Isadora's bloodwork is in, and the results are mostly good. The only exceptions are in the complete blood count (CBC): slightly-elevated white blood cells, and slight anemia (low red blood cell [RBC] count).
She tested negative on all the viruses she was tested for--feline leukemia, feline infectious peritonitis, and feline immunodeficiency virus.
Ruling out those viruses ruled out some of the potential causes behind the elevated WBCs--there still may be some inflammatory or infectious process going on that was not tested for, however. One thing that could have happened is that the ear infection has burst through the ear drum, and is now in the middle and inner ear. So we'll continue to treat her with systemic antibiotics, as well as topical, to address that--the cauliflower ear is so deformed and full of cysts that the vet cannot see down into it, and I can't get the eardrops in very far at all.
But even if that explains the elevated WBCs, it does not explain the anemia. The vet explained that anemias can be classified as regenerative or non-regenerative, referring to the presence of immature RBCs, indicating that the body is making up the anemia by creating new RBCs. Regenerative anemia causes include such things as acute blood loss, for example, which the body responds to by upping the production of new blood cells.
Isadora's anemia is non-regenerative, and for the moment, we do not know what's causing it. We hope that the X-rays Tuesday shed more light on what's going on in her abdomen--for example, is the liver behind both the anemia and suspected fluid in her abdomen?
I hope we have some info soon, but in the meantime, she is definitely feeling better after the antibiotic injection, the lysine for the weepy eyes, and the ear drops. She's talkier and more active, pretty much as soon as we got back from the vet. However, I dread the battle of wills that the twice-daily ear drops became last time, and now doubt will develop into again. Oh, well, as the human, I get to suck it up, because it clearly helps her feel better.