Many of you know of our angel allie, she touched the lives of many after a long hard battle trying to survive. On April 1st it will mark one year since Allies passing. We want to do something good to honor our girl but we need your help!
Many “Allie”s are born every year to stray cats or to people who can’t afford to get their pets fixed. If people would spay their animals we could prevent a lot of sick and unwanted animals. We would like to raise $5000 for harmony vet care to provide 100 free spays in honor of Allie! (These will only be eligible for people who can prove they are low income and can not afford a spay themselves) Please consider donating even $1 it will all add up.
Many of you know the story of our beautiful angel Allie. The girl who stole thousands of hearts. Always loved holding her foster mamas finger. Picky food eater (boy did she love that tiki cat though!). Sassy, spunky, and so so special For those who don’t know Allie her story is below, it is a little lengthy but Allie had a big story to tell.
We rescued several pregnant cats from a hoarding situation in South Florida. To tell Allie's incredible journey we need to start at the beginning before she was born. The story begins with a call about a young mother cat who was pregnant. Who, at the time was living in a house that would soon be condemned. The poor mother cat was covered in fleas, however, thankfully tested negative for FIV and Feline leukemia. After some good food, flea medication and dose of dewormers the mother cat was settled into her own room. Four days later the mother cat (now known as Ashleigh) went into active labor. She have seven kittens who were all under 100 grams. Thus, our story begins. Right from the beginning we knew this litter would be challenging. Within the first couple of weeks of life we saw many births defect become apparent. Allie was diagnosed with flat chest. Her brother, Alexander (may he rest in peace) had smooth brain. As Allie grew her breathing became very labored and she was much smaller than her siblings. It broke our hearts how much she struggled with each and every breath. Yet from the beginning we knew she was special. We originally hoped that as she grew her chest would get better. She could wait to have the surgery to correct the pectus excavatum (flat chest) when she was bigger. However, her breathing and heart were compressed. And, after consulting with our veterinarian( Harmony Vet Care and Dr. Sabshin), we realized that she could not wait. Her first surgery was scheduled for Thursday, February 22nd. However, after taking X-rays of her chest the veterinarian saw fluid in her lungs. An enlarged heart was caused due to the strain on her lungs, the surgery could not proceed. The vet put her on Furosemide (diuretic) in hope that it would clear her lungs. The following week Allie was scheduled for surgery Thursday, March 1st( Harmony Vet Care and Dr. Sabshin). Very guarded with the outcome of surgery, at the time we had never had a kitten this young (or at all) survive the surgery. The following Thursday Allie was cleared for surgery and she came through with flying colors( Harmony Vet Care and Dr. Sabshin). The following 24 hours was critical for her survival. Amazingly, she pulled through and woke up the next day, meowing for attention. Most of the day Allie was demanding to be held and cuddled. A little over a week later, She had a good check up and was taken off Furosemide. A couple of day later, her foster mother went to check on Allie after being away for a few hours. Noticing that Allie was suddenly struggling to breathe, Allie was rushed to our amazing Emergency vet (Suncoast Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center). X-rays and blood work were taken and she was placed into an oxygen chamber. The veterinarian then realized Allie had popped one of her stitches. With the pectus excavatum surgery, multiple sutures are attached to a splint outside the body to pull the sternum into place. Also, Allie’s lungs were in very bad shape and she had fluid in and around them. X-rays were done every few hours to check the fluid in her chest to make sure it’s was clearing. We also had blood work run as well to make sure everything was okay. There was some concern about heart failure and we were told she would need to see a cardiologist. Allie was slowly weaned off the oxygen that evening and after few hours and she was seemingly stable. She was then released back to her foster mother for at-home-care while we scheduled the surgery for the following Thursday to have the stitch put back and to fix the sternum. However, the next evening Allie’s temperature dropped to 94.8 degrees Fahrenheit. She was immediately placed into the foster mother’s shirt to start warming her up. We then contacted Allie’s surgeon immediately and she told us to go to the ER to get her stabilized. They ran blood work as requested and Allie’s C02 levels were through the roof, she was put back on oxygen and she had to be started on an IV drip as her electrolytes were very off. Unfortunately, there was a set-back the next morning. The vet from the night before did not correct Allie’s electrolytes as he said he would, he didn’t even have a catheter placed. So as soon as shift change happened and one of our regular ER vets was there and he got a catheter placed and started working on Allie’s electrolyte imbalance. He spoke with our regular vet and they made the decision to have Allie transported to her via ambulance so she could correct the popped stitch. At the time though, things happened and she was no longer able to do the surgery, until Thursday. Her life saving operation was imperative and she could not wait that long. Allie had a dedicated team of doctors working to save her life.
