Cat brutally savaged, has had complicated surgery, aftercare will be difficult, costly and I have know idea where to begin
May 4, 2008 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Cat brutally savaged, has had complicated surgery, aftercare will be difficult, costly and I have know idea where to begin.....

My cat Mati was brutally and savagely attacked by a pack of wild dogs that were passing through the remote area where we live. She went missing for 48 hours where we were in sheer panic and terror of not knowing what happened to her. She somehow managed to drag herself back home, let out a moan and then collapsed from pain and exhaustion. From there she was rushed to the emergency room.

It was found she had very serious and complicated injuries to her leg, it was also badly infected with maggots after being left laying where she was for 2 days straight in the hot sun. No internal injuries or broken bones. There was a lot of necrosis, infection and damage to the leg. 4 days later she was operated on today where most of the tissue and muscle of her knee was removed in a very complicated procedure, requiring many stitches, tubes for drainage inserted and was given a warning that the after-care will not be easy.

I really don't know how to begin being a nurse to a cat that needs intensive care. I'd like to approach this from a very practical and effective, holistic way. What will I be needing in terms of equipment? How do I care for a cat that isn't usually very cooperative to say the least - with being hypersensitive to touch? What kind of therapy could I do with her after the infection subsides to help with muscles and tissues? Are there any homeopathic remedies that are good for this?

Also regarding the vet fees - I'd like to begin fund-raising to cover the costs that will be involved in her ordeal, either through song posted on the internet, a website, or finding resources out there that would help me help her. Anything, anyone out there that could possibly help in any way in this kind of situation would be greatly appreciated.

She is a wonderful, loving cat and certainly deserves to live the best way she can now - one thing is for certain - she will never, ever be going out again under these circumstances - only if and when a fenced in area can be managed and even then under close supervision. And that's a long way off from now - if ever.

Thank you.
posted by watercarrier to Pets & Animals (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am not sure enough of what markovich is saying to second it. But I will say that we had a cat in a similar set of circumstances, except that it sounds like the degree of damage inflicted was somewhat less. We spent tons of money on the cat, and tons of personal care, and it never really was the same. We loved the cat, but in retrospect I think we did it for ourselves, and for our kids, and that the cat would have been better off if it we had spared it the battery of procedures, the pain, and the not-quite-feeling-itself ordeal.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:28 AM on May 4, 2008


Response by poster: Not a chance. - 1 and 2. This is a miracle in the making with God on our side and nothing in this world will come between absolute Health and Healing and this cat. Nothing.
posted by watercarrier at 10:35 AM on May 4, 2008


Our neighbours had a cat that was curled up in a car when it was started, and it was shredded half to death. They were given the choice of putting the cat under intensive operations, but they couldn't afford it... and so it was put down. Honestly, I think that was the best option for them and the cat. But it's your cat...

As to the fund-raising, I suppose some sort of blog would be the place to start, lots of free sites out there... pass the link around to your friends and family. Set up a pay-pal account so people can send the money your way.
posted by glip at 10:39 AM on May 4, 2008


The vet should be giving you comprehensive instructions for aftercare.

IANAV, but I've known a few, um, spirited cats. Most cats are a lot more docile when in pain/discomfort/sickness. It's likely that you will be able to look forward to her being oversensitive to touch as a sign of recovery.
posted by desuetude at 10:42 AM on May 4, 2008


I'm curious as to why they didn't just amputate the leg. I know that this sounds incredibly cruel, especially when applied with one of our furbabies, but I think that it would be a lot less traumatic than the lengthy recovery required to heal a leg joint. I've seen plenty of animals that are missing a leg, and they do just fine (they do have 4). It also would have been worlds cheaper than extensive surgery and aftercare.

Is this still an option? I realize that you have already committed a lot of money towards saving the leg, but realize that it's going to be incredibly difficult to keep a cat off of that leg so that it can heal. Also, if infection sets into the leg after surgery, they will most likely amputate it anyway. It would be kinder to both you and the kitty to consider it now.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:44 AM on May 4, 2008


IANAV, and IANYV, and this is your cat.....but I think you should seriously consider euthanasia in this scenario. Are you really going to be improving the quality of her life, or are you setting her and yourself up for a prolonged, painful intensive care situation?
posted by gnutron at 10:48 AM on May 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Are there any homeopathic remedies that are good for this?

