Effie has been yowling loudly day and night for the past week. At first I thought her indoor yowls expressed her desire to be out; but soon she was just as yowly outdoors in Effieland. I felt terrible, not just because noise affects me so acutely, but because I thought I must somehow have caused her distress, although I had no idea how. She was rolling over a lot, and last night she began an awkward backwards stepping habit. She was urinating more frequently, and my husband checked her bum and expressed some clear vulval discharge. I suspected a UTI, but despite her frequency, the results have been consistently low-volume. All things notwithstanding, Effie’s physical and behavioral changes framed an all-encompassing question: “What in the world is going on?”
We tried a pheromone collar–no help at all.
My husband researched her symptoms; I was too exhausted. Lack of sleep caused by Effie’s yowling has taken its toll. Within a few minutes of initiating his symptom search, up came the answer.
Effie has ovarian remnant syndrome. Effie was spayed just before we adopted her, when she was 13 months old. Effie is now just over two years old. . . and Effie is in heat.
Please permit yourself one “WHAT?!”
The overlay of Effie’s symptoms compared with the classic symptoms of the condition is 100%.
Effie was taken to the Animal Shelter by her original owner. She was spayed by the Shelter vet at that time. We adopted her the following day. Shelter vets do a lot of spaying, and my vet says this inevitably causes lurking viable ovarian tissue to sometimes be missed. The bottom line is, the cat can go into heat. This is not a good thing for the cat or her baffled people who love her.
Our vet will scope out residual ovarian tissue and remove it. He’s private-practice and he will take the necessary time to remove all remaining ovarian tissue he can discover; however, he cannot promise that he will discover every ovarian cell present.
It is possible for the remnant scenario to recur. Another remnant and heat episode would likely mean another surgical episode.
Effie is not at risk of exposure to any non-neutered male cat. The problem the ovarian remnant condition presents is the toll her estrus behavior takes on herself and on us.