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Feline Spinal Injury

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Wilow is a 2 yr old female DLH. Very loved in this house!!
She was hit by a car and has some major injuries, I think for my own sanity, this will be my diary of her progress.....

October 20, 2012
Willow did not return home before I went to bed. Not uncommon by her, but when I wake up in morning she is usually right at the door.

Oct 21, 2012
I woke up, no Willow. Went to work....
I returned home at 4:30pm, walked to back yard and heard a cry, turned around and Willow barely able to walk, attempting to come to me. I picked her up, and put her on my bed. She looked very exhausted. No blood **phew**, then feeling her front, everything normal. Then I get to the back and can feel 2 lumps on her coccyx. I set up a playpen, blanket, small litter, food/water and place her in there. Willow will not eat or drink. No signs of really pain no moving around attempting to be comfortable, etc. But not eating or drinking.....
I found her left over bottle of Metacam. It was used in end of July post spay surgery. I give her a dose at is a NSAID and pain releiver....I am hoping this will at least make her comfortable.

Oct 22, 2012
I woke up at 7:30am.....omg thank God....she is alive. She looks more rested with eyes bright looking at me...bad smell from play pen.....she is leaking urine and diareah....she did not attemot to use litter.

I call my vet, leave a message, they won't be open until 9am.

9am----brought Willow to vet. Vet assuming it could be a pelvic fracture and we need to do xrays.
x-ray done..... :(. It seems that the car ran over her tail, due to the condition of her nails all bent and torn up, she was freaking out trying to run away and couldn't, in doing this, she pulled her spine apart by the coccyx. Lot's of swelling. Basically it affects the nerves for her to be able to urinate and have bowel movements. If the swelling goes down, the bone comes back together, and the nerves remake them selves. So in the mean time....every 4 hours I will have to squeeze her bladder to empty and she was given Lactulose asa laxitive that I am to give twice a day.

This can take a few weeks, few months, or many months.....

We have a new appointment next Monday to even see if there is any improvement. If there isn't...we will be putting her down.

I don't want to loose this wonderful girl that has filled my Duaghter and myself with here I am...attempting to give her a chance.

I have to attempt to empty her bowel by myself in 15 minutes.....I am scared.....I.....this is horrible.

It is 1:50pm and my Willow still has not eaten or consumed any water......I am going to be giving her pain meds soon and after it has a chance to start working I am going to start force feeding her fluids.

Is there anyone out there that has gone through this? I would love some tips and maybe even some good recovery news of other.

2pm---she ate :)
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Updated 11-10-2012 at 07:18 PM by MJRPN

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  1. MJRPN's Avatar
    So....I couldn't get her to pee on my own. I was really scared of hurting her and doing it. I called the vet and went in at 4:30pm. They got her to pee immediatly.... They also said she looked very stressed and in a lot of pain. I know she was from the manipliation of having the x-rays done. So they gave her a narcotic.

    This evening, my Sister came over....I cried the second I opened the door. I feel so...I don't know...I wish someone could give me a majic wand and make this all better. I am sure there are other animals out there suffering worse then my Willow, but this just feels like it's the worse situation ever.

    The good thing is she sat up...walked to her dish without me bringing it over and crouched as if nothing was wrong and ate a lot :) then she went back to the corner and lied down....I gave her a little head pet and heard her purring for the first time....this makes me so sad to think the last time I heard this sound from her was Saturday morning.....hearing her purr was probably the same feeling I had the first time I heard my Daughter laugh.....
  2. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 23, 2012
    This morning im in kitchen getting all the cats tin food ready and i heard a thump. I look over and willow jumped out of the play pen and walked in the kitchen and laid down. It was so nice that she ate with the other cats!!

    I tried numerous times to empty her bladder with no success and even had my mum over to try to help :(

    I feel so defeated and a nurse that can not even take care of my own cat...

    My mum and i brought her back to the vet and they helped me. She made the crouch motion to pee which seemed to please the technicians.

    Now we are home and she was actually cleaning herself. This is great!! She hasnt been able to do that at all!

    Im praying that i will check on her and find urine in cat box.

    I feel today is good. I also notice ahe wants out of the play pen. I have a lid over it. I know she wants to walk around. She was content before being in there but now ahe wants to start moving. Unfortunaltly. I am not ready.
  3. MJRPN's Avatar
    ........I still can not get her to urinate. This is fustrating. It makes me very sad for Willow. I had to bring her back to the vet. They shaved her and applied a Fentanyl patch...and found fleas....She must have gotten after being hit by a car and lying where ever she was for a whole day....

    This is becoming an issue now that I can't do this....I can't bring her to the vet 3 times a day for months....