Our orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Young and his team (Dr. Beverly, Dr. Depto, Dr. Breneman) agreed to preform the surgery to fixed Allies stitch. Until surgery she had to be closely monitored and was given small amounts of food and an IV drip to correct her electrolytes. Continuing her now increased, dose of Furosemide so more fluid didn’t build up in her chest. It continued to be a long and delicate battle. The good news is Allie was weaned from 100% oxygen to 35%. Unfortunately following her surgery, we received some absolutely devastating news. We were told that it looked like Allie used up all of her 9 lives. Her procedure had went very well but when it came time to wake her up Allie simply couldn’t. It appeared she suffered from lack of oxygen despite all they were giving her. We were told if she didn’t wake up in the next 24 hours we would have to make a decision we did not want to make. By a A TRUE MIRACLE and the wonderful Grace of God a few hours later the vet called us to say she woke up and there was no signs of brain damage! We were in utter disbelief as was everyone else. No one expected her to wake up ever again. She’s got up and was as sassy as ever and breathing on her own! After we heard more about Allie's surgery, she actually ripped her stitch straight through her sternum. They did a different kind of stitch during the surgery on Tuesday, March 13 that should be more sturdy and drained the fluid from her chest. They had stopped the Furosemide temporarily to see if the fluid build up was heart related or chest related. Always keeping a close eye, they’ve done a lot of X-rays to watch for fluid build up and unfortunately had to restart Furosemide. So the next day Allie was stable and eating/drinking/using the litter box on her own. Her electrolytes were almost totally normalized (except potassium which they expected to go up since she was eating). And her C02 levels were still slightly elevated but they expect this to come down now that her chest was not compressed and she’s able to breathe. She’s was a little bit picky on her eating and was requesting almost 8 different foods/flavors so she can take 5 bites of each of them but whatever Allie wants, Allie gets! Unfortunately, the next day we noticed Allie was making more effort to breathe than usual so we took her back to the veterinarian to get checked out. They ran the EPOC again which checks her C02 levels and electrolytes. Her electrolytes were low again and her C02 levels had gone from 70% to 85%. So she went back on high flow O2 until they were able to bring that down again. They did chest X-rays and saw some congestion in her lungs. They believed her C02 levels kept rising because the fluid was making hard to fully expand her lungs and get enough oxygen in. So she was put back on Furosemide. The next day we got some good news, Allie could come home that night around 9pm and we certainly could not wait to have her back! She’s had been off oxygen for a while and her C02 levels were way down. Electrolytes were a little better but still off, however this was to be expected being on the Furosemide. Unfortunately, on March 18, Allie was admitted back to the ER. She didn’t want to eat anything that morning and wound up being syringe fed. Her breathing became very labored and her gums went from pink to purple telling us she wasn’t getting enough oxygen so we rushed her back and they put her back into the oxygen tank. She was then released once stable and sent home to her foster mommy. But as the night continued we had to rush Allie back to the ER. Unfortunately the high dose of Furosemide caused her to drink a lot and she was not peeing it out. She also was not pooping. So all of that in her abdomen was making it even harder for her chest to expand so she went back into oxygen. She would remain on oxygen throughout the night and we would pick her up at 7am and head to the cardiologist. After a veterinarian visit with the cardiologist (Dr. Mulz) we were told the good news that Allie's heart appears to be normal! They unfortunately couldn’t get all the images they wanted due to her splint but they got a pretty good view of it and they did not see any issues. It was believed Allie was suffering from reexpansion pulmonary edema (weeping from the lining of the lungs) from her pectus excavatum surgery. So the vet’s plan was to reduce her Lasix (diuretic) from every hour to every 8 hours and to recheck her blood pressure tomorrow as it was a little low. She stayed at this dose for about the first week and then went to every 10 and then every 12 hours until she was weaned off of it. During times of weaning she was to be carefully monitored. We were told there was a chance that she would require oxygen throughout this process as her body healed, however her prognosis looked a little better. Her electrolytes had drastically improved with the supplements we were giving her. On Tuesday, March 20th, Allie decide to slip her bandages exposing part of her plate and sutures but luckily everything was intact and they replaced the bandage. Her EPOC levels showed promise but all of them were still off. We were keeping up with all the supplements we were doing and the next day she continued to improve. She was having a good that day and ate a big lunch. She had Tiki Cat Tilapia, it was very relieving to see her eat normally. It was also another big step when she tried to play. It’s the first time Allie started acting “normal” since this all happened. However, that evening, Allie girl took a turn for the worse. Allie headed back into the ER and she went back on oxygen. Our hearts were breaking for this little girl. The news went from bad to worse, we did not understand how things went south so quick. Her C02 levels were through the roof again so she would have to remain in oxygen for awhile. She had pulmonary edema again so they had to increase her Lasix. She was also being started on antibiotics