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Exploratory Surgery ~Risks??

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
anyone know what im facing here, i was hoping to contemplate all aspects of the choice i made today and im hoping for the best.

my 6 yr old male cat has an obstruction in his small intestine. the jejunum region is what im told. Last week i though pancreatitus due to his obstipation and violent vomitting.

last week the vomit was yellow and clear, foamy......about 5 days after it started to smell SO strong like feces and turned a dark brownish/ dark green color recently..i am hoping his insides are not necrotic...praying real hard.

been about 12-14 days since acute symptoms first started...we waited too long and i must face the consequences in the morning. he might not make it im told..50/50...so couple questions i have and i thank you in advance for any time and effort helping me in this matter.

The ER did a ultra sound to confirm the foreighn matter....but my regular VET is doing the surgery....

Would getting a copy of the ultrasound help my vet figure out "exactly" or better find the obstruction?

How long is the jejunum part of the small intestine? what are the chances it cannot be repaired? how long would it take for that whole part to go bad? my cat is estimated 12-14 day obstruction and in pain.

What are the risks of Anesthesia? i heard ketamine they might not awake again and can be due to allergic reaction or simple overdose..is there a safer surgery anesthesia out there?

is this type of surgery common and what are the chances they botch the job and my cat is dead because of their mess up. i said if things go bad to sow him up so i can see him again but i got kinda a look....im so heart broken i dont know where to turn. i extend a warm genuine thank you for anyone with any ideas or thoughts i should think about...maybe i should suggest a smaller pain/anesthetic dose so he wakes up....he was so weak for not eating in 10 days..the VET had him fasting for a few days thinking it was pancreatitus. so im hoping this 1 nite of IV will give the strength to pull thru and wake up and recover.

also his intestines are dilated and fluid filled and gas filled. is surgery during this state risky?...im so worried and havent got much sleep in quite a while. this is a nightmare for me and feel like so much cause i know its all my fault and i waited too long for help...i will never forgive myself, these are such sweet creatures it hurts my heart with a pain i cannot explain.
post #2 of 24
Originally Posted by angel_eyes View Post
What are the risks of Anesthesia? i heard ketamine they might not awake again and can be due to allergic reaction or simple overdose..is there a safer surgery anesthesia out there?
I don't have the answers to most of your questions, but I do have the answer to this one. There are newer and safer anesthetics available. My old cat doesn't have surgery unless they are use--my vet strongly recommends them now, though she used ketamine previously, when my Spot needed surgery in 2005/2006. The ones that my vet uses now are propofol for induction and isoflurane for maintenance. Sevoflurane is another gas anesthetic that is considered very safe. This site discusses these types of anesthesia and the role they play in surgery in general, as well as ways that your cat may be monitored during the surgery: http://www.lbah.com/anes.htm

You may also want to talk to the doctor now about pain medication. It may be possible to give pain medicine before the surgery to help ease your kitty's discomfort. I would also see if you can get a copy of the ultrasound image that shows the obstruction for the vet who will be doing the surgery.

I wish you and your kitty the best of luck. I'll send vibes that the surgery is successful and the recovery is smooth.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
cloud_shade i really appreaciate this response. i got the propofol jotted down and most certainly plan to discuss this option to alleviate any fears. he is a practical type doc so i hope he is up to date. As with the ultra sound, well thats the push i needed to get me to drive back up to the ER and get those discs. they wanted 20 dollars a copy and i was broke by then. i am thankful i am getting the surgery at least and i truly appreciate your warm thoughts and prayers. right now im just anxious more than ever and hoping to get thru this. im pretty sure its string from a regular type window blinds that he got ahold of...i have read that linear objects can be tricky to remove so i did my best..2600 later and 2 ER trips to different ER one in Boston...all to end up back at my primary vet that suspected the blockage in the first place. anyway thanks again

ps. i just noticed spot in your sig, he is a cutey and im glad he had a successful surgery
post #4 of 24
I do not have any info for you but hope he will be ok. Ask teh Vet all the risks before you decide what to do.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
mews2much thanks for the extending your heart and im hoping i made the right choice, we briefly discussed the risks and i was told a 50/50 due to allergy to anesthesia or just a necrotic abdomin. im hoping for the best..sighs
post #6 of 24
My Golden Retriever has had 2 surgeries for obstructions, one was a linear obstruction. He was sent to a vet surgery practice. He has done quite well.
If you don't do the surgery, it is a slow, painful way to die.

