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Rough day for pet owner

Posted by Marilou (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 11, 04 at 22:27

Hi everyone, I just need to talk. Ever have one of those days?

I awakened this morning to find my very dear kitty bloodied and dirty after being attacked by some sort of animal. Her jaw was broken, one leg broken, and a tooth broke off. She is a very beautiful cat and this discovery made the bottom fall out of my heart. I didn't know if she would have to be euthanized or what.

Long story short, she is still alive and in ICU at the university hospital, recovering from surgery and bite wounds. She isn't quite out of the woods yet, but things are looking hopeful.

This is traumatic to me on several levels, a big one of which is that she helped me survive the death of my husband. We have been through unspeakable pain together since I got her shortly after his death. She has given me another live body in the house. Someone to touch. Someone that loves me. Someone to talk to, to play with, to cuddle. And today, I was harshly reminded that her loving companionship could be lost.

I am sorrowful that she is in pain because of me, because I let her go outside. Her life was jeopardized by my own hand. I want to hold her near and dear and comfort her but can't because she isn't here. I feel the emptiness in the house and find myself looking for her out the corner of my eye. My head knows she'll be back, but tonight my heart aches.

Thanks for listening. [sniff]


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rough day for pet owner

gosh - so sorry to hear about your kitty. I pray every evening upon returning home that my babies will be *okay*. You just don't ever seem able to predict what they might get into (or what could get them). I'm so glad that you found her though, and that she's being cared for by a univ hospital - they're the best in my books.
Don't beat yourself up about letting her out - I'm certain you did it thinking you were making her happy. Cats sure do love to prowl - so instinctual. I always have to tell myself that if one of my fur-kids get injured and I somehow think that I contributed (even with the best of intentions), that there is no way to predict every situation. Just look forward to visiting with her and hope she gets back to the comforts of home soon.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Thank you, joules. It's comforting to hear. I got to see her this morning and she is in a lot of pain. They had just given her the last dose of morphine not long before I came, then are stopping it to see if she'll eat. She purred a little bit when I was petting her, and gave me a tail flick, but was still pretty out of it. She'll be in the hospital for awhile longer. Thanks again for your words of encouragement!


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

How very awful. My cats are my constant companions when I'm home and I fully understand how important they can be. I hope your kitty makes a satisfactory recovery.

michael


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Thank you, thank you.

The house seems so empty and quiet without her here. I am so grateful that she's alive!! She seems to be getting very good care at the university.

This is my first attempt at posting a photo, so I apologize in advance if it doesn't work. Most of the bite wounds aren't visible the way she is laying, except for on her mouth. Her jaw is wired so it looks funny.

Here is a link that might be useful: Day 2 at hospital


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

She does look rough! Must have used up a couple of her nine lives.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

I am glad that your kitty is alive and getting good care. I can really identify with what you and your cat are going through. She may have been attacked by a dog or got hit by a car, either way you are lucky that she is still alive. I lost several cats to a neighbor's dog who knew just where to bite them for instant death. I also had one precious cat to get hit by a car and survive, the others didn't. Keep us posted on her progress. I hope she will make a quick recovery.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Hope things are still going in a positive direction for your kitty. She looks so pitiful - but soooo sweet. Good luck - I'll be thinking of you two!


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Kitty had a setback today. She was discharged from the hospital at noon yesterday but hadn't take any food or water as of noon today. Nothing going in and nothing coming out either. She's wheezing and weaker today than yesterday.

I took her to the doctor and they gave her fluids and an appetite stimulant, and she's to come back tomorrow for a recheck. The good news is that tonight she finally took a big drink of water! I think it must hurt to move that jaw or she'd show more interest in food. The vet gave me some pureed cat food and I got her to lick a little off her "lip" but mostly she spit it out.

Thanks, everyone, for your support!!!


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

I had to liquify the food for one of my cats after she had emergency surgery for a retained kitten and spaying, because they permanently damaged her throat and/or esophagus with the anesthesia tube. I would take regular cat food that she liked and make it a liquid and put a little in her mouth with a syringe. I didn't make it too runny but just liquid enough that it would go through the syringe. You might want to try that. She got to where she would lick the liquified food herself but I had to make sure she only got a small amount at a time or she would choke until she passed out and we did this for the rest of her life, which was about 2 years. I hope this helps you to get her to eat something. Good luck.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

My cat "Tuna" had a nasty virus and I made her a soup out of ham baby food and pedialyte. I used a baby bottle to put drops of pedialyte on her lips and whisker which she would then lick off. As you probably know cats have to have daily liquid or they won't make it.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Michael, you made me chuckle with your comment about using up a couple of her nine lives. Thank you!

