Cleo’s blocked airways

Cleo was doing well yesterday morning – she was up and about, alert and eating quite well.

But by evening, she could not eat again and had started snorting. She was also mewing quite a bit. This condition persisted until this morning, so we had to take her back to the vet’s again. Her airways sounded partially blocked (hence, the snorting) and she was completely uninterested in food.

The vet checked her lungs and it is all clear, but there is some upper respiratory blockage due to the mucous from the sinuses, a secondary condition from the surgery. Because of this blockage, Cleo’s sense of smell is dampened and when she cannot smell, she cannot eat.

After the surgery on Friday, Cleo was already given two injections to clear the mucous and the airways, but the effects of the injections would only last a day. Hence, she seemed so much better yesterday morning but by evening, the snorting had returned. There are oral medications for this purpose, but it is extremely challenging to pill Cleo. That is the problem.

Cleo was nebulized at the clinic and we will continue with daily nebulization for 4 more days at home. I can nebulize her – anything that does not involve opening her mouth can be done for Cleo. The nebulization is supposed to help clear the airways, but it would be better if she could take the oral medication as well (Bromhexine (a mucolytic) and Nuelin (to clear the airways)).

So from tomorrow, we will do the nebulization and if possible, give her the oral medication (a near-impossible task). But, if she is no longer snorting, the oral medication will not be necessary anymore.

In the meantime, she still cannot eat (because she cannot smell), so some force feeding may be necessary.

Just now, we tried force feeding her raw food but this involves opening her mouth, so that was impossible.

But of all the food in the house which I’ve tried since her mouth pain started, I’ve kept a “secret weapon” (a food that isn’t used yet). Cats often associate the smell of the food with the pain so I’ve not used this food when she had mouth pain. It’s Cindy’s pureed tuna with goat’s milk (the chicken version has already been used so she rejects this now).

So we tried the pureed tuna just now and we struck gold! She wasn’t willing to lick it off the bowl, but was willing to lick it off my finger. I do wonder – what is the difference between licking it from the bowl and from my finger? But never mind, whatever works will be done.

So, without forcing, we managed to get her to lick about two spoonfuls of food off my finger. A little is better than none at all. Getting her to lick the food herself is already a huge victory.

When the vet checked just now, she said her mouth is healing very well. Let’s hope that once her airways is cleared, her sense of smell returns and she will be able to eat again.

Cleo is not out of the woods yet, but we truly thank all friends for their kind wishes and support.

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