Saturday, September 18, 2010

Go Kitten, Go!


The little cat that I found staggering alongside the road is still alive!

We have been terribly worried about him, but it looks like he may be on the road to recovery.

This tiny 3.75 pound cat may be as much as a year old, but he's a bag of bones. And unfortunately, his bones may be his biggest problem. At some point his pelvis was broken (he was probably hit by a car), and in the time since then, the pelvis healed in a distorted form. To put it bluntly, the vets were worried because his bones seemed to be obstructing his digestive system. He had a severe intestinal blockage, and could not defecate. The blockage, if not resolved, would have killed this kitten.

So, the poor little guy had every non-surgical treatment imaginable. We were feeding him stool softeners and mixing pumpkin puree into his wet cat food.

And we were waiting.

Otherwise, he was quite chipper. His stumbling gait had improved, so that he was able to walk without collapsing every few steps. He had some outdoor excursions. He snuggled in our laps.

And today, finally, he passed his blockage. He's exhausted from this, and is more stumbly than he had been earlier today. But he's on the mend.

(Please, keep any comments tasteful. It horrifies me to write about cat defecation on the blog, and I don't want to have to read unsavory poop comments.)


Gina said...

Yay, kitty! Yay, you! Did the vet say if anything can be done about the mis-aligned healed pelvis? Or will that not be as much of an issue in the future now that things are a bit more cleared?

You are remarkable; I adore you guys so very, very much -- your heart and elan and verve and endless energy to keep doing what is essential and important. You saved yet another little life! I am in awe... <3

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Oh Gina, you're so sweet!

Nothing, short of surgery, can help his shattered pelvis. It's been too long since the trauma.

We've already spent a staggering amount of money on this little dude, I can't spring for surgery.

However, the vet does say that the bones will continue to grow, so he won't have a kitten-sized messed up pelvis.

Cara said...

Is there concern about megacolon in his future, or is the physiological obstruction at a different point in his GI tract?

What are you calling him?

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Cara that is a concern. We're taking this one day at a time. I think that if he's not grooming himself to the point if baldness, due to flea infestation, and eating a ton of hair, and if he's getting plenty if fluids, he's got a chance at normal digestion.

But what do I know?

Becky said...

I followed your link from AQ. You're doing a great thing - taking in this kitten. The least I can do is give you my 2 cents as a veterinary surgeon...

Most of the time I find that stool softeners work very well in this situation, but you need to keep the stools very soft - almost pudding. Personally, I don't like to use pumpkin or other bulk forming laxatives because they increase the amount of stool the pet has to pass. If your kitten were presented to me for a consultation, I would recommend a highly digestible food (less fecal volume), which typically means a prescription food such as Purina EN or Iams Low Residue. Then for a stool softener, I like Miralax (the same one you but over-the-counter at the pharmacy). For a small cat I would use 1/8 tsp of the powder mixed into some canned food twice daily. The powder is odorless and tasteless, so cats take it well. If that amount isn't adequately softening the stools, it can be easily increased to 1/4 tsp - it has no adverse side effects other than making the stools too soft. The other key item is plenty of drinking water - you definitely don't want her to get dehydrated, because she will then try to reabsorb water from the stools, making them harder.

As far as whether surgery is even an option, I can't say, not having seen the radiographs.... but I hope the dietary advise is helpful.

Good luck!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Thank you Becky!

We'll back off on the pumpkin, and ask the vets about the low-residue foods.

At the moment, he's not drinking a lot of water, but his food is very moist. He's urinating in the litter box (hurray!) and his skin springs back when we scruff him. He had sub-cutaneous fluids administered at the vet over the past week.

Around here, we have very little summer rain (none, usually), so I was very concerned about his hydration.

I really don't want to go the surgical route, because it may end up costing a huge amount of money and causing fecal incontinence. Not a good choice for kitty, or for us!

We haven't named him, yet. Gotta see if he survives, and then what his personality is like.

We saw him play for the first time today, which was sweet.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear kitty is on the way! I wonder how long it had been since it last went, and so now at least things are moving around and the cat got rid of backed up poisons, and maybe some parasites as well. I would suggest giving it an uncooked egg, maybe every other day, it is very easy to digest, as well as will help the fur to grow back and be better for the cat. It is mindlessly cleaning itself because it is distraught- if it plays and lets you love it, that is BIG MEDICINE!


Martha said...

Would you consider setting up a kitty vet fund?

Anonymous said...

"Yay, you" indeed Lisa! :-)

I took in a stray once with health issues - she was a female who, according to the neighbors, had borne several litters prior to the time we moved to the area...we thought at first she was preggers again, but she actually was full of tumors and "pregnancy gone wrong" according to our vet. This vet volunteered to waive his fee to give Mittens surgery, as did one of his two assistants, so we paid only the incurred costs of anesthesia and the second assistant. (Needless to say, he was our vet until I moved away!) Mittens shrank down from looking like she had a soccer ball inside her to normal petite kitty size, and lived with us a few years until an unrelated neurological issue took her from us. Very sweet girl...used to sleep on my pillow, next to my head (this is when I learned I was allergic to cats!). Perhaps sharing your situation with the vet would prompt him/her to help out a bit, and I agree with a previous poster - I don't have much disposable income right now, but I'd contribute a few dollars to this kitty's care!

Kellyann Brown said...

Poor guy, he's been on my prayer list. Does he have a name?

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I just can't name him until I think he's going to survive. Right now we're calling him Little Dooooood.

Anonymous said...

What a good kitty parent you are. Thanks

Christine said...

I've been holding my breath since the first post, so it's nice to be able to exhale happily! Congrats so far and good on you!

MamaKin said...

It's so good to hear that little kitty doood is doing so well. He's such a cute little thing and I love that he wants to be with you. Looks like all your lovin' is paying off :D

Karen Anne said...


One of my rescue cats had the same problem as this cat.

Dr. Gary Brown of Fremont, CA came up with a new operation to help him.

My dim recollection is that the danger in operating is that there are nerves in that area. My also dim recollection is that Dr. Brown spread things out like wings or something.

Anyway, although i am a year late, if this is still a problem, I urge you to talk to Dr. Brown or have your vet talk to him. I believe this was such a new technique 20 odd years ago that Dr. Brown wrote it up in a journal. My cat lived a full life for 17-18 more years with no problem.


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