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RIP Rascal update (Rascal on the mend)

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
#1
About 3 weeks ago Rascal went in for his annual checkup. Nothing special, he is the same Rascal as always.
His vet had trouble hearing his heartbeat and suggested an X-ray to see if anything was going on. And that's when the worrying started.
For his entire life, he has always had a breathing pattern that resembled asthma. I had mentioned this to the vet before a couple of times and it did not appear to be an issue. The X-rays showed a very good reason for the abnormal breathing pattern. His intestines had invaded the chest cavity. For those with some medical background, he had a herniated diaphragm with intestinal invasion. Mind you he acts normal as ever.
It is suspected this is a congenital defect, as there was no history of injury and believe me, they checked Rascal for other signs of damage from a high fall and found none.
We took Rascal to a veterinary surgical practice. It was a heart wrenching visit. To us, we walked in with for all intent and purposes a healthy normal cat. To the surgeon, Rascal had a real problem.
Rascal went in for surgery this morning. Surgery took just under 2.5 hours. Needless to say, my wife and I were not in a good place this afternoon.
Rascal had a successful surgery. And more surprises. There was a large tear in his diaphragm as suspected. His liver had totally invaded the chest cavity and had formed an adhesion to the chest wall. The intestines fortunately were not adhered. He did lose enough blood to require a transfusion, but thankfully they did not have to crack his sternum to re-plumb him.
The latest report after the recovery room has Rascal resting peacefully and not really in pain, although as a pharmacist I am sure it has a lot to do with the fentanyl patch he has. He is breathing "normally" at 24 breaths a minute (compared to over 45 was his usual). He is sedated so he doesn't mess anything up. All signs are pointing to a complete recovery.
I want to thank John Popp, John Campbell, and my sister (member Sue) for their support. It has been a rough day emotionally.
Rascal is an exceptional cat in our lives and we are grateful he is doing well.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#3
Wow, I'm so glad to hear that Rascal is recovering from this major surgery. I had a kitten with a similar problem - they wanted to wait until she was older and stronger to perform surgery but as she continued to deteriorate we realized we couldn't wait any longer so she went under the knife at (I think) about 3 months of age. They gave her about a 10% chance of surviving, but like Rascal she came through it like a champ. Praying that Rascal makes as speedy and complete recovery just as my little girl did!
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
#4
Thanks Patti. I was wondering if this occasionally occurs. He is having a rough time in the recovery phase. He is still on oxygen and quite sedated. He hasn't started eating but he appeared to be really buzzed out on the fentanyl patch. They hope to take out the chest tube in a couple of hours. It's killing my wife and I to see this slow recovery. The vets say he should make a full recovery and the slow response is not that surprising given the amount of organ relocation he went through.
It was nice to see a normal breathing pattern. Just like his brother Mayhem now.
 

Sue

Savannah Super Cat
#5
Rascal was not yet eating when Laura went to visit this afternoon. They are going back tonight for a visit and I suggested bringing his absolute favorite food or treat. Will update if I hear more.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#7
Hugs RD. I'm looking forward to hearing only good news about Rascal's recovery. As you know, we are a family here and we hurt when our members and their fur kids hurt.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#8
I would let him take his time recovering, and certainly wouldn't push the eating given the length of surgery and amount of anesthesia he undoubtedly received. Plenty of time for him to eat tomorrow. I assume they have him on IV fluids...
 

Sue

Savannah Super Cat
#9
Rascal seemed to be doing a little better and they removed the tube. He has now had a relapse and they are not sure what is going on. Say prayers for Rascal.