And Judith, you sound like such a devoted "mother" to your kitty. Bless your heart!

And now, I have good news! You know how some days the basics are worth celebrating? Well, today I celebrate that she used the litter box! And, finally, she ate! She just hates being put in her crate now after six days in a row of vets. The vet said she might not have been eating because she developed congestion and couldn't smell the food. Plus, she was taking her medicine on an empty stomach which causes nausea. Tonight, she licked pureed cat food from my finger. Yay!

Uh, now the bad news. Her toes are cold, the ones on the broken leg, so she isn't getting circulation. I'm supposed to massage it but she's so tender that I wonder if it'll be enough to get the blood flow going. Lots of nursing going on in this house!

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions and support!! :o)


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Just reading about your poor kitty! I'm so sorry, I can't imagine how scared you must have been. Sounds like you are taking good care of her, hope her circulation gets going. I'll keep her in my thoughts.

ginger


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Thanks, Ginger. :o)

The circulation is now going! She is growing new skin where the old died on her leg, where the worst bite was. The vet rehospitalized her this weekend out of concern for infection, her circulation, and dying tissue, so I've been spending lots of time there helping feed and comfort her. (She still needs to be fed by hand.) The bandage changes are really uncomfortable for her, but each time I see her she looks a little better. The univ. hospital had warned that the bite wound on her leg would look worse before it looked better. Boy were they right!

I took this picture today, right after lots of medical procedures had been done so she was grouchy. Her foot looks odd because it's swollen, but the really yucky stuff isn't visible because of the bandage. If anyone's squeemish, you might not want to look at it.

It really helps to know you all are interested in how she's doing and to be able to come here and talk about it. Thank you, everyone, for your presence here!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Day 9, back in hospital


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Ahh, she looks ready for round 2 with whatever it was. Nice to see she is doing so well.

: )
michael


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Your sense of humor is much appreciated, michael!


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Dear Marilou,
I know EXACTLY what you mean when say this is traumatic on many levels. I had a dog and 2 cats that went thru moving, and live-in-(and otu)boyfriends, losing a job...all that and more.
You are so good to your kitty and she WILL be grateful and loving for all your care. And don't feel too guilty....I almost ran over my dog...she was under the tire, I was in a rush, backed up and felt something and the I heard the screams! (I don't like to think about those screams). Talk about your heart dropping into your stomach. She had to have major surgery and lots of care. It was horrible.
But she made it.

Hang in there and give Kitty some extra lovin' from a dog and cat lover...and please tell her she is a MOST BEAUTIFUL KITTY CAT!!
Sincerely,
June Lynn


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

I talked to her in my mushy kitty voice and let her know that you sent your regards. And she purred! :o)

She's back home again and now starting to get her old personality back, so I think she's rallying. She's eating and drinking and using the litter box. She purrs but hasn't started chirping yet. Probably still too sore for that. And she wants to jump, which is a big no-no as the splint had to be removed from her leg to preserve circulation and get skin growing back. I tell you, I didn't think there was much that could smell worse than poop, but dead tissue makes poop smell like roses!

Yes, it's time for me to go do some more mushy kitty talk while I slip a much-hated pill down her throat! "You're such a sweetie, yes you are--HACK HACK GAG COUGH SPIT--Okay one more time here sweetie--GAG SPIT GROWL GLARE GULP!"

Yup, her personality is coming back. ;-)


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Ask the vet first but I would think you could soak that leg in epsom salts to help the dead skin fall off and it will let the infections be drawn out. I used a drinking cup before to soak an injured kitties leg and it healed so well the vet exclaimed in delight. That was a cat that jumped up on my car tire in an attempt to keep me from leaving and got her leg run over. These days my girl cats live inside and are afraid of the outside.

Just wondering is her name "kitty"? Nice to have a positive progress report on her!

: )
michael


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

It might be safe to say that she is now up to three or four steps forward and one back. :o) She must have felt good enough in the night Tuesday night that she tried--and failed at--jumping. The vet checked the leg and pronounced her stable which I found amazing because all sorts of gunk started oozing out of her bandages. Man, I'm so glad I don't have to do the bandage changes!!! The smell makes me sick to my stomach, and I'm not usually the queasy type.

The wound on her leg is really something. There is just a centimeter or so of skin holding the upper body skin to the lower leg skin. The rest has no skin at all and is a band of exposed tissue about an inch wide that almost completely circles the leg except for that one centimeter area. Reminds me of a severe burn. The vet says skin is starting to "granulate" back into the area, which is a good sign. They don't know if she'll have fur there or not. All that tissue loss over a few puncture wounds!

