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Leila and Me

A semi-tripawd cat's story so far…

Leila and Me

Recovery Continued

August 24th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Hi Tripawds and Pawrents

All is still good on the health front.  We are totally cage free!  Although at 6am today I was debating the benefits of having Leila sleep in the cage.  For: It eliminates the sunrise playtime (hence me being awake at 6am), Against: Milo likes to cuddle with someone when he sleeps, if Leila is not available then I’m next in line and for a very small cat, he manages to take up at least half of the bed.  If only we had a house with doors instead of open-plan!

You can see that Leila’s fur is growing back nicely.  She is using her bad leg a bit more as well, but not all the time.  I will give her some more time, but I am concerned about her being in pain.  She doesn’t show any pain – but we all know that cats hide it well.  She is playing and chasing with Milo and seems happy.  I suppose I will have to watch her and see what happens.  I have researched joint supplements but while she is still on the medication from her illness, I won’t introduce anything new to her diet.  I am also going to look into keeping the elbow warm in the winter, maybe a coat or something?

If only they would both look at the camera at the same time!

If only they would both look at the camera at the same time!

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In other news…

Since I can’t work in Canada yet, I have been volunteering at an animal shelter.  When I started there were 32 cats and kittens, now there are around 25.  Some have found homes.  I have to remember to be happy for the cats when they go to their forever home.  There is always that little selfish part which will miss them, but I know it’s much better for them to be in a home.  I called in today to see the new kittens who arrived on Friday afternoon and I was sad to see that one of the cats who was rehomed a couple of weeks ago has been returned.  It was because the family’s dogs did not like her, but it’s still sad.  She is a lovely, sweet cat.  One of the ones I would actually consider taking to go with Milo and Leila.  If I was allowed another cat (lol).  There are also two older cats who are new to the shelter, the (neutered) male is incredibly nervous and this is manifesting as aggression.  They are in a separate room to the other cats because they are waiting for booster vaccines, but the male is currently unapproachable.  He hisses and growls, and has charged at some staff members.  He has shown some improvement since arriving last Wednesday, but it’s slow going.  I wonder if anyone here has a similar experience?  I know there are quite a few members who also foster animals.  I will have a look on the forums, but as he’s neither my cat, nor a tripawd, I’m not sure I should start a topic about him.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well.

Leila and Emily (and Milo)


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Bouncing back

August 17th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Today started with the lovely sound of Leila meewing that she is starving to death.  I think all cat owners will understand that miaow, but in case anyone doesn’t it just means that it is nearly breakfast time and she is hungry.  I’m pretty sure starvation is days away, but Leila isn’t so sure.  I haven’t heard it for almost a week so I was very happy. Leila has a lot more energy today and has wanted to be out of her box and play with some cat toys.  She didn’t sleep as much today as yesterday.  The recovery is going well.

I have noticed that she is using her bad leg less than she was, but then I haven’t done any physio since she has been sick and she hasn’t been moving as much either.  I did some work with her today and hopefully being more mobile will help get us back on track with that recovery.  She doesn’t seem to be in any pain from it so I’m not too worried, and I did see her using it a bit and also putting weight on it when she was washing.

Just a short post this time.  Overall we are very happy – all four of us!

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There will be a good ending to this post!

August 15th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

There will be a good ending to this post!

So we took Leila to the big city hospital (very nice I must say).  They gave her another transfusion and ran some more blood tests.  She spent a night and a day there.  Just like our local vets, all the staff said how lovely and sweet she is (proud pawrent here) how she actually purred when they took out her needles from her transfusion and IV fluids.  I’m sure she knows that the people are trying to help her.  I’m also pretty sure that she told me she was going to be ok before I left her, but maybe I make up our conversations…

Her blood tests after her transfusion showed a big improvement, although the vets are still unable to say exactly what was the cause without a lot more testing.  She has to take vitamin K in the morning and antibiotics in the evening, vitamin K in case it is rat poison and antibiotics in case it’s an infection. There are also a few more shaved patches – I think she’s going for the poodle look.  I was able to collect Leila that evening.  It was the furthest I have driven since coming to Canada, with no sat nav, not a great map and on the wrong side of the road (for me).  It makes the journey more interesting.  Anyway, we made it home with no problems and she is very happy to be here.

The next day we went to the local vets to check her blood levels and she is back within the normal range!  We will get another blood test next week to confirm that everything is still going well.

Leila has yet another long recovery ahead of her. Craig and I have both had dengue fever, which has very similar symptoms in terms of low red blood count and lack of clotting.  The feeling is of being incredibly low on energy.  The lack of oxygen caused by low red blood cells (which transport oxygen around the body) can make you feel very short of breath and the smallest task can leave you shattered and needing a lie down.  Leila is sleeping a lot, which is good.  She is now eating a good amount.  The vets recommended beef flavoured soft food as this has a higher iron content than fish.  She is also drinking more water, which again is good for her recovery.  She is back in her box, which she doesn’t mind because she can sleep without Milo trying to play with her.  She is too tired to fight him off and he doesn’t understand that she is not well.  Clearly he can’t recognise illness well as he can pain.  Leila will probably be tired for around a week, but she lets me know when she is ready to come out of her box.

Thank you to everyone who sent us supportive comments.  It really helps me, and I tell Leila that everyone is thinking of her.

Home safely

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Update

August 12th, 2015 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Just a quick update…

Leila was very bad yesterday morning, she collapsed and vomited blood.  I rushed her back to the local vets where they put her on IV fluids and gave her a blood transfusion.  She spent the night there so that they could continue with the IV and monitor her.  She is also continuing the vitamin K injections.  She is feeling much better and has even eaten a little bit.

The problem could be that this is a ‘false high’ caused by the blood transfusion.  Our small local vets do not have the equipment to check her clotting levels or perform more indepth tests that would give them a clearer idea of what is going on with her.  They have recommended that we take her to the city (about 1 1/2 hour drive) to their big veterinary hospital.  They have 24 hour staff and facilities to do all the tests she would need, also they will be able to match her blood type so that she is able to receive more transfusions if necessary. ( Pawrents may or may not know that cats and dogs get one ‘free’ transfusion, where they can accept any blood type, after that the blood should be matched to the animals blood type or it can cause problems, Leila had her free one yesterday.)  The vets here are hoping that she will only stay one night on IV and then be able to come home.  It could also be that her body is not yet making enough red blood cells to fight this on her own, she could go downhill again and if that happens she would need further transfusions until she is stronger.  My local vets do not have the facilities to deal with it if that happens, hence their recommendation to move her.

I will update again when there is news.  I am being positive and expecting good news.  She is so tough with everything she has been through.  I really appreciate all the positive comments I have received from everyone out there.

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Up, Out and Down again

August 10th, 2015 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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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