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My husband and I have an eight-year-old kitty, a stray, who…

My husband and I...

My husband and I have an eight-year-old kitty, a stray, who started coughing and sounding like she was choking. She would not eat, but would drink a little water. My husband took her to our new vet and he did an x-ray and discovered fluid on her lungs and a scratched esophagus. He gave us medicine for her and gave her a shot. She didn't improve so he took her back to the vet. Still was having problems, so he took her back for a third time. This time, the vet gave her a steroid in her mouth to stimulate her appetite. He said the fluid on her lungs was improving and that the scratched esophagus would take time. The same day he took her to the vet (two days ago), he let her outside and we haven't seen her since. Can you help us?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the kitten's name?

Mimi

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Mimi?

No, not that I can think of

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
I thought of something I thought I should mention. She is an extremely shy and sensitive kitty. My husband said she was not happy going to the vet. She screamed in her little cage on the way and in the waiting room, but seemed to calm down in the treatment room.
Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Also, the vet said her bloodwork was normal. I need to correct my earlier message that states the vet gave her a steroid shot in her mouth. He gave her a steroid shot to assist in healing her esophagus, and said it would also increase her appetite.Our question is this: Why would a cat that has normal bloodwork and her lungs were improving, why would she up and leave? My husband has looked everywhere. Do you think she went off to die? What we don't understand is that the vet saw her the morning of her disappearance and said she was doing a lot better? Thank you.
Answered in 1 hour by:
3/26/2018
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,189
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Why would a cat that has normal bloodwork and her lungs were improving, why would she up and leave? I suspect this is because of her home life and the added stress of feeling unwell, being taken to the vet, etc. I believe her leaving is more along the lines of wanting to be alone when she feels unwell, which is pretty much standard when it comes to cats.

My husband has looked everywhere. Do you think she went off to die? If she's very ill, this could happen but I suspect she's found a calm, quiet, dark area to hunker down in until she feels better. Cats, the introverts of the pet world, tend to become very reclusive when they don't feel well and this is often seen as "them going off to die". Dogs, by comparison, cherish our friendship and are more akin to an outgoing personality that seeks companionship when they feel poorly. I don't think she necessarily left to die, I think she's more than likely hiding out and trying to recover on her own terms. Hopefully, once she's improved, she will return home. If she does not return home, however, it's very likely she did not make it through the illness. I have hope, though, since some improvements were witnessed beforehand.

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PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,189
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Thank you so much for your help. It was excellent. I hope you are right!

You're welcome. I sure hope so too.

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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer
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Customer reply replied 21 days ago
Thanks so much for getting back with me. Unfortunately, she has still not shown up and my husband has looked everywhere for her. She will have missing for one week tomorrow, 3/30. We are heartbroken.Do you think there is still a possibility that she will return home?One question I had about your response is that you mentioned she may have run away due to her home life. Can you tell me what you mean by that? My husband and I are only guilty of loving her too much. We are very loving to her, and she is very loving toward us.Thank you so much for helping us, and we are grateful in advance for your answer.

I've known cats to stay gone longer than 1 week before returning home. Under stressful conditions, cats are prone to staying away for longer periods of time. I do think the potential exists for her to return home, especially if she's recovering from illness now.

You'd mentioned in our original discussion you said "She is an extremely shy and sensitive kitty. My husband said she was not happy going to the vet. She screamed in her little cage on the way and in the waiting room, but seemed to calm down in the treatment room."

This indicates that in order to get her treated she had to undergo a great deal of stress. Now I honestly believe this was a necessary step in getting her help, but it may also have driven a wedge in her trust. Cats are not particularly logical when it comes to their health care and she, like most cats, likely just wanted to be left alone while she felt bad (even though you were trying to help her). Letting her out of the house was probably the trickiest part of the whole situation because it took the ability to keep her in a closed environment out of your hands.

I know (and you know) that your husband love her very much but Mimi's stress level is what has placed the biggest role in her leaving and not coming back. It may very well take some and perhaps even more time if she's found a place that has food and water. You and your husband did nothing wrong in seeking medical care for Mimi.

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