There are no homeopathic remedies that work for anyone or anything. Homeopathy is not evidence based and is outright quackery. Your cat needs solid evidence-based care, beginning with what the veterinarian, a person trained in actual science, tells you. Flame me, flag me, do as you will, but water that contains none of the original "therapeutic" solute is worthless.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:53 AM on May 4, 2008 [26 favorites]


I'd like to agree with those above who suggest considering euthanasia. Maybe it's not the right thing to do, but maybe it is. Talk to your vet about it.

I've had some experience with rehabilitating cats, though nothing as extreme as what you describe. The best thing to do would be to ask your vet about what you can do. He or she will be able to give you better, more specific advice than anybody here. You could also inquire at your local humane society; they're likely to have someone within their ranks who knows a lot about this sort of thing.

That said, the best advice I can give you is to keep the cat confined to one room, preferably one without a lot of furniture in it. This is especially important if your cat is at all mobile. You don't want her going and trying to jump up on anything. If you sit in there with her (which you should, a lot), sit on the floor so she isn't tempted to try to get up on your lap. Also, eliminate nooks and crannies she can get lost in. If she can move herself around at all, that will probably be her first instinct: to hide. Right now, that's not what you want. You need to be able to get at her easily, without dragging her out from under the bed.

If you don't have a suitable room, you should clear out one end of a room and put up some sort of barrier. The main thing is to give her a quiet space where she can't hurt herself or hide from you.

I wish I could be more helpful. Really, you need to talk to someone who can see the cat and who knows what they're doing.
posted by Commander Rachek at 10:59 AM on May 4, 2008


Do whatever your faith demands, I guess, and I'm sorry you and your cat are in this situation. Just be sure to take the cat's interest and its quality of life into account. FWIW, amputation is one thing we eventually had to go through, and I can say that it seemed devastating to the cat even when it was fully medically resolved.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:59 AM on May 4, 2008


Response by poster: I don't believe in killing animals because of convenience or inconvenience - as far as quality of life goes - there was no mention of the fact that there would be any reduction in the quality of life - only perfect mending that will take dedication and perseverance.
posted by watercarrier at 11:05 AM on May 4, 2008


Not going to take sides on the whole euthanasia bit, but you should understand that in any kind of surgery, animal or otherwise, there is no such thing as "perfect mending." Return of function and high quality of life, certainly, but your cat's leg will never be exactly like it was.
posted by awesomebrad at 11:17 AM on May 4, 2008


there was no mention of the fact that there would be any reduction in the quality of life - only perfect mending that will take dedication and perseverance.

WHO mentioned "that there would be [no] reduction in the quality of life" -- did your vet say that? Or is that what you want? I find it hard to believe, given the cat's injuries, that any reputable vet would suggest there would be no reduction in the quality of life, much less guarantee "perfect mending." You can be as dedicated as you want, and the animal may still suffer and die. I speak from heartbreaking experience on that score.
posted by scody at 11:19 AM on May 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Just the recovery process will involve suffering, never mind after the "perfect healing", and you said the cat is ALREADY "hypersensitive to touch"- why are you subjecting this cat to months and months of pain and suffering?
posted by tristeza at 11:40 AM on May 4, 2008


We fostered a rescue cat with severe gigantic infected open wounds on two legs and his tail from some kind of attack. The Humane Society recommended to the guy who found him that he should just be put down because of his injuries, but the guy sent out email appeals for a foster home and we volunteered to try.

The cat ended up not requiring surgery, although the vet considered it, so his injuries were not as severe as your cat's. While he was sick and in pain, he was actually pretty docile. We had no trouble giving him his medicine or taking care of his wounds.

We had made him a bed on the floor because we thought he wouldn't be able to jump anywhere. The first night I dozed on the couch because I was worried about him and I woke up with him in my lap. He was very cuddly throughout his recovery.

The only real problem we had was that he wouldn't eat or drink. The vet gave us some canned food for sick cats that she said was almost completely chicken liver. He loved it and ate just that while he was healing.

That was more than 4 years ago. After he recovered we adopted him and he's now a happy, healthy cat with no signs that he was ever so injured and sick. He has never been docile or cuddly since recovering, though. He's a sweet guy, but tough and reserved. So your cat's previous temperament may not predict how she will act while recovering.

