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I thought he was dying...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
It's been a long couple of days with my baby Rambo, and a week without internet to get some advice and support from you all. Sorry this might be a bit long...

Last friday I posted on here about Rambo's eye swelling up. The vet thought he might have run into something and had a kitty equivalent of a black eye. Well the next day the other eye swelled up, so I just continued putting antibiotics in both eyes and the vet figured it must have actually been an eye infection. Well this Thursday I came home from work to find vomit all over the house. Rambo was lying listless on the floor and showed no interest in food. I called the vet and she recommended keeping an eye on him, separating him from the others and just making sure he kept up on fluids and to bring him in to the clinic in the morning. After that Rambo did try to eat a bit, so I decided to go to baseball and leave him alone in quiet to rest. When I got home he had vomited spit but was trying to eat but he was making these horrible grunting noises and wheezing when he did. I panicked and called the vet again and she agreed I should bring him in.

Well...it turns out that Rambo's symptoms (coughing that i thought was a hairball, eye swelling) may have been the initial symptoms of an atypical URI (he had no sneezing, stuffy noise or runny eyes). Instead what she found was that the back of Rambo's throat was swollen and covered with what looked like blisters. And the pain in his throat when swallowing triggered his gag reflex. She took an x-ray to rule out him swallowing anything and found that he had also inhaled some vomit and had some fluid in his lungs.

The vet had never seen that combination of symptoms and both her and I mis read the symptoms. I felt so guilty seeing him in the cage, and feeling so terrible. Rambo just came home this morning after two days at the vet, and while his throat is very sore he is able to eat "kitty glop" and keep it down.

I thought i would write this now, even after the fact to say a few things:
*this site plays a very important role in supporting each other through the tough times. I can't tell you how much I missed that during these last horrible days.
*virus in cats can show a mind-boggling array of symptoms....when in doubt call the vet. If your vet isn't receptive to 1am emergency phone calls and visits to alleviate your concerns...find another vet.
*you know your cat better then anyone...don't let anyone convince you that you are overreacting, being over protective or dumb (i had a few unsupportive co-workers)

So to everyone...thank you for your ongoing support and contribution to this site. I missed you all terrible and would appreciate on-going vibes as Rambo continues to battle this virus. Please hug your cats...(and your vet!!!!)
post #2 of 19
I am so sorry that you both are going through this - I will send lots of vibes and prayers for Rambo.
post #3 of 19
I'm sorry you had to go through this alone. It's wonderful that you got the right help and that Rambo is on the mend. Healing vibes and hugs for you coming your way.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your good thoughts. This experience just made me appreciate TCS even more!
post #5 of 19
I am so sorry...sending heal quickly vibes to Rambo.
post #6 of 19
and get well vibes
post #7 of 19
Awww...Poor Rambo!! Get well soon!
post #8 of 19
We hope he gets well very soon.

"you know your cat better then anyone...don't let anyone convince you that you are overreacting, being over protective or dumb"

thank you for saying that.
post #9 of 19
Poor Rambo. If in your area you can get your hands on some Nancy's Yogurt plain with active cultures. Rambo will benefit by having a bit of it every day (about a teaspoon). Because it is bitter, try dribbling just a tiny bit of tuna juice in it so he will take to it. The good bacteria will help his system right itself and it will be easy for him to swallow.

Thank you for this interesting post, I had never heard of anything like this before. Please don't beat yourself up about this. Even this was new to your vet and now both of you have learned something. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the recovery~
post #10 of 19
I'm sending Rambo vibes. Thanks for describing Rambo's ailment. That information may well help another cat (owner) in the future.
post #11 of 19
OH NO! Poor baby Rambo! And poor YOU! That must have been so so stressful! I do hope he gets better quickly and is back to his old self
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your good vibes. Rambo unfortunately has hit a bit of a speed bump. I woke up this morning to him wheezing and whistling when he breathes. So it was another emergency call to the vet and she saw him right away. His throat is so sore and inflammed that it's swelling is interfering with his breathing. The vet gave him a shot of a steroid which seemed to help. THe problem is I can't get him to try eating (it hurts too much I think) but i need to get his next dose of steriods into him. Any thoughts/suggestions on how to do this in a way that will least stress out his throat? (even water and baby food have been causing him problems).

thanks everyone...please keep the healing vibes coming. I need to go cuddle my baby now.
post #13 of 19
Poor sweet Rambo. I'm so sorry he's having these problems, and I hope he's soon on the mend and feeling better. Don't have any practical advice for you, just lots of GET WELL Vibes.
post #14 of 19
The symptoms sound a lot like calicivirus, particularly the blisters. Here are some sites with information about possible treatments if that is what Rambo has. They recommend a humidifer or steam-filled bathroom to help with the breathing:

post #15 of 19
Has your vet been giving him subcutaneous fluids (injected under the skin)? It sounds as though if he's trouble swallowing he may not be getting much water either.

Maybe you can try the breathing options cloud_shade mentions, then give him sloppy food as soon as his breathing starts getting better (providing that works!). That's probably the best time to try it...
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Rambo is starting to show the symptoms of another outbreak of this illness (calici or whatever it is). He's been pretty quiet this whole weekend, and gagged a couple of times (which is what he did when his throat was sore the last time). He's also had the coughing/hairball type sound several mornings. And he's grunting and smacking his lips (which is again what he was doing when his throat was sore last time). I was not expecting this to happen again, if it was calicivirus and he made it through one bout, he should be fairly immune to other outbreaks. Does that mean this is something else? Some chronic throat problem?

Could I please get some more vibes to help him get through this...
post #17 of 19
post #18 of 19
loads & loads of }}}vibes{{{ for Rambo & a big hug for yourself

me x
post #19 of 19
Lotsa vibes for sweet Rambo! How very upsetting! for you, too!
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