Cat Sanctuary


Here’s another story from Leslie, and one of her favorites:

“In the year 2000 (the sanctuary’s 2nd year), Mousie, a black and white feral female, suffered a thrombo embolism and suddenly became paralyzed in her rear legs. Fortunately, a volunteer was in the room when the cat began thrashing about in panic and rushed her to an east Vancouver vet. Rather than euthanise Mousie as many vets would do, our vet wanted to try to dissolve the blockage. He administered medication and Mousie recovered fully. For about 6 months, we mixed baby aspirin into her food and today, eight years later, Mousie continues to thrive.” defines thromboembolism as the “Formation in a blood vessel of a clot (thrombus) that breaks loose and is carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel.”

Reading this story, I wondered why many vets would decide not to give the cat a chance and try and remove the blockage. Doing a little further reading on the subject, I realized what vets are up against with this one and just how lucky Mousie was.

An article on Feline Thromboembolic Disease from Georgia Veterinary Specialists describes it as “one of the most difficult and frustrating diseases for veterinarians” since there is so often underlying heart disease which can not only make treatment more dangerous to the cat but will often lead to the formation of more, possibly fatal, blood clots in future. In the face of such a gloomy prognosis, it’s a bit more understandable why vets would often decide prevention of further pain and suffering to be the kindest thing to do.

Fortunately, in Mousie’s case, the vet recognized that the nature and location of her clot gave her a good enough chance of recovery to attempt treatment… a decision that was rewarded with a full recovery.

Nine years later, Mousie can be found, healthy and content, snoozing on one of the shelves up high near the rafters on the porch outside the single wide trailer.
You may notice her ears look a little different than in the first picture…
If you didn’t, see below:

drawing by Claire

The drawing on the right shows ear deformation caused by an aural hematoma, a not uncommon ear problem in which a blood vessel in the ear bursts and blood collects between the cartilage and skin of the ear. It can happen if a cat’s ears get irritated and itchy due to an infection, ear mites or allergies – all that head shaking and ear scratching can actually rupture a blood vessel!
The swelling is painful, but once drained generally doesn’t cause the animal any problems beyond possible aesthetic ones due to the formation of scar tissue.
Mousie certainly doesn’t look like she’s letting it cramp her style.
Further hematoma reading:

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