Four weeks ago a very sick one year old cat came to our clinic. The cat had a two week history of vomiting, poor appetite and lethargy. The owner, being of limited resources decided to euthanize. Because she was so young the clinic elected to take on the care for the kitty we named Cindy, in the hopes of giving her a second chance.
Cindy’s initial x-rays looked unremarkable, but her blood work showed signs of severe, acute kidney failure. We began to treat her right away! Despite treatment, Cindy still seemed depressed and continued to refuse to eat. We repeated her x-rays and discovered that she had developed signs of peritonitis (an inflammatory condition of the abdomen). It was unclear what the cause was, but according to a radiologist she needed an exploratory surgery as her x-rays were suggestive of an obstructive pattern.
Thinking we were going to find an object in her bowels causing an obstruction, we were very surprised to find no such thing. Instead, we found severe peritonitis secondary to necrotizing pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas, which is in charge of blood sugar control and producing digestive enzymes. Cindy unfortunately had a very severe form. After flushing out her abdomen with saline multiple times and taking biopsy samples to confirm our suspicion, we placed a feeding tube to ensure she received her daily caloric intake.
Then it was time for the hard work! Necrotizing pancreatitis is a very difficult disease to fight. It requires a lot of resources and a great deal of hospital care. The staff here at Amherst stepped up to challenge, volunteering on the weekends to feed Cindy via her tube at least 6 times per day, administering up to ten medications several times throughout the day and of course, providing lots of love! Unfortunately, her prognosis at that point was guarded to poor.
It has now been three weeks after her surgery and countless hours of intensive care. We are so happy to report that we have a very loving one year old cat on our hands. Every day Cindy grows stronger. Her appetite has finally returned and she is eating on her own! She continues to show us new sides of her unique personality. She is a very chatty cat, talking to us all day. She loves to curl up in a chair, or even better on someone’s lap to take a nap; she especially loves tummy rubs! Cindy is very playful and will make a toy out of almost any item. Everyone here has grown very fond of Cindy during her recovery; the whole staff at Amherst pulled together as a team and saved this kitty’s life. It was an amazing experience with such a fabulous outcome. She is now enjoying her forever home with our Dr.Loretta Yuen.