Friday, March 28, 2008

Brina Is Sick!

Update 12/08-
I cannot express my gratitude for the well-wishes and emotional and monetary gifts from everyone. People have been very kind to us. No amount of fancy wording can describe how thankful I am to everyone.

Brina is doing very well! She's very healthy and we are keeping her bowel disease in order. (We found out she has a bowel disorder after her stomatitis issue was over). She eats fine, believe me! (Even though most of her teeth are gone). She's super friendly and talkative. She's happy here with us and we love and spoil her a lot.
Brina's donation button will be enabled until her medical bills on the Care Credit are paid in full. I will take it down immediately after that. I am hoping to pay it off by the end of 2009. ALL donation money through this button goes directly to that card payment.

~~~~~~~~Earlier this year.....~~~~~~~~
Hi all. I am not usually this shameless but my cat is very, very ill. She has been very expensive so far and I do not make much. I am taking donations in ANY amount, and also highlighting my etsy shop. Thank you in advance for any purchase or donation. Brina thanks you, too!
(See update below)



Hello all-

I haven't forgotten about you. This week has been a roller coaster, but she's home finally. I figured since I have requested (and still appreciate) donations, I need to let you know what's going on! It's long and since a lot has happened in 1 week, some things may be a little scrambled, but I felt if I could update everyone, they would know where their donations are going, and get a little feel for what her personality is like.

About Brina-
(Pronounced "bree-nuh")
2 and a half years ago, we took her in after my mother adopted her after the loss of our beloved 18-year old cat, Turbo. My mother was not able to keep her, because the vets thought she had a fatal respiratory disease that is transmittable to cats. Since we had a dog and no cats (and returning her to the shelter was not okay with any of us) we kept her.
She stayed in her room for 2 weeks! She finally came out to drink our dog's water and the fun began. 6 months later, she started to really come around. In the past 6 months, she's gotten even lovlier and friendlier. She jumps on the bed in the mornings and walks on our pillows, and "brushes" my hair. She likes to be close to us, and she likes to watch TV when we eat dinner.
She loves the very late/very early hours, and is vocal about her desire for breakfast. She scratches her post just so we will say "Good Girl, Brina". She LOVES her water fountain and will let us know when it's too low. She has a very sweet personality and has bonded with me and my partner. Brina is his first cat, and she won him over. He wasn't too keen at first but I guess her daily greeting and sneezing into his chocolate soy milk every morning did the trick. I guess to know her more you'd have to meet her.

From the time we met her, she has had a respiratory problem and very, very bad teeth. Our vet wasn't comfortable putting her under anesthesia because with the respiratory problem, she is a high-risk patient. She also has hyperthyroidism, which is being controlled with medication. I had been using antibacterial gel and trying to gently brush her teeth, but they hurt her too much. Last Sunday she just stopped eating, cold turkey. After blood work we saw some of her organs weren't working properly and my vet actually suspected pancreatic cancer. It's a lot to take in when you think you are going in to increase the amount of Methimazole and you are told your cat probably has inoperable cancer, a cancer in which she wouldn't be without suffering if she died from.

So, we went to see specialists at the University of Florida Small Animal Hopsital in Gainesville, which is over 2 hours each way by car. After a lot of tests (ultrasound, blood, echocardiograph (sp?), etc) we got to take her home and she was put on some medication to help with her organs, etc. and some rest. I fed her by syringe daily, and had to give subcutaneous (sub-Q) fluids, antiobiotics, etc. This continued through her treatment with more of these tests, x-rays, etc.

3 days ago, she was put under anesthesia for oral surgery. She had mucus in her chest and they had to take her out of anesthesia and wait one day. The next day, she went in for oral surgery again. Brina had to have many of her teeth removed.
From the report:
"Brina had severe stomatitis. Stomatisis is a severe oral disease that affects some cats where the body becomes allergic to the plaque around the teeth. The allergic response appears as marked inflammation at the area where the tooth meets the gumline. Specific cause is not known. It is not related to feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, sex, spaying and neutering, or diet..."