Good luck. Do what's best for her, with your vet's advice.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:40 AM on May 4, 2008


Hopefully a doctor, veterinarian, or medical researcher will chime in and confirm/deny the following statement; muscle tissue does not regrow once destroyed. Individual muscle cells will increase in size with exercise or atrophy with a lack of it, but once a cell is destroyed it does not regrow. If your cat had most of the muscle removed from part of her leg, "perfect mending" seems impossible. If your vet told you to expect "perfect mending," you should probably as them to explain what they mean by that.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 11:46 AM on May 4, 2008


I had a cat that was brutally attacked by 3 dogs and was in your same place. We rushed him to the emergency room where we found his abdominal wall was ripped open and his intestines now lay just under the skin, his sternum was shatterered and his left back leg muscle had pretty much been torn in half.
My mother and me cried and cried and didn't know what to do. The vets gave us 50-50 odds with surgery. We decided to go for it, we begged and borrowed for the money.
We spent about 3 weeks in a closet to keep him quiet, confined and so he couldn't jump on anything. He had the drainage tubes the whole bit. And he was a champ through the whole thing. He lived 15 more years...
I also worked for a veterinary as a tech and saw many cases like yours. We had a cat that had his leg tore up in a car belt. we tried to save it doing water therapy and he was tame yet kind of wild when he came in friendly seeming, didn't mind us near him to change his box or food but wouldn't let us touch him, hypersensitive as you say. We did weeks of antibiotics and water therapy on the leg and he turned in to a total sweet heart during all of that. The leg continually got worse and it was eventually amputated. He then got weird. Just biting people for no obvious reason. Became very different after the amputation.
I am not saying this will happen to YOUR cat. But it is two sides of the coin.
I think homeopathy is NOT utter quackery and I absolutely believe in healing power other than just pure science.
I think it is up to you look at your cat and your situation and FEEL what you should do. It isn't always clear but I think if you look with an honest open heart you will find it.
I have worked professionally with animals for over 10 years now and this kind of thing comes up every now and then and it is never easy but I have yet to regret a decision I have made in this regard. Don't rule out euthanasia but don't necessarily jump right to it either. I think Mati will tell you what she wants if you listen closely enough.
As far as after care keep in close contact with your vet he/she will have lots of instructions. I imagine she will be on some sort of antibiotics. The water Therapy helped a lot with the necrotic tissue for the cat with the leg injury. If you can get her to accept it.
Is she at home with you now?
posted by fogonlittlecatfeet at 11:59 AM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Best answer: I'm sorry this has happened watercarrier, it's a horrible shock for both the cat and the human carer. You need to be organised for this one and you need the support of the vet and staff.

First off you really need to contact the vet and ask for explicit instruction as to how to care for Mati. I don't believe they should be releasing her to you for care whilst she still has complicated drains in her leg. These need specialist care to ensure there is no further infection or blockage.

If the vet says that Mati is ready to come home and will do better at home, try and get hold of a large feline/canine holding cage (the vet may lend you one), depending on the type of injury, she may need to rest up and be immobile for a while, also you cannot risk her escaping outside. Set up some clean bedding in there and a litter tray. Use a dust free litter and a low sided litter tray if you can get one. Also put in a sturdy water bowl. Change the water 4 times a day. Change the litter everytime she uses it. Set up the cage somewhere in your house that is quiet, draught free and not constantly full of people. She is going to need proper peace and quiet to heal. She is also going to need to feel safe. So spend time with her, next to the cage, just sitting quietly, don't try and pet her all the time or constantly reassure her, just some company will do. She'll need checking on regularly through the day and night depending on how she is when the vet sends her home. Use a cooling fan or heater to keep the room at a comfortable temperature.

If you can't get hold of a suitable cage, then dedicate one room for her. Make sure no one leaves the door open. Put a big sign on the door if there's a risk of that happening.

A convalescence diet would be most appropriate for her. Some simple cooked white fish or chicken, or even something like Hills AD which is a prescription, convalescence, high calorie diet that vets stock. If she's up to it and prefers it, then give her her usual food, but in smaller portions spread throughout the day. Don't leave any wet food in there with her after she has finished eating. Be prepared for her appetite to wax and wain a bit in the initial recovery period.

The vet should provide you with suitable analgesia for her, and show you how to administer it. It's likely to be an opiate based one which will make her drowsy. Ask the vet to show you best how to handle her, regarding picking her up. The vet must also tell you what to look out for in terms of her deteriorating. Further infection will be the biggest risk. Long acting antibiotics are available to give in injection form, which will save you and Mati some struggles if she is difficult to pill. If she shows her third eyelid, seems very physically depressed (after being alert and responsive) if her breathing rate is fast (normal is about 35 breaths per minute)or if her ears feel very hot, then contact the vet right away. If she stops eating or drinking for more than 24 hours, if she doesn't urinate or defecate for 24 hours, call the vet straight away. If she's panting, crouched or her muscle tone feels hard to the touch, call the vet then.

