Braveheart Suki

It's hard to know where to start when describing what little Suki has been through and has overcome in the last couple of months.

Suki was transferred to us from our "out of hours" emergency clinic after she was involved in a road traffic accident. She had a really smashed up face. One eye had come out of it's socket and her jaw was broken and "wonky". It was obvious that this was going to take some serious treatment to fix!

Suki was immediately hospitalised and we began stabilising her condition. She initially stayed with us for 3 weeks and in that time she was having very intesnive treatment. The whole veterinary team was involved in her care.

The first thing we had to do, was stabilise Suki's jaw, which was done under anaesthetic as soon as she was fit enough. Then a feeding tube was fitted. It was passed into her oesophagus from the side of her neck. We then started the task of supporting her with 2 hourly liquid feeds. Her body needed all the good nutrition it could get to heal and she was unable to eat with a broken jaw.

As she became fitter, we were trying to save Suki's eye but it became apparent that sadly, this would not be possible, so the decision was made to remove it. The surgery for this went very well and this wound too soon started to heal.

Suki was in hospital for weeks. She required really intensive nursing, tube feeding and pain relief while all of her injuries healed. We had to rewire her jaw once the swelling went down and her feeding tube required replacement a couple of times but mainly we waited patiently for Suki to start eating by herself. We waited, and waited, and waited.

Despite being really bright, happy and "bombing" around the cattery with all of her wounds well healed Suki would just not eat by herself.

We tried sending her home with her owners taking over some of the syringe feeding. We tried witholding feeding.

We tried everything!

Suki came in for a week's boarding while her owners were away and we were amazed when she started to lick food from nurse Cheryl's fingers. This was really encouraging as we had felt that perhaps Suki had nerve damage and had lost her sense of smell. Cats being cats need to be able to smell to eat. Suki had been going to her bowl, sniffing it and deciding to leave her food up until this point. Encouraging as this was, this still wasnt enough. She needed plenty of food to continue healing and to fully recover.

When her owners came back from holiday, the vets discussed the best plan of action. Suki was reffered for an MRI scan of her head to make sure nothing had been missed. The MRI found that she had muscle inflammation which was addressed with further antibiotics.

Suki's owners were helped by nurse Julia with any behavioural issues that may have been occuring at home. After all, Suki had had a major head trauma and so she may have had a change in personality or not even liked things the way they used to be anymore!

All in all it's taken weeks but we are happy to report that Suki is now doing well at home. She is eating for herself and her wounds are all healed.

She was in and out of hospital for 8 weeks and it has been a long and laborious recovery. Every single member of the team at Sandhole has been involved in her care at some point and she is a firm favorite with everybody.

Her tenacity is to be admired and we are delighted that the final result has been a positive one.

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