Braveheart Gizmo

This time, our Braveheart award goes to Gizmo - a super-fluffy, cute cat who was brought in to Sandhole at the beginning of February after a couple of days of not eating or drinking following a bout of sickness. Gizmo's owner had noticed that he had been lethargic and was coughing occasionally and so wanted to get him checked over.  

Vet Nicky carried out a full clinical examination and found that Gizmo was pyrexic (running a high temperature). Sometimes nervous patients can have high temperatures when they come to the vets as a result of feeling stressed, however Gizmo is a very laid back cat so we began to look for another cause.

{iamge1:third}Blood tests analysed rapidly in our in-house lab showed that one of Gizmo’s kidney values was slightly high, so he was put on intravenous fluids in order to support and rehydrate him. Nicky also ran further tests for FELV (feline leukaemia virus) and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). These viruses weaken the immune system and make certain patients really poorly - thankfully Gizmo's results were negative for both. At this stage we admitted Gizmo for further tests and monitoring - he was soon made comfortable by our lovely nurses, who gave him lots of fuss and cuddles!

The following day Gizmo seemed much brighter - he had eaten overnight, not vomited once and his temperature was coming back down to normal. Unfortunately his recovery was short-lived, as by the next day he had deteriorated overnight and begun vomiting again. An abdominal ultrasound was quickly carried out, revealing a foreign object in Gizmo's abdomen. The quickest and safest way to investigate further was to carry out an exploratory laparotomy - a surgical procedure opening up the abdomen to examine the internal organs for injury or disease.

On the theatre table we soon discovered the cause of the problem. To everyone's relief (and surprise!) the cause of Gizmo's discomfort was revealed as... a hairball! After the offending object was removed, Gizmo was returned to the recovery ward, closely monitored by the hospital nursing team and supported with plenty of pain relief.

It wasn't long before Gizmo began to eat again - we offered small amounts of food, little and often and we knew he was on the mend because he always wanted more! Luckily for us, we got to enjoy Gizmo’s company for a further week as he boarded at the practice whilst his owner was away. Continuing on his medication, he made a speedy recovery and was very happy to receive all the attention we could give until it was time for him to return home!

The best news is that we have since heard Gizmo has made a full recovery and is now back to his old happy, playful self.