Keep a written list of the medications she has to take, draw a table up and write in the times doses are due, make tickboxes and tick 'em so you can see that she has had the right dose at the right time. Keep the vets telephone number on this list also. Make notes about how she is, how much food she ate, how much water she drank also, this can be useful when you are speaking to the vet to report progress. Also make a note of appointments for check ups at the vet.

It's unlikely that the vet expects you to change her dressings, but if they do, ask for seriously detailed instruction and enough supplies to do this. Ensure you have thoroughly washed your hands before you attempt any dressing changes or repairs. The biggest danger is going to be infection setting in again, so cleanliness is vital. Also ask for signs to look for that show there is a problem with tissue/wound healing.

If there's more than one of you living in the house, then ensure that everyone knows that Mati needs peace and quiet. If anyone is helping you with looking after her, then make sure they use the medication chart as well. Forgotten doses of antibiotics or analgesia are going to make this harder for Mati. Ideally one person, should be in charge of the medicines and giving them.

Try and stay as calm and chilled as you can when dealing with her, she will pick up on human distress (even tiny signs you don't realise you're showing) quicker than you can think and stress will impede her healing nig time. Make sure you look after yourself too. For the first night or two, you might want to sleep by the side of the cage or in the room where you will keep her. This of course depends on her and you. You know her best.

Be prepared for her to spend many, many hours sleeping. She has much healing to do and this is going to happen most efficiently when she's resting.

I've known cats recover well and surprisingly quickly from very serious injuries, similar to the one poor Mati has. As predators, it's an evolutionary advantage that cats have to be able to heal quickly.

If the worst comes to the worst and Mati has to lose the leg then be assured that cats can manage very well on three legs. You might need to make a few initial adaptations to her immediate environment so she can regain confidence in getting up and down, but it's definately do-able.

Lastly, your vet may be ameniable to setting up a payment plan for you, so you can tackle the bill that way.

Good luck to you and Mati :)
posted by Arqa at 12:01 PM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, now I feel like I must have been raised in some backwoods podunk family compared to you guys, but we always believed in cats' magical ability to heal themselves when I was growing up. We had numerous adopted strays, all strictly outdoor cats, that would come home torn to shreds from fights with other animals, get caught up inside cars like glip's, etc. My parents never considered costly surgeries. Every time, they entirely expected the poor thing to just curl up and die, and were blown away to see them heal up entirely on their own after moping around for weeks/months.

So, this probably doesn't answer your question much, but just have faith that kitty will be ok. The whole nine lives thing is real. Cats are survivors.
posted by gueneverey at 12:26 PM on May 4, 2008


Speaking from experience, I think you'll be amazed at how fast cats recover from traumatic injuries. Good luck to your cat!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2008


Best answer: I know exactly how you feel. We just went through a terrible crisis with our cat, mushi mushi gila monster, that resulted in his right front leg being amputated (after we first thought it could be saved). He has always been a terrifically active and healthy cat and we thought his life was effectively over. However, cats adapt remarkably well to amputation or lameness in a limb. Here is a collection of links to help you if the leg requires amputation and about disability in cats in general:

Limb Amputation in Cats
Felines do surprisingly well with three legs.
Living with a disabled cat
handicappedpets.com
rollingdogranch.com (thanks to Lyn Never)
Feline VAS Support--Guide for amputee caretakers

Here is a list of options for financial aid. We did not qualify for assistance but we financed mushi's extremely expensive care through CareCredit, which will give us some much-needed breathing room.

As for his immediate aftercare, we kept him confined in our bedroom with us for a couple of weeks post-surgery and spent a lot of time making sure the food and water we gave him was accessible to him (there was a lot of hand-feeding). He wanted to hide out a lot so we put a lot of soft bedding in his crate and kept it on the bed so he could be private but near us at the same time. We cut the front off a plastic litter tray so that he wouldn't have to climb into it and changed it out every day. We talked to him a lot and gave him a lot of petting and love. The hospital didn't recommend any particular feed or supplements for this period so we just fed him a lot of things he loved to encourage his appetite. With the additional stress his other limbs have to bear now our vet did recommend a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement to help prevent arthritis.