for possible pneumonia. We also noticed Allie’s kidneys felt a little enlarged so they’re ran blood to check her kidney values. Lasix can wreck havoc on the kidneys so we needed to make sure they were functioning properly: The next piece of news was worst. The radiologist said Allie’s chest had worsened and compressed. He thought her pectus excavatum surgery was failing which could causing the rapid respiratory rate. This means she may need surgery a third time. We were told that the orthopedic surgeon would be in at10am the next day to look at Allie and we would decide where to go from there. The next day the news we got was that Allie continues to remain a puzzle. The orthopedic surgeon checked her out and her splint was still intact and all the stitches were nice and tight. So despite all of her problems surgery would do nothing for her at that point. She was still oxygen dependent, every time they would take her out her respiration rate would spike. So she would remain hospitalized another night on oxygen. This flare of pulmonary edema was really kicking Allie’s butt. She had been on oxygen over 24 hours (her longest yet) and every time they tried to take her out she would go into respiratory distress. So Allie would remain hospitalized on oxygen for the time being. The tiny bit of good news was that her calcium levels were holding their own and she’s was not needing supplemental calcium anymore! It was the little things we were celebrating. Allie had her favorite Vet Techs there that night and we know they took great care of her. On Friday, March 23 we got some good news Allie could come home. We were told that Allie was stable and had been out of oxygen for a while and was doing well. Her Lasix dose had to be increased since Allie GAINED some weight! This was great news as Allie was losing weight for a while. She was able to stop her calcium supplement now but would have to remain on potassium and nutritional supplements. She was also put on antibiotics for possible pneumonia. We were told that Allie isn’t out of the woods yet and still has a long battle in the coming weeks. She would have a recheck in a few days pending she remained stable. On Tuesday March 27 Allie had started with one of her “episodes” early that afternoon so we went to the emergency vet where we were told there was nothing more they could do for Allie. She had elevated kidney values from the lasix and despite the high frequent dose of lasix she still couldn’t breathe. Not to mention her electrolytes had gone down Again. We needed to take her to an internist. We could not get a hold of the internist and when we did we were told she could not help either. So we went to our personal veterinarian in hopes he could help. Again we was told the same answer, nothing he could do.
Allie was not ready to give up yet, We could feel it. We were told to “quit being an a*s and euthanize the cat” or “stop making her live for me” but that is is not the case. We don’t make animals suffer. We fight along side them as long as they are fighting too.
Allie held onto foster mommy’s finger and was struggling to breathe so we went home. We knew we needed to stabilize her and that meant getting her on oxygen. We contacted the veterinarian who did Allies very first surgery and she agreed take over Allies care again. She had hope for her. It may not be easy but she at least had hope and was willing to try.
We started Allie on subq fluids to work on correcting her electrolytes, dehydration, and kidney values. We also decreased Allies lasix dose and frequency, with the hope of getting her off it completely.The next day ( March 28,2018) Allie has had a very difficult day. She had low blood pressure, she was unable to maintain her body temperature. We were just heart broken. We did not know what else to do or say. We hoped and prayed , and had to wait and see what the vet would say the next day and then we would have to make a decision for our sweet girl. Going into the next day we had very little hope for Allie. We thought it was going to be time to say goodbye. Our vet saw Allie first thing that morning and started running a series of tests. Allies X-rays were shocking. If you looked at her lungs one is black and one is white. The black lung is full of air, the white one is full of fluid. So Allie only had one functioning lung, which would explain her difficulty breathing. The vet took a sample of fluid and it was blood! It was suspected during her second surgery something was cut and she was bleeding in her lung. The blood is old and decomposing. The vet managed to draw out 3.5mls of fluid from the lung and had to send it off for culture. In the meantime she would start allie on a stronger antibiotic and steroids. Allie would remain on lasix, but a lower dose and less frequent. At this time Allie was also referred to as “a raisin” because she was so dehydrated from all the lasix she had been on. She had to receive IV fluids every 6 hours to rehydrate her. The good news was the supplements we had been using and the dosage was good, her electrolytes were back to normal! The other piece of good news was her sternum was back to normal and Allie was able to have her plate and bandage removed! Unfortunately Allie was really not wanting to eat at that moment but we could not really blame her, so we had to continue syringe feeding her until she got her strength and appetite back. A couple days went by and sadly on the morning of April 1st our little Allie slipped away and crossed the rainbow bridge.
We had a necropsy done and everything was perfect. The next day we got her culture results back and found out Allie had been dealing with the pseudomonas bacteria, which lead her to become septic and pass away.
Our beautiful girl fought one heck of a battle but unfortunately the complications from her surgery were too much for her little body. Allie is missed so much and she will always hold a special place in our hearts.