A week ago today I came out of my bedroom to find a very sick cat. My cat, Teddy Bear, had very recently picked up the habit of getting into the small trash can in our living room and leaving the plastic hard candy wrappers that he found there strewn about the living room. After he was done licking them, and apparently in one case actually eating one of them. We discovered that he had actually eaten one of them when it came back up a couple of Sundays ago. We kept an eye on him and he seemed fine the rest of the day and the day after. But last Tuesday he was definitely not fine anymore. He had been sick several times, had no interest in food whatsoever and was extremely lethargic. My husband and I had no money to bring him into the vet, but we couldn’t not bring him, so we scrambled and figured out where we could get some money to pay for transportation and called our vet. Only to find out that it was too late in the day for them to see him and be refered to a 24 hour emergency vet clinic. More money that we didn’t have was required for them to even look at him, but we had to do something, so we brought him down there. Because we couldn’t afford the treatment that they were reccomending, all they could tell us was that he was a very sick cat that might have a foreign body blockage, but without the proper tests (that we couldn’t afford to pay for) they couldn’t tell us for sure what was wrong with him. They gave him some fluids and an anti-emetic in the hopes that it would be enough to keep him alive until we could get him to our vet in the morning and sent him home with us. They stressed that he might not make it through the night.
He made it through the night though and, after a sleepless night, we rushed him into our vet. They took him back and told us they’d call us through out the day as they knew more. We spent the first few hours after dropping him off worrying about the fact that if it was a foreign body blockage, we could not afford the surgery he would need. And then after receiving a call from the vet telling us that they didn’t think he’d need surgery we spent the rest of the day worrying about the fact that we were told that his liver and gallbladder were failing and we weren’t sure why or if he’d make it through it because he’s a 12 year old cat.
A plan was made for him to stay until closing receiving fluids and meds that day and then we’d pick him up, take him home and keep a close eye on him overnight and then bring him back when they opened the following morning to get more fluids and meds through out the day again. And hope that he would then be well enough to stay home with us after that because we absolutely could not afford for them to do anything more than that.
When we picked him up Wednesday night he growled from the moment they brought him into the exam room till we put him in the car. Not ideal, seeing as he never behaves like that, but at least he was alert. He actually ate some food that night and continued to improve throughout the day Thursday while he was at the vet. When we picked him up Thursday night his bloodwork showed that his liver and gallbladder we’re functioning much better than before. They sent him home with a couple of antibiotics and liver protectant of some kind. Luckily the liver protectant is something that they want him to take, but it isn’t absolutely necessary that he takes it. Because it’s a huge pill, and he can’t swallow it. He chokes on it instead. We tried crushing it up and mixing it into his wet food, but the pill smells horrible and he ended up just not eating most of his food that day. So the liver protectant pill is a no go.
As of today, he is pretty much back to his normal self.
We don’t know exactly what happened, but we have a theory that some of those candy wrappers that he was pulling out of the trash can and licking (or swallowing…) may have still had some bits of candy on them. His system just couldn’t handle it and his liver and gallbladder started to shut down. The IV fluids helped flush his system though, and now he is doing better.
Needless to say, hard candy wrappers no longer get thrown away in our living room trash can…