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Brain damage

This is a special place for cats to share their love and support for each other during difficult times; it's a place to light candles, give a "get well purr" and let everyfur know they are never ever alone.

  
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Loki

Loki-
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 6:06pm PST 
Wednesday I took Loki and Oliver into the hospital for a routine dental cleaning. Oliver woke up and recovered normally. Loki...did not.

First, he took forever to wake up. Oliver was awake and alert within minutes. Loki took 30 minutes to swallow so we could take the tube out of his throat. When we took the tube out and laid him in the kennel, he was resting quietly for about 30 minutes, and then, out of nowhere, he began frantically climbing the kennel door and then falling drunkenly back down. He was thrashing so much in the kennel that the nurses thought he would hurt himself, so they brought him up to me at the front desk. I held him for almost 7 hours.

He went back and forth between frantically thrashing and stiffening every muscle in his body, to laying completely still with his little heart racing. He looked completely out of it, and when he cried it was like he was hallucinating and having a really really BAD trip. He peed on me twice and on one of the nurses once. These fits happened about every 30 minutes for about 5 hours.

At about 7pm, he was alert but still not coherent. Still, the doctor was not concerned and told me to just watch him that night and that he just had a reaction to the pre-meds we used before the surgery. I took him home and put him in my room while I hung out. He was meowing constantly (and Loki NEVER meows), alternately stumbling around and freezing in place. I called the doctor because he was freaking me out, and she said to bring him back in the morning if he wasn't any better. I put him in the bathroom with some towels and a litter box and woke up about every hour to check on him throughout the night.

He wasn't any better in the morning. I called the doctor first thing and she met me at the hospital. She gave him fluids and did an exam. Everything, including his bloodwork, came back normal. Then, when she put him on the floor to see him walk (I told her he had no coordination and stumbled around all night), she realized it. She waved her hand in front of his face and we saw no reaction on his part. A normal cat blinks. Loki didn't.

When the doctor told me my little kitty was blind, I just about lost it. Then, she told me that the blindness was a result of several seizures he had the day before. The thrashing and jerking he was doing after he woke up from the anesthesia was seizure after seizure. Nobody knew they were seizures. Nobody had seen a cat seize like that before. I was holding him while he seized over and over and I didn't know. The doctor and nurse both saw him during those five hours, and neither one of them even considered seizures as an option. He just didn't look like a cat that was seizing.

Loki has brain damage. We don't know what caused the seizures...if it was lack of oxygen during the procedure, or toxoplasmosis (causes a predisposition to seizures in cats) or a bad reaction to the pre-meds. What we do know is that he is blind. The chances of him regaining his sight are good, with average recovery around two weeks. There is, of course, the chance that the blindness could be permanant. But I can't even let myself think about that right now.

There are other things. He cannot use the litterbox. He goes where he goes. Usually he doesn't realize he's gone and he just lays in it. I have to keep him in the bathroom so he is separate from the other cats and so he doesn't go all over my apartment. He cannot eat or drink on his own. I hand feed him and give him a combo of subcutaneous fluids and water orally. He sleeps for 23 hours a day, and when he isn't sleeping, he's wandering aimlessly, crying. The seizures didn't damage just the part of the brain that processes sight, but other parts too. His memory is gone.

It's heartbreaking. This is my baby.

The doctors seem confidant that he will recover and get his sight back. I'm actually less worried about the actual seeing part and more worried about his day to day processes like eating and drinking. And his personality. What if that never comes back?

I should always trust my gut. I felt really nervous about him going under anesthesia, and I just told myself that he would be fine. But Loki has always been sickly and weak. I should have known he would be too sensitive for anesthesia. I'm not saying it's my fault or the doctors' faults. There's no way anyone could have predicted this. But that doesn't change the fact that my 18 month old active, affectionate, sweet kitty is completely handicapped and completely dependent on me.

I'm going to do the absolute best I can to give him the absolute best shot at recovering. If I just focus on that, I won't think about him being this way for the rest of his life.

If anybody has similar experience with this type of thing or has any advice, please send me a comment or message. I'm scared to death.
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Member Since
08/06/2009
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 6:54pm PST 
I am so sorry! My heart goes out to you and Loki. I wish Loki healing and you strength to get through this.
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Lady

the queen
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 7:02pm PST 
we are sorry for what has happened to loki, our purrs and prayers go out to you. you may want to consider getting a second opinion. maybe another vet, might have a different view, or, another way of treating loki. keep us updated. purrrs.
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The- Wisconsin- cats

793036
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 7:21pm PST 
I'm so sorry to hear what happened! I agree with the suggestion of getting a second opinion with another vet. We will be purring for Loki!
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Maggie

Princess Snow- Belle
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 7:21pm PST 
hughughug
Hugs to your family and purrs and prayers for Loki, Such a sad and scary story. I am hoping that Loki makes a full recovery.
You may want to post in the health forum to see if anyone there has some helpful experiences for you.
Please keep us updated with Loki's progress
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Athena (In- Memory)

Purrs and Love- to Mom and- Toulouse

moderator
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 7:52pm PST 
Sending our purr prayers and strength for Loki to get well.

Purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers,
Purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers,
Purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers,
Purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers,
Purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers, purr prayers,

Purrs and Love,
Athena, Apollo and Aragorn
hughughughug

Hazel Lucy &- Mazie & Max

tiny gumdrop
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 8:05pm PST 
Oh this is awful.
I'm adding Loki to the get well purr list and we will purr and pray for recovery. I'm concerned that the vet didn't recognize it Might be a seizure. Any chance of another vet checking?
Catsters in Need of Serious Purring thread

I have never heard of a routine dental for a cat this young.

Edited by author Sat Aug 8, '09 8:07pm PST

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Loki

Loki-
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 9, '09 7:50am PST 
For a normal cat, I wouldn't have gotten a dental this young, but he has basically no immune system because of a really bad upper respiratory infection when he was 12 weeks old. We almost lost him then. He wouldn't eat or drink for four days, lost a pound (he was only two pounds to start with) and had to be on fluids and hand feeding for two weeks. Because of the low immunity, his gums are already inflamed and he risks losing his teeth if we don't stay on top of his dental health. A normal, healthy cat of his age should tolerate anesthesia just fine. Loki is just not a normal cat.

Thank you all for the good vibes and thoughts. It means alot.
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Loki

Loki-
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 9, '09 9:27am PST 
Here's the latest response from a vet not affiliated with the one who did the procedure:

Hi again- It's impossible for me to say if it was human error or medication that caused this since I wasn't there while he was under anesthesia. I don't think it was the ace. I have seen this happen due to human error OR a reaction to the gas anesthesia. I think there is a REALLY good chance that your cat will improve greatly with time. I know it is hard to believe but in a few weeks he could have his sight back and have few lasting side effects. Sometimes we put these cats on some oral prednisone to treat any brain inflammation. I have seen several cats recover COMPLETELY within 2 weeks, and others recover enough to have some sight and be good pets again. I know you are worried but I think you need to give it time. It has only been a few days so far so he has plenty of time to improve.
Best of luck- write back if you have more questions,
Dr. Karen

This is encouraging news.
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Hazel Lucy &- Mazie & Max

tiny gumdrop
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 9, '09 10:49am PST 
Keeping hope alive and praying that in the meantime Loki is not traumatized.
purrs,
Hazel Lucy
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