    I am pretty sad right now because I know that I may have to let her go. I am just praying that she will pee on her own..
  4. Toni's Avatar
    I am so sorry that this is happening to Willow and you :(

    I really hope she will start peeing on her own very soon, is there maybe someone in your family that can help you with the vet appointments?

    All the best to you two!!!
  5. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 24,2012
    Toni--- you made me feel smile. Thank you!!

    Last night at 6:30pm...once again at the vet. This time instead of them saying to me to feel for bladder they told me to place my thumb under the flap of hind leg, hand reaching over abdomen with my fingers on opposite side of thumb under hund leg flag and start squeezing. Much better instructions!

    Today is my first day back at work. 4:45am alarm clock, open my eyes and not happy.

    Feed the cats, give willow medicine ans get ready for work.

    Then i go to willow....put her on table with towel. And attempt...... I DID IT!!!

    I cried very hard but i did it.... Willow was upset about it all but the thought of going back and forth to vet was destroying me financially and emotionally. As well having to watch my little girl be stressed out every time.

    Being at work today is hard. My thoughts are at home with willow.

    Next step....willlow to pee on her own....

    Im also getting worried at the lack of water intake. Her urine is so strong smelling. Im going to start pishing fluids this evening.

  6. Toni's Avatar
    That sounds already much better :)

    Keep us updated and fingers crossed!!
  7. David's Avatar
    Hello - I am following this also and am praying for you. I hope all turns out well.. I'm glad you are having some success with Willow... Keep up the loving but hard work!
  8. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 25, 2012

    David thank you for your support...its very touching!!

    An update...

    I feel no swelling in willow's cocxyx...which is great! Im assuming now the spine has returned together. Willow is doing great. I have not had to express her bladder in officially 34 hours!! She is voiding on her own....just she doesnt know it. I have found one urine clump in litter....and many all over my room bed :(

    My Dad is going to see if he can make a kennel like cage to keep her in. I personally dont think she should be jumping on/off my bed right now. I domt want her in a small cage either. Im really hoping she will start feeling it again. I'm beside myself with joy that i dont have to do that to her anymore....but pretty sad that she is incontinent.

    At work today i told our doctor what happened and he told me not to gwt my hopes up. He doesnt think she will ever get the sensation back. BUT...its been 5 days since this all happened and Willow has surprised many with er progress....i feel a hope inside me that im not ready to let go of.

    Besides being locked in my room 24hrs...and not going outside anymore...which must be hard on her....i believe she feels loved and happy to be with us.

    I feel like i'm experiencing with my own eyes a miracle and im not ready for it to end....
  9. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 26, 2012

    I'm pretty upset i cant even really write. I woke up this morning with no urine anywhere. I had to express her bladder. I just got home from work an urine...

    Why? Why are we going backwards?? I dont understand this at all....
  10. Toni's Avatar
    I am so sorry to hear that :(

    With humans there is often a short time where the patient gets worse before he gets better, hopefully that is the case for your cat too.
  11. MJRPN's Avatar
    Thank you for your support...

    I know its only been 6 days but i just did not expect to be going backwards. I feel horrible. I dont know if im prolongong her suffering or im doin the right thing. I said to my mother that i swear i am not holding on to willow with selfishness. That i want to give her a chance. It would kill me if i put er down with the questions: "would she have went back to herself" "would she have a full recovery".

    I keep looking for signs that im doing the right thing. I felt i was with each day passing that progress is being made. Is this my sign that i'm to let her go?

    I've also been thinking maybe she has a UTI (urinary tract infection). String urine smell and dark in colour. When i called the vet they were closed so i have to wait until 09:00 tomorrow. I want to start an antibiotic....if this is the cause of the set back...i'll be happy with that.....
    Updated 10-26-2012 at 06:07 PM by MJRPN
  12. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 27, 2012

    Im not sure why, but i woke up today with no saddness. Despite finding feces and a urine mark on my at least happy that she going again by herself.

    Went to the vet and told them her urine strong smelling and dark. Clavamox antibiotic prescibed for 14 days twice a day......14 days....i thought about it after. I think my monday dead line of what to do with her has been expanded :)

    I decided, in my head, this set back i had may just be her having a bladder infection. As a nurse, i fully know it really messes with humans...,so why wouldnt it with animals!!

    She stinks bad. Willow has always been head stong, very difficult clipping nails, and has been even more difficult attempting to care for her.

    Im going to see if the vet will put hwr to sleep on monday and help me bathe her and shave her back end. I have the pet wipes and this will be so much easier for her and i to keep her clean.

    I dont know if anyone who reads this has ever been though this...but seeing a dead tail has been really hard. I miss seeing her beautiful tail in the air flicking as i talk to her or wrap around my leg when she presses on me. Its amazing how little things, when gone, are just dreadly missed.

