A Paws For Pets — Diane and how Dr. Ashton never gives up hope

By LaMoine Roth, York Adopt A Pet

On December 21, I received a call from Judy Johnson. So began a month that started well, only to turn into a day by day not knowing if Diane would live to see another day. I have dealt with cats with different illnesses but Diane is by far the most baffling.  Thankfully Diane had Dr. Ashton and she was the deal breaker.

Judy called that Thursday evening and said a cat suddenly showed up on her deck, which she had never seen her before in her neighborhood and after checking with several of her neighbors she called to see if she could bring her to me. As is the general protocol with new cats coming into York Adopt A Pet, they are kenneled to give them time to get acquainted with other cats and their surroundings. They are generally held until they are tested, given vaccinations, dewormed, neutered and then released into the general population.

I will try to put a timeline on Diane’s month-long journey. When she first came to me she was thin, very hungry, thirsty and cold.  All this is very common when a stray arrives. One of the most notable things about Diane was her calm acceptance and soft purr as she devoured her food and cuddled into a warm blanket on a heating pad. Things were going well, until a few days later I went to check on her and found a huge pile of round and tapeworm in her kennel. She had normal stools since she arrived, but this was definitely a serious issue. I brought her into my guest bedroom so I could keep a closer eye on her.

I gave her a Drontal immediately but she would throw it up almost immediately in bloody saliva. But I was adamant she would keep it down. I could tell that she wasn’t eating as much, so I was able to see Dr. Ashton on Friday morning and she gave her a thorough exam. She started by testing her for leukemia and when her test came back normal, that was a positive sign. Dr. Ashton weighed her and her weight was 7.9 pounds. Her temperature was normal for a cat and she did not have an infection. Dr. Ashton made a plan, she gave her 200 ml of SQ fluids, and I was to take her home and entice her to eat. She also prescribed Mirataz which is an appetite stimulant you rub on the inside of her ears. She would recheck her  the following week.

Unfortunately by Sunday she had not eaten and was again becoming hydrated. I managed to give her 100 ml of SQ and tried every type of food. So I took her back to Dr. Ashton, we had a discussion about Diane. I told her I was being realistic and if she thought we should let her go I could agree because I didn’t want her to suffer.

Dr. Ashton said, “OK, let’s try giving her more fluids today and I will give her a Depo-Medrol.”

She was weighed again and unbelievably she had only lost one ounce without eating for three days. Her temperature was once again normal. She was able to look at her urine and it was clear, so no sign of liver or kidney flavor.

I tried everything to get Diane to eat — tuna, AD, different types of wet cat food, pumpkin, yogurt and Bob even went to the grocery store and bought a rotisserie chicken. We all know that a cat and or a person can tear a hole in the cupboard if they smell rotisserie chicken, but not Diane. I was thinking that things were not going well.

I took Diane out of her kennel and sat with her in the family room. She settled into my lap and took a short nap. I was surprised when she wanted down and started to explore. I came into the kitchen I absolutely could not believe what I was witnessing. Diane had knocked the lid off of the dry cat food. And she was eating hard dry cat food. She spent the afternoon checking out the house. And last night I put a bowl of dry food, water and a can of AD cat food. This morning all of her dry food and water was gone but the wet cat food had not been touched.

So today I am celebrating. I don’t know if things will continue to improve but as of today Diane has made a 180-degree turn for the better.  This day absolutely would not have happened without Dr. Ashton.

On behalf of Diane and each and every animal who you treat as well as York Adopt A Pet, we thank you for your knowledge, your care but most importantly, your compassion. You can be taught knowledge and care practices, but you can’t teach compassion. You didn’t give up on Diane, and we thank you.

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