She chirped to me this morning, and the congestion is almost gone!! :-D


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Marilou,

Wow! What a trial for you both.

I know exactly how you feel. I had a rough spot with one of my dogs a couple of years ago, and it was really taxing, both emotionally and financially.

She's lying in the doorway of my office, where she usually camps out when I'm on the computer, I guess making sure that I'm protected and she knows where I am.

The other one? She's protecting the pillows on my... er... her, bed. :-)


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

After lots and lots of feline nursing, kitty's almost back to her old self now. Yay! She got her bandage off and the doc is waiting to see if a scab will form on the leg wound where she was bitten. The skin isn't done filling in but at least the bone and muscles no longer show. What a close call for her and a horrible lesson for me.

Don't look at the picture if you're squeamish.

I feel like I've missed out on things around here but I'm hoping to be back regularly within a couple weeks, after kitty gets the wire removed from her jaw. (It's sticking out the underside of her chin now). Thank you all again for your support, especially bunnyman. It's been so helpful to me!

Here is a link that might be useful: On the mend


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Sorry, Marilou that I missed this. Your kitty looks so well.

I had a dog that something happened to, another story, but her leg was wired and plated together. I remember the bandage changes, and decided then I would do this, but I was not cut out to be a nurse. Only for my pets.

Wishing you the best.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

She looks like a pretty happy cat.

: )
michael


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

No kidding about the nursing bit, Walks. I've had enough trouble with the cat, I don't know how nurses manage to do it for a living!

Yep, she's back to feeling pretty happy again. My vet tech daughter says that in her eight years of practice, kitty's the only cat she's ever been able to do bandage changes on without another person holding the cat. Kitty just laid there, occasionally expressing her displeasure but resigned to being messed with. Maybe kitty thinks if she could survive the possum, she can survive a bandage change. :-)


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Want an update. How is she doing, Marilou?


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Aw, I'm touched that you asked, Walks. :o) I went straight for the camera after getting your message.

She's got a scab (yay!) and the size of the bite wound opening shrank by half today and will probably do so again tomorrow. The leg bone is nearly knitted but the ligaments for her foot aren't done getting back into shape. So when she puts weight on that foot (about half the time now), the foot (ankle?) collapses backward. The fur is more visible now too. :o) The leg is still mishapen though, and tender.

It's been five weeks now, but she outlasted the possum by four!


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RE: Rough day for pet owner2

And being the female that she is, she was self-conscious about her appearance in that last picture and wanted another one of her looking "prettier." ;o) She also says to tell you she's putting a little weight back on after dropping to seven pounds, and that her mommy is also doing better, thank you very much for asking.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

This was a good morning update! I had a pup once that tore his ACL in his rear leg. After surgery, he had a cast/splint on for a long time. The splint positioned his leg very straight and it caused his achilles tendon to atrophy. Then, after quite a bit of physical therapy, the tendon became very weak. He never did hold that leg quite right (it extended too far backwards), but it didn't slow him a bit! Glad kitty is doing so much better and hope this doesn't slow her a bit either!


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She looks happy and content. Just love that black smudge from her eye to nose. Tooo cute.

I have found their hair grows back so slowly, despite the heavy shedding. You would think the opposite. When my male cat had part of his leg shaved for an IV, it took six months before I could not see the spot.

So glad she is doing so well.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

Thanks, Walks. Although the photos don't show it real well, the smudge reminds me of the markings on a cow. You know, like the Gateway computer boxes?

You're right about the hair being slow to grow. I'm busy shaving the hair off mine while waiting for hers to grow! Shouldn't it be the other way around?? :o)


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

I just came upon you post and am so happy that kitty made it ok. What a nursing job you did. I think sometimes our pets are harder to care for than people. People can talk but we have to interpret what we think our furballs are saying. Hope you both have a long happy time together.


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RE: Rough day for pet owner

LOL, Minnie! Loved your reference to furballs. :o) Thanks for your post.

The dog just started taking medicine for Doggy Alzheimers, plus I take a couple meds myself, so between the three of us (dog, cat, and me), we're starting to sound like a bunch of old fogeys with all our medicines.

The cat is getting the wire removed from her jaw soon, possibly next week. That should slow her down from all the JUMPING she's been trying to do against doctor's orders! The trouble is, she tries to jump and misses and has taken three spills in the last couple of days--not good for a broken leg. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she hasn't reinjured the leg, which *finally* has skin again.

Sometimes I think interpretting what the furballs are saying is half the joy of pet ownership. You know, putting words in their mouth when they have funny expressions on their faces? :oD


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