Mushi had a lot of trouble with his breathing and we faced the very real possibility he would die. There's no reason to dwell on worst-case scenarios but you do understand that is a possibility. That helps to clarify what's important and what's not from the rest of what you are facing: if Mati lives, dwelling on what she's lost does neither of you good. Cats are brilliant at adaptation. Mushi started out sad and clumsy and is now opening closets and leaping on counters and running like a bat out of hell whenever he hears a can of treats opening. You can see some of his progress here if you'd like. He's not as graceful or quick as his once was, perhaps, but we just don't care. He's alive, and we love him and are grateful, and the same thing can happen for you and Mati. Take care of her, and you.
posted by melissa may at 1:13 PM on May 4, 2008


Cats can recover from horrible injuries. I had a cat who had a smashed pelvis, hip and thigh and he lived a long (and happy) time after that accident. I'm curious as to why the vet didn't amputate. My neighbour has a cat with a missing hind leg which was amputated after he was run over. He can run like the wind, although when he walks, he freaks out all the other cats because his gait is so unusual.

How do I care for a cat that isn't usually very cooperative to say the least - with being hypersensitive to touch?

I've taken care of injured or sick cats that usually hate being touched, but they seem to sense that you're trying to do good for them and will accept a level of contact they normally wouldn't tolerate. The day she bites you when you go to touch her will be the day you realise she's getting back to her old self.
posted by essexjan at 1:25 PM on May 4, 2008


Response by poster: essexjan -
My guess is that the vet didn't amputate because there was enough of the leg left after removing the dead tissue - to save it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Thank you all for your help. May we never ever have to be asking these kinds of questions - but only how to find new ways to enjoy this beautiful world. Take good care.
posted by watercarrier at 2:20 PM on May 4, 2008


It's interesting that the answers highlighted are the ones that confirm the original poster's opinions. Not that said opinions are wrong — but if you feel you already know the answer to the question ... it seems as if you came here only seeking corroborating opinions.

I have a cat named Charlie. I love him a great deal; he means a lot to me. Were he to have been placed in such a brutal situation, my heart would have broken. I give you my honest and deep sympathy.

I think it is your ethical duty as your cat's parent to go to your veterinarian and ask what level of pain Mati will have for the remainder of her life.

I agree with you in that I too feel euthanasia isn't the immediate right response. But it is your job as a cat owner — perhaps the worst job of a cat owner — to consider the quality of life your cat will deal with.

If it's a tough painful recovery process with a relatively high chance of return to normalcy — absolutely, assuming you can make the necessary financial arrangements, don't euthanize.

But you seem to be utterly ruling it out as any potential option in this situation. I'm saying in response — with great empathy yet with firmness — that it is your responsibility as a cat owner to not rule that out.

It is not a death for the convenience of the owner (what a horrid thought); it is instead a very painful life in order to spare the feelings of the owner. Euthanasia is chosen in such situations because life in such a situation is a worse option, and cats don't have the sentience or means to act to end that pain themselves in such a situation. As such, an admittedly horrifying responsibility is placed upon your shoulders.

We're not in your shoes. We don't know how your cat will heal. That's why I suggest you ask the vet, and see what her life will be like should the healing go well. If a return to normalcy has a very good shot, then, by all means, assuming you can afford it, roll the dice and do your best. I agree with you.

The one thing I don't agree with you on is that euthanasia can never be ruled out simply because it would crush us. Because sometimes, in certain medical situations, euthanasia is the most kind action we can take, and continued life is the most selfish action we can take. This may not be such a situation.

Feel free to yell at me now if that helps.
posted by WCityMike at 2:25 PM on May 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


Please contact a vet skilled in animal pain management to ensure that your cat is receiving adequate pain management. Most vets do not have anything like decent knowledge about this area of veterinary medicine, because it's a relatively new and evolving specialty. Your vet can consult with pain management specialists online via VIN at no charge, please request that your vet do so for your cat. If you plan to row this hoe (and only you can decide what is best for your situation, although I think WCityMike's post was eloquent and apt), please make sure that your cat has good pain management through this. Many vets are still of the old "animals don't really feel pain like we do" school, or at best have a tiny amount of knowledge of what is now available as regards pain management (as evidence by the large numbers of vets who massively under-dose pets because they do not really understand the safe dosage ranges for drugs like Tramadol and gabapentin - if they use such drugs at all in their practice, good pain management often involves a number of different drugs used together, in addition to things like rehab and acupuncture). A cat who has been as catastrophically injured as you describe needs at very least good pain management from someone who is educated in that area. Animals only care about quality of life, if you intend to nurse your cat through this, please manage the pain properly and aggressively.
posted by biscotti at 3:17 PM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


