Braveheart Jess

Little Jess is a very lucky cat indeed!

She was brought in to see vet Glenn as an emergency appointment when her owner reported that she was partially collapsed and yowling. She was very distressed and unaware of her surroundings and had also been vomiting Jess was obviously very suddenly and very seriously unwell.

She was rushed into the hospital and immediately blood was taken and analysed and her heart was scanned to make sure there were no factors predisposing her to a blood clot (one of the potential diagnoses).

When the bloods came back (only 15 minutes later) it was clear that Jess was suffering from a condition called ketoacidosis. A very very serious and often fatal consequence of diabetes.

Diabetes is not uncommon in cats and dogs, and usually the signs are noticed by the owner. The animal usually drinks much more than normal and passes a lot of urine. Nothing like this had been noticed by Jess’s owners, she had shown none of the signs and so the diabetes had gone undiscovered until it all became too much for little Jess!

With diabetes the animal is unable to utilise blood sugars as an energy source( usually a job done by insulin) so it starts using body fats.

This would normally be fine, but diabetic animals are unable to then metabolise the ketones produced in this process. Ketones are highly toxic to the brain and when they build up like this it becomes a potentially fatal situation and one of the true veterinary emergencies.

We were unsure at first whether or not Jess would pull through. She was given insulin therapy to start to help comtrol the very high levels of blood sugars present in her blood and supported with intravenous fluids and hourly blood glucose tests for monitoring. This was a 24 hour a day job and so she was taken over to PETS emergency service hospital overnight for continual monitoring.

The next day Jess was improving but very twitchy and unable to balance properly, due to electrolyte inbalances. These were addressed using appropriate fluid therapy and the hourly testing and insulin therapy continued. Things were looking brighter but she was by no means out of the woods yet

Jess really did present a complicated case with all hands on deck during her treatment and care. On day three she was much improved and had even managed to eat a little overnight, and it seemed once the food started going in she wouldn't stop eating!  A good appetite is a good sign and the team was delighted with her progress. Her personality was starting to show in the ward, and she was quite demanding of the nurse’s time for smooches and cuddles... And FOOD!!! It was decided to try Jess at home...

And so far so good!

Jess will need treatment for her diabetes daily for the rest of her life at home and regular blood glucose tests to keep her on the straight and narrow but we are all thrilled that she made a full recovery from this potentially disastrous condition!

Congratulations Jess! Sandhole’s Braveheart for August.

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