But she's fighting this- she wants to go home safe and sound as much as we want her to...
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
But she's fighting this- she wants to go home safe and sound as much as we want her to...
Her temp is up to 99 degrees- that is wonderful since it was 97.5 earlier! They are still giving her fluids- they seem to be helping.
She just vomitted a decent amount of food. As horrible as that sounds, that too may be a good thing because she may have just moved that lodged food off of her lungs, at least some of it.
The surgeon who did her PRAA surgery is going to insert the feeding tube in the morning. There was a reason given for this, but heck if I can remember it now.
Just to make sure everyone understands- the staff at this hospital has been wonderful. The surgeon did a kickbutt job at fixing her PRAA and she did survive the surgery and the initial recovery. I DO question them feeding her the wrong food last night- mistakes do happen, but they shouldn't happen at this level of hospitalization.
Will keep you posted!
They are going to put her on IV fluids asap as well as insert a feeding tube directly so she can be fed that way.
I am sad and mad and afraid, all bundled into one. I wonder if the techs feeding her regular wet kitten food, without any water, caused this. I don't know how much more this is going to cost- I thought we would break even- but it doesn't look possible. Even moreso- I was told my kitten SURVIVED surgery and now what???
I am very upset. And worried.
Today started great. We got up around 8 AM, called the vet hospital and we were told Neala is doing great- can we pick her up at 10 AM? No problem!
We eat breakfast, we pack up the hotel room, pack up the car. We almost checked out, but I wanted to be able to come back if needed- for whatever reason, so we didn't.
We drove down to the vet and waited for Neala. The vet tech that was checking her out said that they were feeding her kitten food, without watering it down, and she was still vomitting some of it up, but that was to be expected. I asked if she wasn't receiving Science Diet A/D and pointed out that everything I have read said it needed to be watered down to allow the esophagus to heal. The tech said that nope, they were giving her the SD Kitten and it wasn't being watered down.
I chalked it up to different opinions and took Neala and got in the car.
The moment I put my hand in her carrier to check on her, I began to worry. She felt COOL to me. Sphynxes should NEVER feel COOL to the touch. This is a very warm breed of cat. They should feel like a warm water bottle.
I was also shocked that she looked like a skeleton- I thought while on the IV and while being fed that she would at least maintain the weight she came in with, but I chalked it up to major surgery and figured things would be okay.
We went back to the hotel room since the tech said it was time for her to eat and I put her on my heating pad and fixed up Science Diet, A/D, with water mixed in. She came out and ate a little, but she just looked... bad. Her breathing seemed labored- to ME- she was open mouthed breathing from time to time.
I hate to say this, but I have seen kittens die and to me, she looked like a kitten that was going to die.
I called MY vet to ask if this was normal- my vet said no, call the surgical center. I called the surgical center and they said to bring her back in.
So we rushed her back in and I sat in the waiting room... And waited... And waited...
I will cut through the suspense for you- basically, her body temperature is 97.5 degrees. The vet did not think that was too low- I do. I've owned this breed for over five years now. Normal body temperature for a cat seems to be between 99 degrees and 101.5 degrees. So this WAS a low temperature in a VERY small kitten.
I mentioned that she was being fed SD Kitten and wasn't keeping it down- the vet said she should be receiving A/D. I told him she wasn't- per the tech- and per the open can of food they sent home with me. So then I asked for her glucose to be checked- it was a little high, but the vet did not seem concerned.
I asked about her labored breathing- he said he didn't think it was labored, but that the open mouthed breathing was probably due to basically heart burn from the esophagus being enflamed.
I asked what he would do if she was his kitten- he said he'd err on the side of caution and leave her overnight.
Bottom line- Neala was checked out and then she was checked right back in. We are leaving her there until tomorrow morning. She sounds stable, but not stable enough for ME to make a 7 hour drive with her.
So I worry... I KNOW this is major surgery and I'm sure if I was just bringing her straight home and keeping her warm, I might not be so paranoid, but I am. Oh, I am.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Grabbing it, "Hello?". My heart was pounding, my stomach twisting.
"Yes, is this 'Neala's Mom'?"
"Yes, this is."
SMALL TALK- it's my bane in these situations. I don't care for small talk.
"This is Dr Morgan. How are you doing?"
Really? How do you THINK I'm doing? I just want to know how NEALA is doing.
"Oh good, thanks." (Yeah, if good means having one's heart in one's throat- I'm good!)
"She's out of surgery and she's recovering just fine."