WCityMike -- I think that the answers marked as best answers are ones that actually answered the question. watercarrier asked "What will I be needing in terms of equipment? How do I care for a cat that isn't usually very cooperative to say the least - with being hypersensitive to touch?" and about resources that could help financially, not "do you guys think I should euthanize?" and both melissa may's and agra's answered addressed those questions.

watercarrier, to answer the only part of your question I feel qualified to answer -- the part about finances-- when my cat had to have all sorts of expensive tests and x-rays for a weird digestive problem, my vet offered to put me on a payment plan. It might be worthwhile to ask your vet if they could do something like that.
posted by amarynth at 3:17 PM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Financially, look into CareCredit. Most vets are not equipped to do payment plans.
posted by biscotti at 4:38 PM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


When my cat was hit by a car, he ended up with a broken pelvis and a herniated diaphragm. The vet told us that they had a joke (?) in med school that the best car for a cat was to lock it in a room for six weeks... the point being that cats have really excellent powers of recovery on their own. In my cat's case, they operated on the diaphragm, and then were prepared to put a plate into his pelvis once he had recovered from the first operation. We never did that, because he never needed it. He limped for quite awhile, but eventually got to the point where he behaved like his normal self. Stay in good communication with your vet. They're the ones who are best able to tell you what you need to do, and what your cat's chances are. I wouldn't worry about therapy or holistic remedies or anything like that- holistic remedies aren't for traumatic injuries, and cats are very good at their own physical therapy (although sometimes confinement when they don't want it is necessary). I grew up with dozens of cats, dogs, horses, goats, rabbits, &c and we cared for many sick and injured animals (I learned to give subcutaneous shots as a teenager when my goat, Buster, broke his leg). The most helpful thing was careful attention, vet communication, and leaving the animals alone to rest when needed.

Good luck to you and Mati.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:45 PM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


A crate is really the best way to immobilize a recovering cat. It's just about impossible to stop a cat from jumping up, it's just what they do.

What you might do, though, in the crate, is provide a ledge. When my cat had a broken leg, she spent all her time in a windowsill where she could dangle the cast off. A lot of cats aren't really side-layers, they prefer to loaf upright with their legs tucked under, and they just can't if the leg is immobilized and/or painful. I think a hard foam yoga brick might not give enough clearance, but maybe two of them taped together - as long as the cat can walk on and not jump to get on it. Might need a third brick to make a step up.

If the necrosis or infections can't be controlled and the vet suggests amputation, take the option the first time it's offered. Tripods do fine getting around, but sepsis or prolonged infection damages internal organs and the cat's ability to heal from more surgery, which means you only have a short window to take that option if it's necessary. The maggots were probably actually a blessing, and are used sometimes to debride large open wounds in humans, and that may be the reason the tissue was in good enough shape to try to save the leg.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:18 PM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


[AnthropomorphismFilter] I've never had a seriously ill cat, so maybe I'm talking out my ass here - but if there is any way you could give kitty a view of the outside while recovering, I bet that would help. Maybe seeing the birds and trees and smelling the outside smells would give her something to live for?

Are packs of wild dogs a problem in the area? If so, use your fund raising efforts as a way to raise awareness of the problem. Contact a local newspaper and ask them to do a human (cat?) interest story. Ask the local pet stores, convenience stores, gas stations and small mom-and-pop shops if it's ok for you to put a collection jar by the register. Contact local humane societies or shelters, and ask them to put a story on your kitty's plight on their web site. You might be surprised at how many people would want to help you and Mati.

Good luck!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:52 AM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


only if and when a fenced in area can be managed

Fences aren't too effective for keeping cats in one place.
posted by electroboy at 7:06 AM on May 5, 2008


Previously (sort of) -- my question about caring for my cat after she broke her leg and needed to be confined to a very small dog crate.

Said cat ended up living in that crate for three months (the break took longer to heal than expected). It's a year and a half later and she's 100% recovered -- it's like nothing ever happened. She's chasing her sister up and down the stairs as I type.

Good luck!
posted by liet at 7:04 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


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