Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pregnant cat

I thought this was going to be simple; her owner phoned first thing asking for financial help because she was unsteady and didn't seem to be able to lift her tail. This is commonly the result of an infected bite near the base of the tail, which usually responds well to antibiotics, so I authorised £50 for first aid at the closest private vet, with the owner to transfer her to the RSPCA clinic tomorrow morning if further treatment was needed.

Turns out she's almost certainly been hit by a car, and she's currently not able to work the muscles that should expel urine from her bladder, so she needs inpatient treatment with periodic manual emptying of the bladder. The second problem is that she's very heavily pregnant and near term. More or less the same set of abdominal muscles are responsible for pushing out kittens... so she'll have to have a caesarian. The muscle problems may or may not clear up with time - there's nothing the vets can do other than supportive treatment as it depends on whether the nerves which control the muscle have been destroyed beyond recovery or just damaged and capable of regrowth. If she doesn't get back enough function to control her own bladder there's really no option other than euthanasia, as it will eventually damage her kidneys.

When all this was explained to her owner, his immediate reaction was to ask for her to be put down straight away. The nurses didn't want to do this and persuaded him to sign the cat over. One of the vets has kindly offered to do the caesarian in her own time (to keep costs for us as low as possible) and the nurses will then take it in turns to foster her together with the kittens to give them all at least a fighting chance.

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