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Leila and Me

A semi-tripawd cat's story so far…

Leila and Me

Up, Out and Down again

August 10th, 2015 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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We had a great couple of weeks.  Leila’s leg is healing wonderfully.  She is using it more and more each day and her elbow joint movement is improving all the time.  She has even started coming outside, something she hasn’t done (by choice) in around 4 years.

Milo has always liked going outside.  In Thailand we lived at the end of a little dirt track with mostly only small motorbikes and scooters owned by the other occupants of our building coming and parking near us.  This has meant that he is completely unused to traffic, and, not being the smartest cat out there, would most likely get hurt or killed on the road which now passes our home in Alberta, Canada.  Despite this, he is still desperate to go outside.  After a few escapes which involved him breaking through the window and door screens, I decided to compromise and let him out with a harness and 10m rope.  Usually supervised as well.  I leave our screen door open when we go outside so that he can run back inside if he gets scared (it happens).  With Leila’s cage rest finished last Monday, she was lose in the apartment and decided that she would come out too.  I don’t use a harness with her.  Partly because her leg is fragile and I am worried about causing damage, but mostly because I know she won’t go too far.  She is quite timid and so far hasn’t been more than about 4 metres from the door.  Despite this, she has been having a lovely time, chasing crickets and lying in the sun.  It’s lovely to see her jumping and pouncing using all of her legs.  I keep meaning to take some pictures of her.

Last night after playing outside she didn’t eat all of her dinner.  This in itself is not unusual, she often leaves a few biscuits (kibbles?) and I try to move them before Milo gets them, because he is a greedy little boy with a tendency towards chubbiness.  She also didn’t join us on the sofa before bed.  Again, not totally foreign and I didn’t really pick up that there was anything wrong.  I have continued to put Leila in her cage to sleep, mostly to avoid the 5am playtime which I am worried might get a bit rough and hurt her.  She hasn’t seemed to mind sleeping in there and she has her water and litter tray as well as a nice pillow and blankets to sleep on.  This morning she had been sick (apologies for the graphic description to follow).  A combination of last nights dinner, some grass and crickets, and a bit of hair.  Again, not unheard of.  She has always eaten bugs and small animals (gekkos were a favourite in Thailand) and she often sicks them up again.  Doesn’t stop her eating more of them.  But I also noticed blood in, and on the edge of her litter tray.  Firstly, blood is unusual, but also that she had made no attempt to cover it.  She refused her usual food.  She refused the tuna and tuna water I offered her, then I knew something was bad.

She is at the vets now.  They said it could be one of three things; poisoning – usually caused by ingesting a dead mouse or rat which has eaten the poison; a blood parasite – often caused by mosquitos; or something else which I can’t remember now.  They focused on the poison and gave her some vitamin K.  They were too scared to take a blood sample straight away because she was so pale that they were worried her blood would not clot.  The said they would wait an hour and do a little swab.  I checked around the outside of our home, in all the places she went yesterday evening.  I can’t see any signs of dead animals and I would be very surprised if our landlords, who share out plot of land, would use poison as they have 2 dogs themselves, one of which is an outside dog.

I’m waiting for a phone call now.  I’m very worried. She’s such a small cat that even small amounts of poison could affect her more than an average sized cat.  I’m keeping an eye on Milo.  He seems fine.  He has eaten and drunk this morning and he is acting normally (for him).  I think I might take him in with me when I go back to the vets, just to get them to check him as well.

I will update as soon as I have some news.


15.30 – Update

The vets were fairly sure from the blood test results that she has ingested some kind of rodenticide (mouse and rat killer).  I have absolutely no idea how this has happened. I have searched and found no trace of dead rodents that she could have eaten. I am waiting to speak to our landlords when they get home, I doubt it came from them, given their dogs and knowledge that our cats go outside sometimes.  They should also check their dogs for signs. Our nearest neighbors are pretty far away for a dying rodent to reach us.

In other thoughts, rodenticides are a pretty barbaric way for anything to die. The poison prevents blood from clotting, causing the animal to slowly bleed to death from the inside out. Hopefully we caught Leila in time, but the vet said she could still go downhill.  Again, I’m grateful that I am not able to work yet so that I didn’t have to wait to take her to the vets, and so that I can be here to monitor her.  I need to check that her breathing is regular – it is a bit rapid, due to her low red blood count limiting the amount of oxygen she is getting but as long as it doesn’t get any worse she is ok.  Also the poor girl is back in the cage because she can bruise very easily, which could cause damage.  She hasn’t eaten or drunk anything yet, but seems a little brighter, probably from the vitamin K beginning to work.  I have to give her 2 vitamin K injections twice a day for the next 6 weeks to ensure all of the poison is out of her system.  They recommend Milo gets the injections as well because we don’t know where the poison came from or how much there was.  Not all animals show symptoms.

For some reason Leila has decided to lie in her litter tray (which I have just cleaned out, washed and refilled), rather than on her pillow.  I will let her stay where she is comfortable.

Fingers crossed for her – yet again.  I will update when there is more news.  There should be improvement by tomorrow.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • jerry

    Oh no! I hope everything turns out ok. Keep us posted, we will be waiting for an update.

  • Codie Rae

    So.Not.Fair! Just when things were going so well! Sending lots of tripawd strength and we have all Lucky 13 paws crossed here for Leila’s speedy recovery.

    Martha, Codie Rae, and the Oaktown Pack

  • trisheebs

    Hope everything will be ok! Our thoughts are with you and your kitties

  • benny55

    Geez…the blog started out so well! The title let me know that something was amiss though.

    As Codie Rae said, this is just So.Not.Fair!

    No one could be on more top of this than you! Because you know Leila so well and because you acted quickly, she does have a good chance!

    I’m so glad she seems to feel a bit better. She’s home…home with you and Milo…that in itself is healing.

    We are all sending out pawsitive energy for sweet Leila…and lots of love and hugs!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

    And yeah, those kinds of poisons should be banned for so many reasons!

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