Positive thoughts headed your way.
post #7 of 24
Unfortunately, I have nothing of any particular use to add, however, I did want to extend my own good wishes to you and your little kitty-boy.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Moms of 4 & gayef well im hoping all goes smooth and i really appreciate the wonderful folk and support in this community, i am glad to hear your retriever pulled thru well, the place the surgery is being done is at a little vet and all my faith is in them. im in the hole 2600 and most went to failed diagnoses at 2 ER vets...now im getting a cheap estimated job with a 50/50 survival rate for 800 and im just nervous its too much of a job for them to handle. she said if it looks bad they have to put him down. i should have done more research and handled all this the right way. anyway thanks for the good cheers. surgery is at 12 pm so im ready to meet gods fate.

the hepatic lipodosis from not eating i hope wont effect anything?
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
so far so good and i want to thank the fine members of this forum for going the extra mile in giving love and support to my pal KitterKat. turned out to be a wad of corn on the cobb material that lodged itself in the small intestine. So if you suspect a blockage due to obstipation and vomiting..my First action would be an ultra sound and possible surgery.....i wasted 2 weeks chasing diagnoses and multiple ER visits.

At first i went to Angell Memorial Boston, and i suggested an ultrasound to detect obstruction...that idea was cast aside for a HUGE list of tests and multiple x-rays, rabies, FLIV...i repeated he is an indoor cat and most tests were unecessary in this time of crisis..it was just crazy to get an estimate over 1000 to just get his foot in the door and get treatment....no nausea meds, pepcid for vomitting..nothing...just took the 150$ emergency exam and gave him fluids....said i should hospitalize and if cant afford the possible 3000 emergency surgery, they would put him down on me if i could not afford...they are thick skinned and we must fight for our pet...so a decision had to be made and i chose to take him home until i could sort out my mind....i simply could not afford that option.or losing him...after all i just wanted an ultrasound,. according to my research and a gut feeling as the owners of the animal. we know our pet and this was too sudden of a episode of horrendous vommitting.

i guess when a blockage is in the upper doedenum the cat will puke very frequently,,. 4-5 times or more a day....then it slowly moved to the jejunum where my cat puked once a day but large amounts of stinky bile...the heaving was comming from down deep

things got violently worse with the vomitting that night after the first ER visit so the next day we went to out primary VET for a set of xrays, bloodwork, etc....it came to half the cost of the ER but these tests are the first steps in trying to save your pet. with no ultrasound available and they had a hunch of either obstruction or pancreatitus...they opted for surgery the next day and told me the 50/50....i got scared and took him to another ER (tufts university) they ordered all the same tests saying its been 2 days later and his bloodwork and xrays could have changed alot....

i again wanted an ultrasound at this new ER.(tufts)...the woman dr. ordered 2 of the same xrays, barium, bloodwork, hospitalization....she would not treat with naseua, antibiotics, pepcid...nothing...even after we paid them 500 bucks to run the tests...no treatment until a diag is made is what im told....meanwhile im getting reults from them of hepatic lipodosis due to not eating in so long....he was always covered in his own vomit.....i left their quite angry and decided to demand an expert review the xrays...meaning a surgeon....well i went back in the next morning and spoke with the surgeon who immediately opted for an ultrasound...AHH finally..what i been saying for over a week.....another large bill of 300 and we get an immediate rsult of a blockage in the small intestine.....by that time we spent 1600 and had no money but knew what we thought all along...so dont get bullied..fight for their life....

now back to my primary vet that suspected the blockage in the first place for a surgery this afternoon. costed half the price of the ER around 800 for surgery to save this cat...still hoping for a smooth recovery i guess he did well today.
post #10 of 24
That's good news so far!

