Monday, May 16, 2011


Cat presented to me laterally recumbent, with muddy, gray mucous membranes and unable to stand.  He was as limp as a dishrag, his body temperature was low, and his heart rate was slowing.

We immediately asked the family for permission to place an IV catheter and start initial blood testing.  At first, they said no.  Their kitty, Jerry, was almost 19 years old, and they weren't sure they wanted to treat.  They revealed that he had been a diabetic for many years, and had been receiving insulin for some time.  I asked them to allow just a blood glucose to give us a possible idea of why he was nearly comatose.

They agreed.  His blood glucose was 23, which is low enough to cause seizures in dogs and cats.  The clients had a change of heart and allowed us to place an IV catheter to give dextrose in order to raise his critically low blood glucose.

We gave the medication, and started IV fluids.  Within 5 minutes, Jerry was standing up, meowing, and trying to get us to pet him.  He looked like a normal cat -- truly amazing.

Jerry was hospitalized, and his family came back later to visit.  With tears in their eyes, they thanked me for saving his life.  They told me about his personality, how he liked to be brushed, how he would follow his owner around the house.  Jerry's family thanked me over and over -- although they know he's a geriatric cat, they couldn't be happier that they didn't have to say goodbye today.

Testing and follow up is still necessary to figure out exactly what made Jerry so hypoglycemic, but for now, we can bask in the feeling of another life saved.

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