Coconut has really been through the mill! but what a little super star she has turned out to be! Especially as on first presentation at Sandhole we really were not sure if she was going to make it at all.
Coconut was found hit by a car and rushed into us by a member of the public. When she first came in she was in the process of develping severe shock symptoms and vet Kate had to work fast to get her stabilised. Before even having a good assessment of her injuries we needed to support her and so she was warmed up, placed on emergency shock rates of fluids and placed in a stress free environment with intensive care monitoring. It was obvious at this point that Coconut had a head injury but just how bad it was we were unsure.
An hour or so after admission Coconut was stable enough for us to get her out and have a look at her. We had already given plenty of painkillers and on examination we found that she was suffering from a broken jaw, right at the front on the bottom part of her jaw and she had numerous cuts and grazes. She was also having problems with one of her front legs but we couldnt feel any fractures thank goodness.
Chest xrays revealed some bruising and therefore bleeding into her lungs and so we kept a good eye on her breathing and settled her down as much as possible .
Perhaps the most relieving thing of all was that Coconut had a microchip. This allowed us to find and contact her owners who were abroad and started heading home to see her immediately. They could also be kept up to date on developments and be involved in any decision making regarding Coconut's treatment.
Coconut had an excellent night and the following day she was stable enough to give an anaesthetic to fix her jaw. She was wired back together and loose teeth removed. We also took this opportunity to place a feeding tube which went into her stomach from the side of her neck. Coconut would really not feel like eating with a broken jaw and to heal properly she would need most more food intake than normal. In cases like this we often do this to assist the healing process and ensure that the patient does not lose any condition unecessarily which could really be detrimental. We also stitched up numerous cuts and grazes
Coconut went onto a regime of 7 feeds a day! she took them really well! Cats often don't even notice that they are being fed and with her sore jaw, despite the painkillers she was on, we knew it would take a few days before she wanted to eat for herself. She was always very smoochy and enjoyed a fuss and a groom.
Coconut's dedicated owners came back from France and came to see her every day. Coconut has two children in the household and it was nice to be able to involve them in her care and answer all of their questions... we have a budding vet there I think!
After a few days nursing Coconut had started picking things up to eat with her mouth and we sent her home, feeding tube in, for her to be nursed at home. We find that cats really do much better at home where possible, and tube feeding is something that an owner can be involved in after being trained how to use the tube.
Coconut has now had her feeding tube removed as she is eating dried Royal Canin Young Female like it is going out of fashion! She is making a remarkable recovery although she has been left with some paralysis of her front leg we are hoping that she will either learn to cope with it, or it will improve. The wire will need to come out of her jaw in 6 weeks or so but apart from that she's doing brilliantly!
It was so nice to be able to look after a case where a lovely cat belonging to a lovely family has done so well despite a scary first presentation. She quickly became a firm favorite with everyone and we are delighted at her progress!!
Well done Coconut! A very well deserved Braveheart!!!
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