THAT is what I WANTED TO HEAR!!!!
Okay, so she seemed to have a hard time coming right out of the surgery, but that was due to her size and the fact that she got a little cold (mind you- they have heated surgery tables, this thing they wrap them in post operative to keep them warm and all of these other cool warming devices- but Neala isn't a typical size for their patients. Much harder to keep a tiny thing warm!). BUT once they managed to get her nice and cozy, I guess, she bounced back really fast and she is recovering nicely now!!!
And she might even come HOME TOMORROW!!!
Will keep you updated. Don't stop thinking and praying- recovery is still a scary stage. I will pop in tonight to visit her as long as I'm allowed.
This center was gorgeous- it had a kids' play area with toys and blocks and plenty of seating. We were ushered into an exam room and ended up waiting only a little while for a vet tech to come and check us in.
The tech was immediately lovey with Neala. That always gives me a positive feeling- when the staff is hands-on and loving, you always feel more confident. Since Neala found her purr last night, she has not stopped purring. The tech had to literally turn on the water to get Neala to stop purring for her to obtain a heart rate.
Oh, she purred and purred and purred and cuddled and purred.
We are 15 minutes from walking out the door to the surgeon and what is hopefully the rest of her life.
Will update after we drop her off.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Okay, so Mom said it's okay for me to share this with you guys... It isn't finished yet, but this SWEET WONDERFUL LADY, Shannon, is painting this portrait of me... Well, it's kinda a mixture of me and my brother since she used my brother's picture, but is using my colors- and let's admit it, my colors are fantastic, aren't they?
Anyways, when it's finished, it will be auctioned off to help with my hospital bills! It's almost the weekend- Mom says she hopes time flies by!
And Mom also snapped a quick video of me... I think it's kinda ridiculous because I DON'T sound like that!
Let me see if I can get the contest link to work for you...
Also, Neala now has a pretty index page to her site- and we are looking for other PRAA kitties, puppies, whatever you have, to add their stories- positive and not-so positive.
If the contest link does not open- you can get there from the index of her site. Like Neala said, if you donated, if you didn't donate, if you wanted to send positive thoughts because you can't (or even don't WANT to) donate- you can enter! Everyone deserves a chance for this cute pendant!
If you have donated since noon yesterday, I have added you into the contest. Since there have been some quirks, I just figured to get you guys in anyways :)
Also, please check out Fazio's Jewelry's Facebook page- she makes gorgeous Bengal cats, Savannah cats, and Sphynx pendants, but she's quickly making more breeds (and I'm pretty sure she is figuring out how to make a domestic shorthair and longhair without offending anyone (ie 'I want stripes!' 'I want spots!').
I've heard there are some issues with Paypal- let me look into that. It may be the link I screwed up, I don't know. Gaaah!
Our email is PRAAKitty@gmail.com. You can email me directly with any issues or I think donate directly through Paypal through the email.
But let me repeat- you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE TO WIN THE PENDANT. Hee hee. Just takes ONE entry and if you email me and ask to be added to the contest, I'll add you- you never know ;)
Thursday, June 24, 2010
AND- please enter my contest! Honestly, you don't have to donate a dime, but please post on Fazio's site- she is a really nice lady and made the cutest Sphynx pendant. Did you know she used my Daddy as her model? Yeah, she really did!
Here is the contest link:
Even if you don't love Sphynxes- and let's be honest, would I let you on my site if you didn't?- it is such a cute cat that you could always give it to someone as a gift!
Mom said it's time to tell you about this neat contest they are having over on my webpage and on Facebook! Basically, if you have donated some of that crazy green stuff, if you were planning on donating, or if you just were able to send purrs and love and thoughts my way, you can enter! Check it out- but follow the rules!
Fazio's Cat Pendant Contest
Mom picked up some grosssss medicine that is helping clear up my poops, so I'm glad!
Oh, anyways- you want to see something cool? Do ya?
That's me! My innards! Really, isn't that neat? You can see my skull and my... esophagus-thingy majig. Mom says it shouldn't look like a balloon- she says that you can see the stricture on the second set of xrays pretty clearly. That's where my aortic arch is making it hard for me to swallow solids and keep them down.
Anyways, enough updates for now!
MOOOOMMMMM.... She says I need to work on my manners, can you IMAGINE that? Me?
Oh, that NG tube thing she had mentioned before? It's a no-go. The doctor said not to bother with it, just get in for surgery. Do you think this surgery is going to hurt? Oh, I hope not! I'm no good with pain! Then again, if I can eat that Felidae my brothers and sisters are eating- it might be worth a LITTLE pain, doncha think?