    I love willow...and i really feel she knows despite the invasive things i am having to do. I just hope when she sees me she wont start running away i feel like im always coming up to her with syringes of medixine an now pills...or pulling feces or wipes at her.

    I really want the other cats to be with her and worrying of all thw urine smells they will start in my room if i let them. Today her two kittens visited her. I think it made her a little happy. They kept sniffing her tail....its amazing what animals know!
  13. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 28, 2012

    Not too much new has happened today. Antibiotic is working....urine yellow and less smelling. No bowel movement today though...

    My Dad came over today and built Willow a large cage for at night. Having urine and feces every morning is just not now we can lock her up at night. During the day I have my bed covered with cat/dog liners.

    I'm nervous about the vet appt tomorrow. I've notice swelling in her face and body. I am hoping this is weight gain from not being active. As a Nurse...if I see this with everything else that is going on....I would say early signs of renal failure. If this is that....I will have to put her down. I can't bare to allow this cat to suffer any longer.

    Today she stood up on me and pulled me down and kissed my face...this is the kind of sweet cat I have. She is so sweet. Just before I pulled over the computer she was lying on me kissing me continous....

    Dear lord....pls don't allow this the last night Willow spends with us...

    I always pictured Willow old and in our home, and my Daughter talking about oving out and us fighting of who gets to have Willow.......I don't want Willow to be a memory of a great cat that was in our lives......
  14. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 29, 2012

    Vet appointment went well. Swelling from the pain site. He is on board with giving willow more time. They gassed willow to put her in a sleep and shaved her back end to help keep it cleaner and clipped her nails.

    She also will be taking gabpentin to help a little more with the pain regime.
  15. MJRPN's Avatar
    Oct 31, 2012

    Happy Halloween!! My faavorite time of year!! Great night out trick or treating....

    To come home to find no urine spots on any mats.....but 3 clumps of urine in cat litter :).

    This is....big!!!
  16. David's Avatar
    WOW!!! Glad Willow is doing so much better!!!
  17. MJRPN's Avatar
    Nov 02, 2012

    Willow went through 2 days of using kitty litter for urine. I think as things returning back thw use of lactulose twice a day has become too much. Feces everywhere. And because she has no movement of her tail its a horrible mess. It wouldnt be such an issue if her pesonality prior to all this was great when attepting to do anything invasive....

    Today she is once again, incontinent. This is defently fustrating. I keep becoming over whelmed with joy to being fustrated and lump of saddness.

    I was able to tell where the car drove over her tail near the bottom. Now...i can see 4 breaks. She has no feeling in her tail and when she lies down or sits she cant pull her tail out and its all mangled up. Our vet says she has no feeling. looks horrible.

    I've made a decission. This is really hard because financially im not in the best spot, so this whole thing has been really hard. But willow is part of this family and is showing us signs of a full recovery. This wednesday, she will go in for surgery and have her tail amputated. This will help keep infection down, dead weight being pulled causing discomfort to her spinal injury.

    .....i hope this is the right thing. I hope she will have a full recovery and not putting her through more trauma all for nothing.

    I wish there was someone that went through a simular situation i could speak to.
    Updated 11-02-2012 at 09:04 PM by MJRPN
  18. David's Avatar
    I believe you are doing the right thing- if her tail is useless then it is just in her way right now. It probably is better not being there. Poor Willow I am glad she has a loving family! hang in there!

    I had a cat (Samson) that had the other end smashed by a car. I picked him out of the street thinking he was dead... he had blood coming out of his nose. but after a minute or two he started breathing again. he had broken bones in his face. The vet only charged me $160 to keep her for about a week. Gave him antibiotics and some steroids nursed his external abrasions. He pulled through just fine. But he always made a whispering/snoring noise while breathing due to his broken nasal passages. But he did well for many a years after that.
  19. MJRPN's Avatar
    David -- i couldnt imagine picking one of my cats off a road. It shows you are a strong person!!

    I just got home from wrk a half hr ago and she is still incontinent. This is what i mean when i say i hope im doimg the right thing. I cant go through te rest of her life having urine everywhere. Right now its not too bad because she is locked in my room and i have pads litterally evwrywhere.

    It would break my heart if i made her go through thw amputation after everything else.... To end up having to put her to sleep.

    I'm going to need her to start using the litter box before wednesday or i cant go through this $937.78 surgery.....ive already paid close to that this past few weeks and its not easy ill tell ya!!

    But...i am doing my best to give her a chance that she deserves....she is really my little angel
  20. David's Avatar
    Maybe you can get some financial help through this site by telling your story there>
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