Braveheart Juno

Little Juno is a lovely mackerel tabby cat who was brought in by his comcerned owners to see Glenn because he had a very swollen jaw and appeared to be in a lot of discomfort. He was unable to eat ,drooling and there was a significant swelling there!

Glenn immediately admitted him and gave him a general anaesthetic to assess exactly what was going on. With swelling such as this you can never be too careful as they can soon impede the airway and cause no end of problems. Without the anaesthetic it would have been impossible to see properly into Juno’s mouth as it was just so painful, but he was a very good boy for his injection and once he was asleep Glenn was able to look inside,

Glenn found a swollen lump underneath Juno’s tongue and so took a sample to send off to the laboratory for analysis. He also took this opportunity to take xrays of Juno to make sure that there was nothing going on within the bone of his jaw. Glenn was almost certain that this was not a cancerous lump but you never can tell, and so when the results came back from the laboratory to say that it looked like infected abscess tissue he was very pleased.

A couple of days home on antibiotics and with some special rich and yummy food still wasn't enough for Juno to be recovering as we would have liked, and so it was decided that we would have to have him into the hospital and actually lance this abscess. Juno was anaesthetised again and the abscess lanced and completely flushed out, but because of the swelling and pain he was unable to eat for himself after the surgery. He was also unable to have any oral medication as it was just too sore for him. He needed to eat to heal (healing something like this takes a LOT of energy) and so Juno was hospitalised and we placed a nasogastric feeding tube (a tube going through his nose to his stomach). This meant that the nurses would be able to feed him while he recovered and the swelling subsided.

Had this abscess been in another part of Juno’s body it would have been a lot simpler, but he was actually fast becoming an intensive care case and was being fed every 2 hours to keep his energy level high and support him while he healed. We were also making sure he received his medications and keeping him clean as he was also unable to groom himself, all while keeping the stress levels to a minimum where we could and allowing him enough time to rest.

Our little Juno was almost a full time job for one nurse (well worth every minute spent mind you!)

Everyone was convinced that Juno would start to eat as soon as he was physically able too but the swelling had, by now reduced significantly and he was still not eating. An injection of an appetite stimulant proved that actually he COULD eat he was just choosing not too... Perhaps he didn't like the collar we had placed on him to keep him from removing his feeding tube, perhaps it was the drip attached to his leg, perhaps it was the fact that he just wanted to be at home. It couldn't be the wrong food, he was being offered everything! We all had a chat and a bit of a re-think and decided to try a minimalist approach.

We made sure he had enough pain relief and then basically took everything off. The drip (with foot bandage), the collar, the feeding tube, everything and sent him home with strict instructions that if he didn’t eat he would need to come back in the following morning and be admitted again. It was a bit of a gamble!

It paid off! Almost as soon as he got home Juno started eating for himself, we were all delighted!

Juno was back a couple of days later for a routine check and was looking so good! The swelling on his faced was almost completely gone and his owner reported that he was fast getting back to his normal self.The latest news is that Juno has started nipping his owners chin again, which means he is 100% back to being cheeky!

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