Flower is a young, cuddly rescue cat who was hospitalized at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital – South Bay for intensive care for treatment of upper respiratory issues including sneezing, nasal discharge, and anorexia from severe ulcerations on her tongue.
The ulcers were caused by a calicivirus (ka-lee-see virus) infection which is common in the upper respiratory disease complex of cats. Unlike the Mother of Dragons, this calici is a nasty infection affecting only cats.
The ulcers caused such severe pain in poor Flower’s mouth that she would drool profusely, refusing to eat anything offered. We also tried to feed her with a syringe, which means her food was liquefied and then gently squirted into her mouth, which was also a very negative experience.
Needing to find a way to treat Flower, she had a feeding tube placed in her esophagus to help make sure she was getting all of the food and water she needed. The feeding tube also helps with giving medications that would normally be given orally. This way, our team can make sure Flower gets everything she needs to get better without struggling to swallow.
There are several types of feeding tubes, but to insert this specific feeding tube, also known as an E-tube, Flower was placed under anesthesia so she wouldn’t feel a thing. Next, her doctor made a small incision and placed the feeding tube in her esophagus with part of it exposed so that medical staff can complete treatments and feed her. Feeding tubes are typically temporary and are kept clean with a fashionable cloth collar to protect the incision site.
The recovery from Flower’s infection took several weeks, but after three weeks of care, she began to eat on her own again! Once she was eating on her own regularly, the feeding tube was removed and she was ready to leave the hospital.
If you are interested in fostering or adopting this precious little girl, please contact the Stray Cat Alliance Rescue of Los Angeles.