So from what I gather, her teeth's bacteria/allergic reaction was/is affecting the rest of her body.
Right after she woke up, she was really, really irritated and cranky! We saw her at this time (the first anesthesia). They had to put her in an e-collar because she ripped out her arm IV catheter with her teeth (this was the first anesthesia, she still had her teeth). After the drugs wore off, she was back to her usual self, and wanted attention.
2nd anesthesia and tooth extraction went well. She had more mucus but they were able to take care of it. While under, they inserted an esophogeal feeding tube. I will be feeding her through this until her mouth heals and she can eat on her own. Since she didn't willingly eat for about a week, she's very (grossly) can feel her backbone..but even now since she's had the tube, you can feel a little more padding.

Finally, we picked her up yesterday. She was on methadone (!) and a bit out of it but she recognized us and wanted me to hold her. She was purring, grooming herself, etc. Today she is still really really tired, but dong well with our first feeding/medication, and is friendly. This morning she jumped on the bed and purred. We take it from here. This week has cost us several thousand dollars but she's in recovery and I love her. I know some people don't understand spending so much on a little cat, but for people like me, she's my family. I can photo the invoices if anyone requests them. I don't know the etiquette of posting numbers or amounts or all that so until then I will leave that alone.
Here is a picture I took yesterday right when she got home. That antennae thing is her feeding tube. It comes out of the side of her neck, and is held with medical wrap. It goes past her esophagus and ends right before her stomach, so it bypasses the gag reflex. She looks like she got beat up! Her belly, both front arms, neck, and one back foot are shaved.

Most importantly:
I really cannot express my gratitude adequately for those who have helped me with their concern, well-wishes, and/or financial support. The selflessness and generosity of people who don't even know me honestly made me cry. I try not to get too personal on this site because it's just a food blog, but things happen and I feel I owe an update! I read/hear about animal cruelty and human cruelty and it's easy to become misanthropic and depressed. There's so much sadness in the world, especially for the animals. This has been the complete opposite of that. I am grateful for the compassion I have been shown and appreciate what I continue to be shown. Every bit of love and financial support is being used to help her, so again, THANK YOU!

About the google Ads:
I added them only to generate income to help pay for all this. I am not responsible for their content (couldn't Google keep out the meat ads?!?) and don't even really know how all that stuff works..just so you know. I know they are annoying but I need all the help I can get at this time.


Andréa N. said...

I'm sorry Brina is sick. I wish I could send you some $$, but right now we're broke. I'll keep thinking good thoughts and hoping someone can help you. And I hope Brina gets better quickly.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

I've been thinking about you guys! I wish I could send more (I donated $40. i'm the girl with the crazy long last name ;). With seven furry loves in our house, many of whom have been thru similar situations, I know how hard this can be. At least I can offer that each of ours pulled thru! Brina will too!

so much love to you and Brina, may she make a speedy and full recovery!

Emmie said...

I'm so sorry about Brina. I couldn't donate much but I hope other people will chip in. All of my best wishes to you guys.


Ash said...

I am so sorry that Brina has been sick. I couldn't donate that much but I hope it helps a little bit. You and Brina are in my thoughts! <3

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

i'm so happy that Brina is on the mend! i know how emotionally and financially draining this is as, like i've said before, i've been thru this with a few of our kitties. i wish i could do more to help! or that i'd known you were in Gville! at the very least, i could have fed you! ;)

Veggie Cookster said...

So glad to hear Brina is pulling through this! :) She looks like such a sweet kitty... poor baby having to go through all this. Still in my thoughts!

Jody from VegChic said...

Hey there,

Glad to hear Brina is doing better. I don't have a lot to help out with, but did send something.

You are great cat mom driving all that way and getting the right tests done.

Sending warm thoughts and well wishes...

B.A.D. said...

Sending more love and well wishes for Brina. Sorry the Donation wasn't much, I have yet to get a job. I hope she continues to improve!

Good vibes