Friday, June 10, 2005

Blood letting

There was lots of exciting medicine at work today. I treated a cat that had a severe flea infestation and actually became perilously anemic from the fleas. The little ctenocephalides sucked her dry. Normally a cat's blood is 30-45% red blood cells, anything less than 20% could use a blood transfusion. This poor kitty was at 9.5%. No wonder she was hypothermic and bradycardic (low heart rate). She was "making biscuits" and had pink (instead of white) gums after getting 55 cc of healthy cat blood. One of my nurses' cats bravely donated, under sedation.

I also saw a 19 year old cat with edema. She is pooling fluid in her abdomen (ascites), in her chest (plueral effusion), and her left front leg (pitting edema). She has a bad heart and probably also cancer in her lymphatic system. Its been going on a while, and the little cat just keeps eating and purring. Her owner was leaving town, and wondered if she needed her belly drained. Her belly wasn't bad, but her breathing was labored due to all the extra fluid around her lungs. I performed a thoracocentesis, and drained about 320 cc of watery fluid out of her chest. That's almost a cup and a half, people. She gave a big sigh of relief!


Emily said...

Wow! I bet that cat gave a sigh of relief!
Cool stories, Dr. Jenn.

EdamameMommy said...

You got a whole cup and a half? Guess now we know where catsup comes from.