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Gracie is in real trouble.......

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
This being the health topic, I'm hoping I'm in the right place...

Our cat, Gracie Allen has hyperthyroidism. She's been on tapazol for a month, and last Friday she went into our vet for a blood test. Everything was fine. They have trouble getting her blood so they shaved her neck and the tech tried the jugular on each side. Finally, the vet came in and took the blood from her jugular.

Friday she seemed fine. Friday night she didn't eat, but sometimes she just doesn't so we didn't worry about it. Saturday morning she hadn't eaten so we gave her fresh food and her treat with her pill in it. My wife came home Saturday afternoon and noticed she still hadn't eaten, and hadn't eaten the treat with the pill, which alarmed her because Gracie always eats the treat.

She went looking and finally found the cat under the bed, where she's never gone before, on her side, gasping for breath. Tried the emergency numbers and didn't get any answer from the local vets, so she called back and they told her to immediately bring the cat into the emergency hospital 25 miles away. When they got to the hospital they did an x-ray, which showed her neck and throat very distorted and swollen, constricting and blocking her airway. They put in a breathing tube and mostly stabilized her. Even at the emergency hospital, because of the swelling, they were concerned about trying to do a tracheostomy, and recommended she be transported to the main University veterinary hospital, which is open 7/24 and has an ICU.

So, along with a vet tech to maintain the anesthesia and monitor Gracie, we headed for the hospital, another 30 miles away.

At the hospital they determined that her blood count was down to 12, as opposed to the 30-40 that's normal, put her in an oxygen tent and started transfusing her. Although everyone was VERY careful not to say anything directly, all the doctors alluded to the likely cause of the swelling/blockage being bleeding from either her jugular and/or carotid. But, at this point she was so anemic from bleeding, and had so few clotting factors left, they said to try to find the bleed and fix it would kill her.

Sunday afternoon we were told they'd removed the airway, which (at least to me) was cause for hope, and that they'd transfused her again, and that hopefully her blood count and clotting times would hold. Her body temperature and heart rate were better (she'd been very cold and slow at the first hospital), but her heart rate was still slow ~115 and O2 was around 90% instead of 100. But they were going to wait and see.

This morning I went into my regular vet, and talked to the doctor, who expressed concern. She and the university hospital have talked and she's sent her medical information to the university (this is how I found it out took three tries to get blood from her on Friday).

This morning we were told they'd had to put the airway back in because she was having problems, and late this morning they did the tracheostomy. Her blood count was down to 11 and they're currently (3 pm) transfusing her again. She's apparently awake, and we'll be going up to see her shortly (well, as shortly as you can make a 70 mile trip), but so far we can't get any definite answer as to why she's bleeding (if she is), and why her blood count keeps dropping, and how long she'll be in intensive care, and pretty much any of the other thousand or so questions clogging my head for the last 2 days...

And, of course, the university hospital may not have good answers, but they are doing a VERY good job of keeping us informed about the constantly increasing cost of all this.

I'm not sure anyone out there has any answers, but I figured I'd stop in and tell the story (I normally lurk and get info from here, but rarely have anything interesting to contribute)... So, if anybody hs any ideas throw them out there 'cause at this point it can't get much worse. I'm already cringing every time the phone rings because I'm sure its the doctor calling to tell me there's nothing else they can do, and wanting to euthanize her.
post #2 of 39
OMG! How awful! I'm sending lots and lots of TCS vibes for Gracie and you!

She sounds like she's getting excellent care and that's a good thing!
post #3 of 39
OMG - lots of positive thoughts and prayers being sent out for Gracie!
post #4 of 39
no suggestions - just & for Gracie, & for you...
post #5 of 39
I am so sorry to hear about your baby!

I will keep you two in my prayers!
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the good thoughts and wishes......

I was at the ICU tonight and Gracie was being transfused... Again. When they did the tracheostomy this afternoon they found and removed a LOT of blood clots from her neck/throat. And they're still trying to get her blood values to hold at a reasonable value...

I got to take her out of the oxygen tent and put her in my lap, which is where she spends her time when she's not curled on her blanket between the laptop and the editing computer.

What a ridiculous sight it must have been..... 6'4", 300 pound guy with a 5 pound cat on my lap, rubbing her ears and talking to her while tears ran down my face... I'm sure my "man card" is in serious jeopardy.

But for 7+ years, Gracie has been my office-mate, boss, friend, traveling companion and alarm clock. Ever since we found her at the feline rescue she's been my cat. I opened the crate, held out my arms, and she walked right into them. I scruffled her neck and she jumped up onto the top of the crates, walked to the far end and back, and when I held up my hands she came right back into my arms... My wife laughed and said, "Well, I guess we know who's coming home with us."

So, we're in a holding pattern while they see if she improves.
post #7 of 39
I hope she will be ok. Do you think something happened to her when they did the Blood Test? My Cats had Blood Transfusions before and it saved them.
post #8 of 39
Oh poor Gracie!

