Nala had breathing problems in June/July indicated by coughing and abnormal breathing sounds. Successfully treated with Vibramycin and Sulfatrim twice a day for three weeks along with Meloxicam and some Vitamin C once a day for about 10 days. The video of her running around like crazy was after she had recovered from that at the end of July.
At the end of August (Around the 23rd/24th) she then had lump on her face that the vet aspirated and said contained liquid rather than pus and put her on Sulfatrim again and Meloxicam (twice a day but at a dose quite a bit higher than before two lots at 0.2cc rather than one lot at 0.23cc that she was on before, I didnt pick up on this until a while later) She started getting better and putting weight on (up to 834g with minimal Critical care at that point) but on 8/29 we switched the Sulfatrim to one that was a higher concentration but lower dose to give the same mg/kg to try and make it easier for her to take, however on the same day her weight started dropping again and her energy and activity appeared to drop slightly (we had only just started using the new Sulfatrim so I dont think there is a correlation there but cant be sure)
I took her back in on 8/31, as her weight had dropped to 779g and at that point the vet suggested taking her off of all meds for the weekend to see if she improved. The Vet checked the abscess and said it had gone down but she could still feel it so aspirated it again and got most of it out. She then suggested keeping Nala off of all meds for the weekend and seeing if she improved and then start the Chloramphenicol palmitate instead of Sulfatrim and restart the Meloxicam.
She didnt seem to improve over the weekend and on Sunday her weight had dropped again 752. I also noticed her heavy breathing at that point and a further drop in energy and activity. Her poop had also gotten really small and we were giving her between 15 and 20ml of Critical Care per day, about half a Tablespoon or less.
On Sunday 9/2 as I was preparing to stat the meds on Monday I noticed the higher Meloxicam dosage and queried it but was later told by the vet that she usually did twice a day for meloxicam and had "upped the dose". I started the new medication but only did one dose of Meloxicam per day not two.
I had been emailing the Vet pretty regularly with updates on Nala and questions and on Tuesday Morning they called to confirm the dose and also suggest that I take her in for them to look at the breathing issue but the regular vet wasnt due in until the afternoon so I would be seeing a different vet who didn't know the full history. I arranged to take her in during the afternoon when I could see the regular vet, she called me and suggested that they keep Nala overnight "for Observation"and do some X-rays the following day.
When I took her in I also took her meds and some veggies that I knew she woudl eat as she wasnt eating the same stuff she used to.
The next day the vet called to say she seemed ok and had been eating hay and veggies but when i asked her about the breathing she said she hadnt noticed that and would check on it.
When I picked her up on Wednesday Afternoon (5th) the vet showed me the X-Ray and pointed out the grey area around her lungs/chest which she said was liquid only a small area of clear lung was visible, the heart was not visible due to the liquid. She said that they couldn't tell from the X-Ray if it was Lung Consolidation or a heart issue or possibly even cancer and suggested an expensive Ultrasound or an Aspiration of the liquid or both but said their Ultrasound specialist wasn't available until the 13th. She told me to keep giving her the Chloramphenicol palmitate plus some Lasix but to stop the Meloxicam (this was when she explained about the higher dosage and didn't think it was an issue). The vet did mention tha there was no sign of the abscess on her face on the X-Ray.
I had been emailing updates to them with weights (between 757 and 788g) and how much critical care she was having (1.5 Table Spoons per day) and her activity level.
On Tuesday the vet called and said that the small improvements were good but that they were not enough to indicate a recovery and said that without an ultrasound then we should consider euthanasia due to her "quality of life", but she is still relatively active, out eating hay quite a bit and eating pellets and some veggies, she is not just sat in corner all day. She also said that they were going to have a specialist look at the Xrays and see if they had any suggestions. I am still waiting to hear from them on that but to be frank i am dreading any more calls from the vet if she is still suggesting Euthanasia
Last night Nala's activity seemed to increase and her weight was 781g
She is probably stressed, I know I am, but i think the liquid is probably the main cause although stress is probably adding to it. . The chest movements and head Bobs dont appear to be as pronounced and her breathing seems better to me but it is tough to tell. She seems to have enough energy to go for a little trot and a run without seeming to have any issues.