Let me make you feel better about the cost. We drove up to have Christmas with our family in OK, five years ago. On the 23rd, Ben (our Golden Retriever) throws up yellowish, foul smelling bile. Even as a pup, he never threw up so we were off to the ER vet. Ben, of course, perks up at the vet and they give us something for nausea. He seemed slightly better until Christmas Day, a Monday. That evening, he threw up 5 times in 4 hours and just looked bad. So we packed up the family and 3 dogs an headed home. At 2 in the morning, I took Ben to the local ER vet. They kept him until 8 AM, when I had to take him to another vet for the day (my vet was on vacation). We kept this up until I saw my vet at 11 AM Thursday. They took one look at him, called the surgery group in Dallas. I had Ben there by 1PM, they had him in surgery by 2 PM. The surgeon said the strings from the washcloth were cutting into his bowel and were only a layer or two of cells from opening into the abdominal cavity. That would have meant death. The treatment was what you would expect for a human - heplocks in place when he came out for our visit the patient appointment, fentanal patches for pain. They even offer physical therapy for those needing it.

Total cost, no clue. I know the first ER vet was 300, the first ER vet here was 900, not sure what the other charges were, except that surgery was 2400, including post-op visits.

The second time, due to a visitor not putting things away, the surgery to remove a sock was cheaper. Five hundred for the vet and 2600 for the surgery. Did I mention this was nine months after the first surgery? I started putting extra money back after the first surgery - and I still do.

Summer of 2007, Ben started vomiting the yellow bile again - and there is nother worse than a large dog's bile. The vet checks him, thinks I am crazy and sends us home. Forty-eight hours later, Ben throws up another washcloth. At least he didn't have surgery.

Do I regret the money at all - heavens no! ut I did change some of my housekeeping methods and I keep him away from my inlaws who can't be trusted to follow directions for his safety.
post #11 of 24
I'm so happy to hear that KitterKat came through the surgery and things weren't as bad as they had thought. You must feel somewhat relieved!! Your kitty still has to recover and I'm sure he'll feel a little low for a while...but at least the blockage is gone.

Yes, as a pet owner, we do seem to develop a sixth sense when something is wrong. You did a great job in searching out help for your kitty. In the long run....what's money, anyway. You'll have many years of happiness with your kitty...and money can't buy that.

I'm just glad to hear that you're relieved and KitterKat is on the mend
post #12 of 24
I am glad it went ok and hope he keeps getting better.
post #13 of 24
Sending vibes that things continue to go well.
I've never been through and obstruction, but I can only imagine how scarry it must be for you.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Maxcat, Mew2much, Rang27 -hey thanks again for the wonderful support and healing vibes. this site is full of so much love i have never seen such a thing. cheers to all. well we are off to pick him up hopefully in a hour if the doctor says its ok.

im just worried him not eating in 2 weeks that he might continue to not eat and produce bile and possibly toss up again and the intestine could burst open is what im told. well atleast he is fiesty from what they say..i think he is in pain tho and gonna mention a med for that. be back with an update soon.
post #15 of 24
I just read your thread.
I am sending along calming vibes to you and mega healing vibes to your precious KitterKat.
post #16 of 24
I just read your thread also. Prayers and for a full recovery.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
he is back in the hospital with a post surgery infection. his temp was a bit over 105 and they said he is close to seeing god..i dont know what that means exactly but i hope he pulls thru.

i hope someone might read this and avoid a potential disaster and wanted to share my experience and what sighns/symptoms to look for that would point to a for sure obstruction.

Random order of symptoms
1. Not eating
2. Obstipation
3. Vomitting very frequent at first..then after a few days vomitting every 8 hours we clocked. the obstruction moves from the upper intestine...in the upper alot of frequent violent vomit that is yellow, bile, mucos, foam....as days went by and not eating at all the vomit turned dark brown/dark green proressively and BILE was STRONG smell like feces..more than ever..u will know!
4. NOT drinking...but when we got him to finally drink he needed his head up and seemed extra drymouthed. he would NOT drink in the normal bowl on floor posiion. that makes the bile come up. dehydration no matter what tho so fluids is crucial.
5. GUM CHEWING- we were perplexed and so were the ER's and VET...he did it many times a day as if the throat was itchy or like a straind of hair was stuck in the throat. THIS WAS A TELL TALE SIGN in my opinion altho people brushed it off..WE knew it had to do with obstruction as a gut feeling as the owners. I would keep this in mind.
6. HIGH BUN after one week of obstruction..also high phosphorous....probably from not eating but those were the results on the SECOND blood test..the first came back normal but the damage had NOT started...yet...
7. The one BIG giveway and used in conjunction with all these above mentioned signs was the NO FEVER..? i think that clearly points to an obstruction with associated vomitting...otherwise all that vomit with no fever? they should have known this..but it took us being persistant in being diligent about the facts.