I have no suggestions, but wanted to add my prayers for your sweet girl.

post #9 of 39
aww the poor sweetheart!! lots of that she gets better soon and for you for loving your cat so much
post #10 of 39
Best wishes for your little Gracie- and I think your 'man card' just got extra validation - takes a real man to care about others so much. I hope you get a phone call with good news very soon.
post #11 of 39
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
Best wishes for your little Gracie- and I think your 'man card' just got extra validation - takes a real man to care about others so much. I hope you get a phone call with good news very soon.
absolutely agree! and i will add more healing for your precious girl too.
post #12 of 39
I have a friend who lost his Cat and he did Cry at the Vets. He is over 300 Pounds but shorter then you. People do not relize Men care about Cats just as much as Women.
post #13 of 39
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
Best wishes for your little Gracie- and I think your 'man card' just got extra validation - takes a real man to care about others so much. I hope you get a phone call with good news very soon.
Originally Posted by tab View Post
absolutely agree! and i will add more healing for your precious girl too.
i agree!
adding new & for Gracie
post #14 of 39
You and Gracie will be in my thoughts and prayers.
post #15 of 39
Oh my that Gracie Allen will get better. Ive had experience in blood transfusion once... my cat Bella had level of 17 after she got spayed (we later found out her body had a problem telling itself to stop bleeding) and it worked for her. I really hope it works for your girl and they are able to help her. Im so sorry youre going through this, its the worst thing ever and I know what you mean... they are you best friend and nothing matters when they are in this kind of trouble unless they are safe. That she will be safe... btw I dont think you have to worry about the University telling you, you should euthanize... in my experience they will work right up until the end to save your little one. Many many hugs.
post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
Once again, thanks so much for all your thoughts and wishes.......

Yesterday Gracie was up and ate a little, used the litter box, and was more alert. The doctor removed the tracheostomy tube and said she might be able to come home today.

Late afternoon we got a call that she'd had a small problem and they put the tracheostomy tube back in because the swelling in her neck was still obstructing her breathing, but still cautiously optimistic....

But, its over. The phone rang about 12:30 this morning. The doctor said her heart had stopped and she stopped breathing. They performed CPR and drugs and everything they could, but Gracie died.

She was my friend, companion, and supervisor, and she'll be missed beyond belief. The office, without her next to me grabbing my sleeve to pay attention to her, and reaching out with a paw to pull my hand off the mouse to give her a scratch between the ears, is unbelievably empty. The house is too quiet. She'll be remembered, and missed.
post #17 of 39
I am sorry for your loss. I am sitting here crying for all of you.
You did everything you could.
post #18 of 39
I am so sorry for your loss so very sorry.
post #19 of 39
I'm am so very sorry for your loss. You did all you could, and Gracie was so very much loved.
post #20 of 39
I'm so sorry for your loss. Gracie Allen sounds like she was a wonderful kitty. RIP little one
post #21 of 39
i'm so sorry for your loss RIP sweet gracie
post #22 of 39
I'm so sorry about Gracie. I had my fingers crossed that there would be a happy ending. I wish you all the best.
post #23 of 39
So sorry about your Cat.
post #24 of 39
this was not what i wanted to read today!
what the others have said - you did do everything, gave it your all.
when you're up to it, post a tribute for Gracie in the Crossing the Bridge forum.
i know how much you're hurting right now - i lost my Mouse 3.5 years ago, after trying so hard to save her
for Gracie Allen, who fought the good fight & is once again running after butterflies over the bridge...
post #25 of 39
You did do everything you could.
post #26 of 39
I am so sorry that you lost your precious girl! You, your wife and Gracie are in my thoughts and prayers.
post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 
After last Tuesday night, I was pretty much a mope..... On Friday I tried going into the Crossing the Bridge forum, and I couldn't even read them, much less add one.....

Saturday, my wife, who is clearly much smarter than I, "just kind of" stopped at the shelter on our way home from a trip. And got me to look at kittens, which didn't feel right to me. Then she got me into the adult cats. I walked around looking at the cats, and suddenly was caught by a pair of green eyes. I opened the door, and a large, brown tabby walked over, settled in my arms, and started purring.

Several other cats were out playing in the large area, one of which was a small, gray kitten. She was in with the adult cats because she was over 6 months. After chasing some toys, batting around a ball, and acting "kitten-like", she ran over and climbed on my wife's lap, demanded to be paid attention to, and also started purring.....

We spent over 2 hours with different cats, and at the end my wife looked at me and said, "It doesn't replace Gracie, nothing can, but these cats need a home. We have a home, where there are people that will love them and care for them, and talk to them, and they'll bring life back to a house that's too quiet and empty."

SO, Brownie, the year-old, gray-brown tabby that came to me, and Skye, the tiny gray kitten that was glued to my wife's lap, came home. They curled up together on the ride home, and sat on my lap looking out the window.

Brownie is a very dignified, year-old girl, who enjoys sitting on a lap and being stroked, and has a gorgeous, soft coat. Skye is between 6 months and a year, tiny, and is the most affectionate kitten I've ever seen. She's already spending almost all her time in the office with me, and likes nothing better than to be held and stroked (unless it's to stick her head in my glass of ice water and have a slurp!). They both sleep on the bed with us, enjoy sitting on the window sills in the sun, and are eating and using the litter box...

They've been to the vet and pronounced healthy other than ear mites in Skye. She was only 2 1/2 pounds when she was turned in to the pound 3 weeks ago. She gained a pound while there, and has gained another 4 ounces already this week. So, now that she's getting a good diet, she's growing like crazy.

So, once again, the old house on 3rd street resounds the sound of cats chirping and warbling and meowing, and the sound of tiny tiger feet thundering overhead as they play with whatever they've found. As it should!

Thanks, everyone, for your kind thoughts.
post #28 of 39
Your news brought tears to my eyes, but this time of happiness for you - I'm sure Gracie had a paw in making sure Brownie and Skye found such a wonderful forever home. Bless you and your family.
post #29 of 39
so glad Gracie guided you to some new babies! now, we need !
post #30 of 39
What a great post. I applaud what you did. It's a win-win situation for the kitties and you and your wife. I recommend it to everyone that suffers such a loss as you did, and my family and I have done the same very recently.
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