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  • Diane
    Still so confused about what happened with Houdini. The vet couldn t find any obvious cause of death and is looking to see if she can get some biopsies done.
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 14, 2013
      Still so confused about what happened with Houdini. The vet couldn't
      find any obvious cause of death and is looking to see if she can get
      some biopsies done.

      This is what I remember from the conversation with the vet Friday
      night (she woke me up): She had an enlarged heart, gall bladder
      stones and her liver was mottled. I don't think she found anything in
      her throat to cause the little gagging issue she had. I'll have to
      double check on the possible embolism to her lungs, the vet had been
      concerned about it but I think what she said last night was that she
      didn't see any evidence.

      I talked to the vet who did the cleaning yesterday. He'd been beating
      himself up since our talks on Friday before I brought her in,
      thinking maybe he should have done the hyper-t treatment first for a
      couple of months. But he felt her numbers were not that bad and her
      teeth and gums were horrible. She lost a number of teeth when he
      touched them, to the point where he didn't consider them an
      extraction. He's been doing dentals (and other surgeries for over 30
      years) and he's done this before. He said other than her jumping
      around a bit when they took her out of the cage before the cleaning,
      everything went well and it was actually a very quick cleaning. She's
      feral so the jumping is to be expected, hell I warned him about claws
      as her brother shredded his arms a couple of years ago! Her heart
      rate was a little fast when he examined her Sunday but again, to be
      expected as it was the first time she had been out of the house in 17
      years! Car ride, dogs barking in the background, strange people - oh
      my! It was NOT irregular on Sunday but was when I brought her in
      Friday night.

      She was given a reversible anesthesia (sorry, I don't know more than
      that but I've seen it mentioned.) She had gotten a long-lasting
      antibiotic shot on Sunday when we were in the office. She got
      Buprenex (sp) Thursday for pain, but nothing came home with us.
      Sunday she also got a shot for inflammation for her gums.

      They called Thursday at 3:45 to say she was waking up and I could
      pick her up around 5. We didn't get there till about 7:30 so she was
      under their observation till then. She was on her feet when they
      brought her to us in the carrier. When we got her home, she paced the
      entire house multiple times, seemed a bit groggy and weak and didn't
      want to settle down for long, but she was walking and managing the
      stairs, up and down. She did seem to drink (she drinks using her paw
      so she can make quite the mess, I wiped the hall twice). I gave her
      wet food mixed with water which she didn't touch. They told me she'd
      likely be groggy and disoriented. I cleaned her litter box and found
      a little poop in it not long after.

      We have a carpeted board hanging off the basement landing and she was
      on that for a bit, then upstairs, then down. All over really.

      In hindsight maybe I should've closed the basement door, but again
      with her being feral, the basement was her safe place. Any time I
      closed that door with her upstairs, it would send her into a panic
      and I didn't want that. I could however lock her down there and she'd
      be fine. We have another adopted cat that was abused in her past life
      and she's the same, any change like that just freaks them out. I
      didn't want to stress her any more.

      My bf got up at 4:30 Friday morning and found her in the basement
      behind the washer. She actually meowed to him as he was calling her
      name. She was still there when I got up. I put food and water near
      her and left the house for two hours, and when I came back she was
      still back there. I then placed her on a folded fleece when she
      refused to stay in front of it on a towel. She had drunk but I doubt
      she ate. I think this was when I went up to send you guys my first
      message and in that 15 mins she came out from behind the washer,
      threw up (only time) and then went back. I went to my other job and
      came back around 1 and decided to bring her upstairs and stay home
      for the day after seeing her try to jump on the couch and miss as she
      had no strength. She was moving around better earlier in the morning
      although she didn't want to - if I put her in front of the washer,
      she'd scurry in the back again.

      In the couple of hours before I brought her in, she went from having
      a gasp/gag/couch every couple of minutes which I (and the vet)
      thought was the cough they told me she may have from the tube. She
      didn't have it the night before. I brought her in when it became
      every breath and turned into open mouthed breathing. After being in
      the oxygen cage for over an hour, that turned back into once every
      couple of minutes and she was not open mouth breathing anymore. Even
      once seeing it, the vet felt that something had happened to her
      throat. She had put an numbing agent on it in hopes of helping that
      ease but it never fully went away.

      Could this be a delayed reaction to the anesthesia? I'd have thought
      it would have happened sooner. I just don't know what to think. I am
      heartbroken to think that I hurt her by trying to clean her teeth,
      which I have done to other cats that needed it, even old ones! She's
      just been my smallest. And she was probably just 17, as I found them
      summer of 1996 and they were a few months old then.

      It stuns me to realize that just a week ago, we were joking about her
      first trip outside. She was a relatively healthy cat, skinny and
      vocal, but still full of piss and vinegar and jumping on the
      counters, bed, cabinets. My bf had to hold her from jumping on a
      hanging wall unit at the vet. And 5 days later I watched her go
      downhill, and I caused it.

      Any comments would be so much appreciated. I'm trying to learn from
      this. I had promised myself no heroic efforts for her or her brothers
      but my options last week seemed to be clean her teeth & rub a gel in
      her ears when she graced me with her presence, put her to sleep as
      she wasn't eating much, or bring her home and watch her waste away to
      nothing. Option 1 seemed like the best one at the time and she seemed
      to be so much better with letting us handle her. It all seemed to
      fall into place, we caught her Sunday, I caught her Thursday etc. The
      vet gave me an open appointment - whenever I could catch her again
      I'd bring her in on a Thursday, so I didn't need to bring her in the
      other day, it just all worked. But now she's gone and I feel I did
      her so wrong. She sure didn't deserve this for her last day. :(

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