I sent a text with questions to my vet’s phone, but have not yet received word.
I will be making an appointment to see him this week, but would like some feedback/input.
Mia aka Booboo, my 3-week rescue feral from a storm drenched sewer, now my 17-year old companion, had been diagnosed with kidney and kidney disease and a thyroid condition in early 2019.
She was hospitalized in February of this year and was on fluids for six consecutive days. She made a recovery, but stopped eating her prescribed kidney food, which was presented to her in several different flavors and textures. The vet advised me to let her eat what she likes, regardless of being prescribed “kidney” formula.
Her appetite had been slowly dwindling for about the last two weeks, and last week she became lethargic and began sleeping on the floor in places where she typically never sleeps. We saw the vet where she was administered fluids the entire day and submitted for blood analysis to examine kidney function. The following day was a bad day. I was unable to locate her for hours and eventually found her underneath the sofa. She was laying on her side with her left paw hyperextended with paw in a supinated position. I moved her to her regular sleeping spot and her leg remained hyperextended. However, Within a few hours it appeared to be back to normal.
As directed, we returned for the same fluid administration the following morning and were advised to return the next morning. The vet said her kidneys weren't failing, but it was not looking good. When we returned from the vet that evening, she was wearing a catheter on her left leg and it was all downhill from there.
She was unable to get out of her carrier, stuck laying on her right side. I carefully lifted her out of the top flap and set her on the floor. She remained in the right side laying position as she attempted to use her left paw to get into the prone position. Even after laying her on a yoga pad, it was physically impossible seeing that her left leg was incapacitated by the catheter and accompanying bandages. She kept trying and it was draining her already weak body. I got her up, but again, she just fell right back over on her right side. A healthy Bengal Tiger would not have been able to get up with this incapacitation.
I called the vet, explained and was instructed to remove the catheter. I spent considerable time on this, was successful and able to stop the bleeding. I told the vet that after removal, the paw continued to be hyper-extended and supinated and was instructed to administer warm compresses to the leg. I was told there was a 4-6 hour wait time at the local emergency clinic, so I contacted my vet with this information and he instructed to administer water, “as much as you can,” orally via one of the small,1ml capacity injection syringes that I would use for administering her meds.
I have routinely administered her meds in the prone or sitting position. She was now stuck on her right side, extremely weak and exhausted, and I asked the vet for any special instructions. He advised doing the administration very slowly or the fluids could go into the lungs.
After slowly emptying one syringe through the teeth, I would rest a minute or two and in a period of about 10 minutes I had injected four syringes (4ml) total.
I went to another area about 10 feet away to answer my telephone and at this point I heard Mia gasping. I ran towards her as quickly as I could and put her skinny and frail body into the prone position between my knees with my hands on her shoulders. She kept gasping.
I did not know what to do and quite honestly it was the most helpless feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life. I literally felt her life ending in my hands. Exactly two gasps later she was unresponsive.
I had read about CPR and resuscitation in cats and dogs, but her body was simply too frail and skinny to make any attempts. I would have caused physical harm/damage. Within minutes, my precious Booboo stopped breathing.
I’ve been living with this scene rolling through my brain ever since and it brings tears to my eyes.
The following is part of the text I sent to my vet::
1) There was definitely something different with Mia’s left front leg and paw after I discovered her under the couch after searching for her for hours on Tuesday; hyper extension of the left leg and supination of the left paw.
2) Catheter on or catheter off, she was unable to get into the prone position, hence unable to locomote or even move out of the "lying on her side" position for that matter.
3) I had always administered medication, etc. in the sitting or prone position
4) Due to the paw incapacitation, I was forced to administer the fluids while she was on her side. I did this very slowly, as advised. I also put her head under a slight pillow to raise it just a bit.
1) Did water get into the lungs? And could this have been prevented considering her position and weak condition?
2) Was there anything that I could have done to save her during the gasping event.
3) What would Mia’s quality of life have been like two or thee weeks from now?
Thanks very much for reading.