Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My poor sick kitty...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chris and I have had a horrible day today. Rosie almost died. Usually, during the summers, Rosie spends all night outside, then she comes in first thing in the morning. I feed her some wet food, and then she finds some place comfortable inside and crashes out for the day. Very occasionally she won't come in first thing, either because she has caught something, or has some other temptation that keeps her outside. This morning she didn't come in, but I didn't worry since she has done that before. I heard her meow when I started opening the doors to let the cool morning air in, but didn't pay any attention figuring she would just come in on her own. About 1pm, I finally turned to Chris and said "I haven't seen Rosie today. Let's go look for her." We found her on the side of the house, and she was just laying there. She didn't get up or meow. I pet on her and she didn't move. She could look at me, but that was about it. I carefully picked her up, and checked her out. She was like a rag doll. No broken bones or bleeding, but she was just so out of it, and she was drooling. I knew right away she needed to see a vet ASAP. I knew that there's an emergency vet at Airport and Academy, so I carefully put Rosie in her carrier, and sat with her in the backseat while Chris drove. When we got to the vet's office, they took one look at her and immediately took her back to the vet, and ushered us into a separate room while they checked her out. I asked the vet tech if it looked like heat exhaustion to her, and she said no, that it looked like she had ingested something toxic. Shortly thereafter, they came in and asked if they could test her to see if she had eaten some anti-freeze. We immediately told them to do it. The test takes 45 minutes. FINALLY the doctor came in and said that it wasn't anti-freeze. They really thought that it looked like she had eaten SOMETHING bad, so they wanted to do more tests. Whatever it was, they knew for certain she would need to spend the night with oxygen and an IV hooked up to her so they let us say goodbye to her and sent us home. She was looking a little better...she was starting to hiss and spit, which is MUCH more like her at the vet which was a welcome sight. The vet just called, and told us that they finally found what it was...mouse poison. Apparently the standard mouse poison that people put out is palatable to dogs and cats in addition to mice. She has eaten a highly toxic dose of it. It also looks like there is possible low grade hemorrhaging in her lungs as well. It is treatable. They give high doses of vitamin K and will keep her on the IV and oxygen. The next 24 to 48 hours will be critical. In the morning, we will pick her up and take her to her regular vet, and they will continue on with the treatment and hopefully she will pull out of this. The question is, what do we do next? She is HORRIBLE to live with as an inside cat, but what if she does this again? I guess we will cross that bridge later. We don't know when she ate the poison, therefore how long it has been in her system, and if/how well the vitamin K treatment will work.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I got up early this morning to pick her up and take her to her regular vet. The emergency vet is only open when the regular vets are closed (nights and weekends) so in order for her to continue on with treatment today, she needed to go to our regular vet (and THANK GOD I researched that earlier in the summer and found a new vet that I love). She is getting feistier which is a good sign. You can look in her eyes and see that she "is there." She is pretty miserable. The issue now is that she is unable to stand on her own for more than about a second. She is just so wobbly. This is making the doctors think that there may be some neurological damage. Only time will tell. She has suffered some major trauma, so this could just take a while. They are going to continue on with the vitamin K treatment and keep her on the IV and call me this afternoon to let me know if she has made any progress. If she makes it through all of this, she will need to stay on a constant daily dose of vitamin K for a long time, and it may be helpful to adjust her diet because her kidneys have taken quite a beating trying to process the poison. But...if she can't get her strength back enough to get up, we may have to make a tough decision. Chris and I are going to make fliers to pass around the neighborhood. Almost everyone has pets, so in a non-accusing way, just try to let people know that mouse poison tastes good to dogs and cats in addition to mice, so please consider using other means to get rid of mice. We have to at least try. Rosie is who she is, and if we get her back and if she is ever the same old cat again, she HAS to be able to go outside. I am just scared because she now knows what mouse poison looks like and that it tastes good. Who's to say this won't happen again?

They think they might try to send her home tonight. Usually they like to wait to see that a cat starts eating a little again, but because this is Rosie we're talking about, I don't think she will let them feed her. The only way to see if she is doing better is if she is in her home environment. If she does poorly, then we will take her back to the vet tomorrow morning. Pray we don’t end up back at the emergency vet tonight! They are GOOD doctors, and they did exactly the right things for her and took such great care of her, but crap, are they expensive!

That Evening:
We brought Rosie home and I am really freaked out because she can’t walk very well. It is like she is half paralyzed in her back legs. What are we going to do? They said that there could be some neurological damage, and what if this is the result of it? Chris says I just need to hang out and see what happens. She won’t eat. If she doesn’t eat, she’ll have to go back to the vet tomorrow. Even her wet food doesn’t look good to her.

Later that evening:

I...LOVE...MARY!!! (A good friend of mine.)

Mary has been a real source of support through this. I called her yesterday while I waited for the vet to call with the test results (on a cell phone so I wouldn't miss the call). She went through something almost exactly similar with her cat Sage. A few years ago Sage had gotten into a box of rum-filled chocolates and had eaten a toxic dose when Mary found her. Sage spent a few days at the animal hospital, and after lots of TLC, she is a normal, healthy cat.

Anyways, tonight, Mary had called to check in, and had mentioned that she knew a fool proof way to get your cat to eat after they have been sick...sardines. I just sent Chris out to go get some. I told Mary about how Rosie looks to be half paralyzed and how scared I was, and she was like "wait a minute...Rosie has been on an IV for a couple of days right?" I said yes, and then she said "So, is she walking like her front half works, but her back half keeps slumping over on it's side?" Again, I said yes. She explained that Sage was the same way when coming off of the IV. EXACTLY the same. No idea why that happens, but she said to give it a few days and it should eventually go away. She also said that Rosie may not eat for a few days either, so not to be surprised by that. It took Sage 3 days. We are going to try the sardines and see how that works. She said to (even though it is really gross) dab your finger on it and stick it in front of Rosie's nose. If she licks it, then great. If not, dab it on her nose, so it will bug her and she will have no choice but to lick it off. Do that a few times until you can get her to eat. Keep you fingers crossed that that works. If it does, she doesn't have to go back to the vet.

She has been resting under Chris's desk. She just wants to feel hidden. She is so glad to be home though, and will crawl out to me every once in a while to be loved on. I think she really missed us.

Later that night:

I tried the sardines. and she definitely showed more interest in them than she has anything else. I rubbed the goo on her lips and she licked it off, and then ended up licking the fish for a minute or so before she gave up. A small step. After several hours at home, she hasn't eaten or drunk anything, so I guess she will go back to the vet tomorrow. Maybe that's for the best, although I am eager for her to not be acting so weird and it sounds like that won't happen until she gets the IV stuff out of her system. Anyhoo, Mary, thanks for the suggestion. I am going to try it again tomorrow...


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