Well, Tiger my feisty little cat is apparently doing better this morning. That's the good news for today.
Last night we got a very disturbing call from the Vet Clinic to let us know that when they operated on Tiger, they discovered that her bite wounds were much worse than they had realized. Her little tummy was punctured! So her leg being out of joint was only a minor repair really, but the tummy had to be repaired too, along with the muscle that holds the abdominal cavity in place.
Honestly, if we would have known the extent of her injuries right from the start, I think we would have had the little cat put peacefully to sleep. She ended up last night with surgery to her hip, two drainage tubes from her two most serious wounds (one on her back, one on her tummy), stitches in her tummy wall and in her abdominal wall ... and then they told us that "of course, with dog bites, there is no guarantee she won't die anyway from infection!" However they never told us that to begin with, in fact they downplayed her puncture wounds and said her only serious injury was to her hip! And apparently they also put in a feeding tube because they were worried after all that surgery, she might not eat and then would die from liver failure because she stopped eating. : (
I was so overwhelmed last night after they called -- I just couldn't believe we had put that poor little cat through all of those surgeries and it might not work anyway! I felt kind of duped by the vets. They called in the middle of surgery to say the hip operation had gone very well, but after they had repaired her hip, they examined her bite wounds and that they needed permission to sew up her tummy. I'm not sure why they couldn't have examined her wounds first before doing the hip operation and called us right away. However, they didn't and we did give them permission to sew up her tummy. And it wasn't until after the operation that they told us they had actually had to cut away part of her abdominal muscle and that as a result, her intestines might fall out in the next day in which case she will die anyway.
But this morning, they called with good news, or what they are calling "cautiously optimistic" news - Tiger ate on her own so they didn't have to use the feeding tube and she is already trying to sit up and move her left leg that was operated on. All of her wounds and incision sites are clean looking with no sign of infection. She is in the animal equivalent of ICU so I can't go see her today, but they will let me see her tomorrow. The vet said she is on an upward swing, but warned me that with dog bites, she could easily spiral back down quickly so I shouldn't get to hopeful. The next 24 hours are critical.
I wish they had told me right up front that the dog bites were so serious. I wish they had examined her wounds before they did the expensive surgery on her hip. But most of all, I wish poor little Tiger hadn't escaped from the shop and run off on an "adventure" that has used up probably more than one of her nine lives.
She is a real little fighter though - how else could she have escaped with such serious wounds, managed to haul herself up a tree, and held herself there for hours until I could find her and rescue her? So I hope my little tigress holds on to her fighting spirit and gets through all of this. And our budget somehow survives! We definitely won't be going on a vacation this year after this expense, but if our little cat comes through it okay, I would rather spend the time at home anyway, cuddling the little bean and trying to keep her out of trouble! : )