support!