Reason for Nomination: Being a Survivor!
Ebony is a lovely 15 year old cat who was pottering along quite nicely, enjoying life with pain medications for her arthritis. She loves her time in the garden exploring and felt she was capable of acting like a 5year old again!
Unfortunately for Ebony her legs did not agree with her head and she took a tumble off a fence and landed awkwardly one day. Her owners were very worried and presented her to us for treatment. On presentation she was very sore on her chest and we could see from her breathing that she had broken a few ribs and had a pneumothorax (air surrounding her lungs due to the trauma). This is a very serious injury for a cat of any age.
Ebony needed emergency treatment with oxygen supplementation overnight and x rays to further assess her injuries.
In total, Ebony had three broken ribs and these had punctured her lungs causing air to leak out of her lungs into the chest cavity. This air then compressed her lungs meaning they couldn’t inflate properly and it was this which was making it difficult for her to breath. An emergency chest drain was placed to remove this air which greatly improved Ebony’s breathing. Unfortunately, we knew that the penetration wounds into her lungs from her broken ribs needed more time to heal and more air would continue to leak out until her little body was able to heal over these areas.
For this reason, Ebony was kept in hospital with the chest tube in place which allowed us to drain her chest several times a day. She was also dosed up on pain relief as you can imagine broken ribs are very painful. Ebony also had to have a feeding tube placed to allow us to syringe food straight into her stomach as she did not feel like eating during this time.
A few days into her treatment Ebony took a turn for the worst and we found we were no longer getting air from her chest but pus which meant her chest cavity was now infected. This was very bad news as chest cavity infections can be particularly difficult to treat.
During her stay with us it was discussed with her owners whether we should put Ebony to sleep due to the severity of her injuries. However, her owners decided to continue her treatment and give her the best possible chance of recovery. Her chest was flushed several times a day with sterile saline to remove the pus and three types of intravenous antibiotics were used to fight the infection.
Against all the odds, Ebony made a miraculous recovery: the little lady who could barely lift her head started to purr and then meow at us demanding attention!
After 16days of intensive treatment Ebony was able to be discharged as she was eating very well and her chest drain had been removed. At the moment she remains on three types of oral antibiotics and pain relief for ongoing treatment. She has been told she must stay inside for at least 1 month for her ribs to fully recover and we are all terrified of her going outside again, but a cat will do what a cat wants to do, that is their nature and that is why we love them!
Everyone at Maven fell in love with this special girl during her stay with us- it’s not often a patient is in hospital with us long enough for us know the ins and outs of their personality so well; we hope she has many happy years in the sun to look forward to, preferably without fence climbing!