Sunday was a rough day for Thunder. He was sick after breakfast and for most of the day continued to throw up. This happens with cats some of the time if they eat something they shouldn’t or can’t get rid of a hairball. However by the early evening it was obvious that he wasn’t getting over it. We called the emergency clinic and took him in. He seemed OK, a little weary from barfing all day but otherwise not particularly sickly. The vet took a look at him and squeezed him, poked him and took his temperature which I am certain came as quite a shock to him. However, once she looked in his mouth, everything became clear. Right at the back of his mouth under his tongue she could see a small black thread.
Apparently Thunder had thought it would be a great idea to eat some of the sewing thread right off the sewing machine. He had managed to swallow enough of it to get entwined around his intestines and caught around his tongue. The Xrays showed lots of gas in his stomach and everything was over on one side of his body. The danger of releasing the thread was that in many cases, the thread is strong enough that it will rip through the small intestine and the animal can bleed to death. This is especially the case if the thread is long enough.
So we opted (not much choice here) to have him put out and for the vet to cut him open and find out what was going on. This was extremely difficult for us knowing his history of heart problems but really we had no choice. We sat nervously in the waiting room with a very nice lady whose cat had swallowed a NEEDLE!!! Tres bizarre if you ask me. Thunder was put on his drip and we were told that the surgery would be at about 2am and we could come back and pick him up the next morning to take him to the day clinic.
At 7 Monday morning we were at the clinic and were happy to learn that the surgery was a success but that there were 7 incisions in the lining of his intestines from where the vet had pulled about 2ft (24 inches!) of black sewing cotton thread. He had staples in his stomach which was a little comical because it made him look like a stuffed animal with a big zip down his tummy. Of course, he was less than thrilled to see us but everyone was cooing over him and saying what a handsome cat he is (he takes after his father…) and he definitely seemed a little better than when we had left him. His heart had not been an issue and he had no problems with the anaesthetic. We took him to the day hospital and the next 2 days were mostly Nicole and I driving him between the emergency clinic for overnights and the day clinic for monitoring.
By Wednesday lunchtime he was well enough to come home but now has to be separated from Lightning with his own bedroom with executive ensuite litter box. His recovery is going well and he is perking up more every day. The only remaining concern was to watch for his first trip to the litter box, but everything seemed normal and he is now back on track. He will need his staples out next week and he has poodle paws from the shaving for his IV but other than that he doesn’t seem much the worse for wear. I can’t say the same for my wallet however, his first night with the surgery etc came to a whopping $2011 and at an average of $250 a day since has easily topped the $3000 mark. Thank God we have insurance but with the limit and deductible it will still have cost us an arm and a leg to get him fixed.
It is a good thing he is so cute…