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Day in HELL -- Cat has Surgery

Posted on Friday Jul 15, 2005

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This day was our target day to be in Bahia de Los Angeles, but we are still in Santa Rosalia, about 130 miles south. Why spend 3 weeks in a noisy harbor where we can?¢â??¬â??¢t swim (too dirty) and each night we get about 100 high speed squid fishermen racing by 10 feet from the boat? Why? Cat vomit.

A few posts back we talked about getting blood tests for the cat because she hasn?¢â??¬â??¢t been 100% for a while. The results came back showing an elevated white blood cell count. Trying to follow the pathology of her chronic vomiting as a clue, Dr. Manual, the vet, guessed that she might have a form of Lymphosis. He also felt a small lump near her kidneys. He recommended exploratory surgery and a biopsy

After much thought, we decided to do it now while her health was still strong and she could recover from the procedure. However if she was riddled with tumors, then we decided to have her put to sleep instead of suffering more and dieing where we would be unable to get her help.

So at 8 am Jezebel went under the knife. At 10:30, almost an hour longer than the Dr. anticipated the surgery would take, he gave us the news. Jez had a large collection of hairballs in her intestines and colon: 10 big ones. He had to cut her intestines to remove them and from the size of the hair, we knew that they hade to be over 4 weeks old because we have been keeping her hair short for over a month to help keep her cool.

There was a funny discolored spot in her intestines, and he took a biopsy of that for analysis. But apparently she has been having these problems for some time. Now we are going to be extra careful with her!

We waited for the anesthesia to wear off, and waited and waited. After 6 hours, we finally saw some signs that she was trying to stir, so we decided to take her home and keep an eye on her. We had to roll her around every couple of hours to help with her blood circulation; unfortunately the most we could get out of her was a growl.

Worried about her getting over the dosage of drugs, we kept an eye on her in 2 hour shifts all night. Sherrell had a cat once, which was weak from an illness, suffer a stroke after an exploratory surgery and went into paralysis but later recovered. That memory fueled us to try to get Jez to snap out of it. Especially when the Dr. thought she would only be groggy one hour after the surgery! After 12 hours she finally started to try to move around. She was dazed, and staggering, like a zombie. It was tough watching her suffer.

After about 20 hours she finally seemed more normal, but she hadn?¢â??¬â??¢t slept and spent most of her time fighting against the stupor. A full 36 hours later she?¢â??¬â??¢s back! The grogginess is gone and she is starting to show some of her normal habits again. Manual, came down to the boat to check on her and give her an antibiotic injection (because her immune system is weak). He?¢â??¬â??¢s been great at helping us find Jez?¢â??¬â??¢s problem and very understanding.

Now she has to heal for about 9 more days before the stitches come out and we get the results of FIV and FEV tests on her blood. Hopefully the problem has just been with the hair blockages and she?¢â??¬â??¢ll continue being the happy cat we know for another 10 years.

So we?¢â??¬â??¢ll be in Santa Rosalia for another 10 days, much later than we planned. Keep your fingers crossed that no hurricanes head this way!