Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Friday, July 15, 2011

Not What You Want At The End of The Day

Generally we don't like to see sick patients at the END of the day for various reasons: a work up is just going to extend the day that much longer, if they need monitoring/observation or testing that goes on over time they will need to be referred or deferred to the following work day and then there's tonight's example:

A 14yr old cat that hasn't seen a veterinarian much in his fortunately healthy life comes in for weight loss and not eating much despite seeming to be interested in food. He's lost about 1/2 his body weight in ??? amount of time (no good answer to this one). During his exam I discover three things: 
1. he has an oral mass (most likely cancer)
2. he has a very short kitty window to work with - in other words, he became fractious
3. he's a bit "yellow" - gum, skin and sclera color - indicating liver issues

So the owner quickly understands we need blood work and may need to follow up with setting up a biopsy on this oral mass.  We take him to get blood and he is NOT going to let us. We don't want to stress him out OR have a staff member get bitten or hurt so we recommend using some gas anesthesia to lightly sedate him to get the blood. This stuff is VERY safe - and is handled by the lungs alone - no liver/kidney involvement at all. Once they are off the gas, they are quickly awake. Well, our little old kitty decided that after he was fighting for a suddenly go into cardiac and respiratory arrest (in other words - die!). I had this feeling he wasn't "right" all of a sudden and it happened THAT quickly. So we intubated him and did CPR on him and got him back!! Yeah!! New clients, end of day, sick cat..not where I wanted to go with this case..but fortunately he is doing fine..for now. I explained what happened because frankly, he is NOT a surgical candidate at all now. His blood work will tell us more and I won't be surprised if his liver values are way off but there is every chance this poor kitty's day are numbered.  


  1. Wow! Great save! Bummer prognosis.

    Would this cat have been as lucky if he came in at 9 am, when you had a full schedule ahead?

    I'm proud of my honey for being a top notch practitioner! :-)

  2. kitty survived to live another day. Love ya Christine