The vet from that Friday did an autopsy and her case went under review at the practice due to the circumstances of her death.
Unfortunately they found nothing conclusive. They are still looking to see if they can find a place to send out tissue samples at no cost to me.
At least 3 people from the hyper t list mentioned the antibiotic Convenia as a potential issue including one person whose cat had that same mysterious catch in their breath. Hers only received convenia and fluids and was gone the next morning. I have given that shot to one cat before at age 14, Houdini was 17. I sent the link to the medical director who pretty much said you can't believe everything you read on the internet <sigh>. I will pass it on to the other vet though, as I think they may take tissue samples. It's a pretty new drug so who knows?
The medical directors best guess is that she had an underlying heart condition and the steroid shot she got after the dental is what triggered her issues. He said it makes sense to him with the timing - she would have gotten the shot before 3:45pm Thursday (that's when she was waking up and they called me). By Friday morning she was not moving as much but I figured the pain killer was wearing off and she was uncomfortable. Early afternoon is when the catch in her throat started and it went all downhill from there. Just seems like a long time after the shot to have a reaction.
He also saw her when she was brought in, and no one knows what caused her breathing issue. They find no evidence of trauma in her throat at all.
They did find a bruise on the xray they took Friday, either in her lungs or windpipe. They feel this may have been a clot. Not sure why they aren't sure after the autopsy.
I know the vet that examined her on Sunday listened to her with a stethoscope but he didn't pick up any heart issues. All three vets agree her thyroid numbers were not bad, however the vet who saw her Friday said if it were her patient she would have recommended treating the hyper t first, and the MD said that may have relieved some pressure on the heart, but it obviously wouldn't have made it smaller.
Of course there is then the issue of the steroid - why a steroid after a dental?
A report came through that she was handled roughly before she got her anesthesia. That does makes sense to me though, being semi-feral, surrounded by strange people in a strange place she tried to bolt and was grabbed. This was reported by the anesthesia tech and it's why special attention was paid to her throat in the autopsy but they found nothing wrong there. Perhaps the vet was trying to do me a favor and complete the dental so I didn't have to catch her again, but I told the MD that if there had been ANY question of her being hurt, I would have certainly picked her up and tried another time.
The thing that really gets me is now that she's gone, I can see just how much dry food she actually was eating - a lot! I'd say more than the other 2 girls combined. She was showing less interest in the wet food though which was easy to see as her and Missy were the only two that ate it. I saw lack of interest in wet food, how skinny she was (under 5 lbs and literally all bones), saw the teeth and it all made sense. (she lost all her teeth on the bottom in the dental, most just fell out). So even with the tooth issues she was getting quite a bit of calories in her, the thyroid condition was just burning everything off.
If she hadn't been so cooperative that Thursday she would have had hyper t meds before the dental and this wouldn't have happened. :(
"Well-meaning" coworkers have told my bf that you should never put an older cat under anesthesia (I don't even think these people own cats) but that wasn't what got her.
I am still beating myself up a lot over this. I was house sitting all last week and a bit distracted going back and forth but now that I am home again it's really hitting me hard. The habit of looking for her in places has not left yet.
I talked to the vet last week and she said it would be ok to see her. I am going to try and do so today if that is still the case. I never really said goodbye as I really felt we'd be back there later that night.
Still incredibly sad and feel like I failed her. Everything happened so damn quick and the fact that I caught her twice in less than a week seemed like fate in a good way. Plus the fact she didn't go into hiding when we brought her home just really made me feel like she trusted us and was letting us help her, and I feel like I'm the one that killed her. How can I know I'm doing right by my other two? My soul kitty Kali has nose issues and we can't figure that out either. Missy pees like a racehorse, though she's not losing weight (another scaredy cat we can't touch, she panics if you go near her stomach) :(