That's my morning update, but I promise updates tonight and pictures! See ya later!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
She said my surgery is scheduled for Tuesday and that we are in for a long ride, but that it's worth it.
She's been crying, but it's happy crying, so she says it's okay.
First, if I forget to email one of you or don't respond to your question- please, it's not intentional. I am calling vet schools and surgeons, responding to as many emails as I can, working on Neala's website and this blog, and just trying not to forget something and drop one of these balls I'm juggling...
I feel miserable. My head is throbbing and I'd like to spend a day with the blanket thrown over my head. Just spoke to UC Davis, hoping to get a significantly lower price on surgery, and they said it's $4000-$5000, plus a couple hundred more for the post-op xrays.
BUT I'd like to welcome the bloggers from the Cat Blogosphere :) You are very welcome to sit down, share your stories, and hopefully, we will be able to visit your sites very soon!
I just wanted to take the time to say welcome and let you guys know- if something gets dropped, it's totally on me, but not intentional.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
What is the condition Neala has?
Neala has Persistent Right Aortic Arch- it happens during embryonic development where archs attached to the heart are supposed to drop away. Instead, one of them encircled her esophagus and therefore, when she was weaned onto solid foods, it made it impossible for her to keep them down. Even very watered down wet food does not stay down- not even Science Diet A/D. So right now, she is on a diet of kitten glop... While it is giving her nutrition, it is not a long term solution and it is not giving her the calories she needs to play as hard as her siblings nor to fill out as much as her siblings. She also is at a very high risk of developing aspiration pneumonia because she still will vomit the glop from time to time and if she gets ahold of any kibble or wet food, she will vomit it back up (and yes, she will eat her vomit and then vomit it again and eat it again- basically, she will keep eating it until it stays down).
(My vet describes it thus, "A PRAA is a vestigal or embryonic vascular ring that if not reabsorbed, as in normal fetal development, constricts the esophagus and causes chronic regurgitation.")
Neala also has mega-esophagus, secondary to the PRAA. This basically means that her esophagus is blown up like a long balloon before the constriction and after the constriction. The concern here is that the longer it takes for her to have surgery to correct the PRAA, the greater the chance that she develops permanent nerve damage and her esophagus never returns to normal or semi-normal. If she has mega-esophagus permanently, then she will always be at a high risk for aspiration pneumonia.
Why Should I Help You?
If you don't want to help Neala out- you don't have to! That's the great thing about all of this- the people who have chosen to help in one way or another (through sharing Neala's story, giving donations, or simply supporting us in her struggles) are wonderful people who we truly appreciate. Our goal is to update this blog daily until we obtain the funds for her surgery, then update daily through her surgery and recovery and continue to update as she hopefully grows and begins to thrive.
How Do I Know This Isn't a Scam?
Well, if you know us- you know full well how much we care for our animals, but if you are like most of Neala's supporters- you don't know us and it can be scary to think you are sending your hard earned monies off into the interspaces. For that fact, we offer you our vet hospital's Facebook page- you may read about Neala there- as well as our vet hospital's web page- you can always email them and ask about Neala- they will be glad to get back to you when they have the time.
What is the Success Rate of this Surgery?
Unfortunately, almost everything published is based off of dogs- and usually very large dogs, not Chihuahuas or teacup pups. Published success rates, however, are at 90%. We have to assume since Neala is much smaller then a German Shepherd that the success rate is lower, but we are still very, very hopeful this will work.
Why Waste Money on a Kitten?
Honestly, and this may not be the best answer, but if you are asking this question- you really aren't the type who will ever 'get' this blog. The fact is- I knew this kitten before she was born, she was born into my hands... She is important to me for who she is- period. As long as she is happy and willing to fight, I am willing to fight for her. We have been pounding the pavement in every way possible since hearing about her diagnosis- not just asking for donations, but looking for surgeons who might be able or willing to do the surgery for less, calling vet hospitals and looking for other options, hosting this blog and Neala's website. Simply letting people know about this kitten and her story of PRAA...
I hope this has answered some of your questions and you understand now why this is so important to me and many other people. Neala is a unique, sweet soul that was put on this Earth for a purpose. If she survives this surgery, my hope is for her to be a therapy cat one day- to make children laugh who are undergoing painful procedures, as I'm sure her surgery will not be easy either.
Thank you for reading and keep watching for new posts... I'm sure Neala has a lot more to say!