So if u think its something stuck in there i would go for an ultrasound if vomiting and no fever...we had to jump thru hoops before we could get to that point and 4 xrays many anesthesia, blood tests whcih really showed nothing. the ultrasound saved us and the surgery so far. now he got a fever from post op..but that is the risk..he would have died otherwise a painful death. fingers still crossed. i hope someone can avoid the extra stress and money with diag and focus on the proper way to handle a matter that needs immediate attention. do not wait!
post #18 of 24
I'm so so sorry, continued Prayers and that he will be alright and come through it.
post #19 of 24
I am sorry to lean that KitterKat is back in the hospital.
What a shame.

You mentioned that a wad of corn on the cobb material was the cause of the blockage.
Do you know where he got it?
I am asking because my kitties use WBCL...a corn litter.

Sending healing vibes to your sweet KitterKat.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
hey all thanks for the loving vibes, this has really helped us keep hope knowing whatever happens we have a shoulder to turn to. i realize now that many of you have lost before and i envy the strength and courage in ya'll to give love and support when its most needed. thank you

Sadie- yes the clump was a wad of corn bits stuck together and it looks to be part of the actual rind too...it was left out by my brother and i blamed it on myself so he would not feel the guilt if things go south. i feel more to blame personally knowing he was a pica cat and not looking out for things of the sort..but corn on the cobb i would never even thought of.....we thought string for so long.

the VET gave me the material in a ziplock bag, they could not identify at first but we knew it was corn with the rind, silk. i guess cats can not digest this type of grain at all.

well kitter is back from the hospital with his fever down so far...i picked up some pedialyte from reading on the web about it, he seems to be more active after a few shots in the mouth. i hope it is safe and will ask my vet on monday. thanks again.
post #21 of 24
...i picked up some pedialyte from reading on the web about it, he seems to be more active after a few shots in the mouth. i hope it is safe...
It is quite safe to use for hydration and for electrolyte levels...but, I hope he's also getting some food...???
post #22 of 24
Prayers for him to keep getting better. I never even knew corn could do that.
What Meds is he on now?
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
hey thanks gang i would have never guessed that he would eat corn on the cobb and he get himself all blocked up. the chunk was the size of a quarter and thick as a cigarette and the ultrasound could clearly see this obstruction bulging and stuck at one spot.

last night we got him to eat..smiles..i followed advice from this site about tuna can juice and it sparked him to finally eat a little bit..the pedialyte seems to be helping alot too but im jyst worried about his front vein on his paw.

he had several IV put in by all the different hospitals trying to figure out the diagnoses...the front right paw had 2 IV in it during the same week and now the vein is HUGE...they already used his left paw and now a catheter is still in his rear leg in case of emergency. he was shaved everywhere i dunno why..? under his tail, chest, bottoms of feet, all four paws..he looks like a wreck but today he came for attention and purred a bit.

Mews- so far we were given a pain med Val/Torbutrol and some baytril antibiotic pills....he would not eat the pills so we got a compound liquid yesterday that taste like chicken. its working so far

the hospital has done a whole bunch of IV meds, they put him back on cefazolin IV antibiotics, cimetizine, torbugesic the other day when we put him back in the hospital. but he is home now where he belongs and just slowly nursing back to health, the baby food oral injections is new one for me and i thank my lucky stars for finding such an oasis of love and info. thanks agaiin
post #24 of 24
The Baytril should help him. It worked great for my Coco for her bladder problems. Hers was a beef flavored pill but she hated it. Then we got chicken flavored pill pockets and she took them fine until she bit pill one day. I hope you cat keeps getting better.
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