Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Henry's Been Ill

Four days ago I realized Henry had been retracting for 24 hours! That's when he's using his abdominal muscles to help breathe and his sides go in and out like crazy. He was so worn out he couldn't lift his head or even eat. I had to carry him to the litterbox. After another 12 hours, he was crashing worse, so I started him on the antibiotic I always have and he started to rally. After another full 24 hours, he could lift his head and I was able to get him to eat a little babyfood chicken by spoon-feeding him. Now he's walking and nibbling babyfood for the first time in days, but he's still weak and got pretty skinny. He's such a champion! What he gets so easily is aspiration pneumonia, but it's been months and months since he's last had it. I'm grateful that he didn't get sick while I was away for Apple's surgery. I'd have lost him for sure. This bout was definitely life-threatening and in the top 5 worse that he's ever had.

Draped over his Boppy to help him breathe.

See his skinny, hollow sides as he breathes?


Anonymous said...

Labored breathing in cats is usually caused by fluid build-up around the heart and lungs due to heart problems. The weight loss may be caused by hyperthyroidism, which causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy if left untreated, and can also cause the cat to get overheated, mimicking a fever even when no infection is present. I hope you can get Henry to a vet for a full check-up, in spite of everything else you have going on.

K said...

Thank you for your information, fortunately, Henry doesn't have hyperthyroidism, something I've been through with three other cats. Henry was born with a condition called megaesophagus. He has severe reflux and takes medicine for it several times a day. He aspirates his stomach contents and gets pneumonia quite easily. The effort it takes him to breath with his stomach pressing on his lungs often causes him to burn a lot a calories, and, with missed meals due to feeling poorly and his early malnutrition before I got him, he drops weight fast. He's a tiny cat anyway, so every ounce shows.