I think that covers most of it. Sorry for another long post
If she is responding to the current meds, that is great. I think I've posted a link to the heart page. Make sure you keep it in mind in case anything changes.
After doing a lot of thinking about our set up and what changes have been made over time that might lead to the various breathing issues they have all had at different times one feature that kept cropping up was the fleece pockets on the liners we have.
Since they have been spending more time in those the breathing issues increased. They hide out in them and sleep in them and pee and poop in them and even though we are spot cleaning multiple times a day and switching them out every couple of days they seem to trap the smell which doesn't seem healthy to me.
They had been sleeping in cuddle cups before in a separate covered area (Using the top of an old cage to give it some cover) but I had taken those out when I needed the cage top they were in to put Siouxsie in when she had balance issues and hadn't put it back so rather than sleeping out in those they have been sleeping pretty exclusively in the fleece pockets as we had taken out most of the other hideys as they were pretty big and there wasnt much space with the pockets now being at the end of each of the liners so we couldn't put stuff on top of them.
I had also noticed that Chunkita and Nala had recently taken to sleeping on top of the pockets as well and since they had Nala seemed to be doing better. The vet also commented that when Nala was with them overnight she seemed to improve and I had been trying to think what aspects of our set up were different and came back to the fleece pockets again.
So we have changed things around yesterday so that they don't have the pockets to sleep or hide in and put two fleece forests up (moved from the loft) one end in place of the pocket and two hideys down the other.
Will see how that works out. They dont seem to have taken to the hideys much and were sleeping outside them but under the loft last night but hopefully they will get used to it and not being under a closed in blanket with only one side open with the smell of their own pee and poop will reduce the breathing issues. Siouxsie seems particularly miffed at the loss of the pockets so I may need to think of some other items to put in there to keep her happy.
I had looked at the heart page, thank you, and will bear it in mind but I am hoping that isn't the issue.
I had expected a call from the Vet abut the specialists take on the X-Rays but didn't get one yet.
Hoping that Nala will continue to improve with the new setup
A couple of pictures of the new arrangement, I had just put one of the cuddle cups in there in place of a hidey and Nala jumped right in to it.
They are stitched to the liner along 3 sides with only one side open but if they are spending lot of time in there and peeing and pooping the smell is kind of trapped in there with them. Thinking it through the issues started around the time they started sleeping in those pockets on a regular basis.
Have switched to the set up above without the pockets (they are folded back under the liner so not accessible) and using more conventional hideys and fleece forests. I may end up putting the cuddle cup beds where the hidey are and getting some fleece to screen that end off a little so t is more like what they used to have.
They seem to be getting used to the fleece forest already and Nala seems to be continuing to improve.
- Supporter in 2018
We will see how things progress with the new arrangement
Nala still seems to be making a slight improvement each day. Her chest and head movement is less visible when she breathes. Still there but it seems to be lessening. Her weight is stable around the 780 mark too. She also seemed more interested in veggies yesterday and came out for another explore and trot around at floor time.
I missed the call from the vet yesterday the specialist apparently mentioned something about 'sinus structures' what ever they are but couldn't give any more info than that on what he saw, so they still cant say what the issue is.
I am also assuming that despite the Benebac the antibiotics are probably messing with her appetite a bit. I have seen her eating hay on a a regular basis and she has also been eating pellets and has shown a bit more interest in veggies of late. She is bright and alert and seems quite a bit more active in general.
Thanks for all of the advice and support it has been a real help but I think we may have found the culprit with the fleece pockets on the liners trapping in the urine and poop smells. Since we stopped them being able to use them on Friday Nalas rate of improvement seems to have increased.
They seemed like a cute idea at the time and the marketing pitch calls them healthier but if they use the pockets as a litter tray and then sleep in there, with no fresh air circulating, it can't be healthy for them.
I am hoping the vet agrees with our findings and can tell us if Nala should make a full recovery now, and maybe also stop pushing the ultrasound or euthanasia route.
Will just keep our fingers crossed that she continues to improve and put on weight.