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Yellow Cat Spends Weeks in Hospital

November 18, 2009

Nicco was a very sick kitty cat.  Thin, dehydrated, yellow with jaundice, fleas running everywhere, Nicco, the white short-hair golden eye wonder at could barely manage to croak a little meow of confusion as I lifted him out of his cat carrier and onto the hospital scale.

His mom started the story, “He always seemed so healthy, I didn’t even notice when he started loosing weight.  But thinking back, maybe he’s been drinking tons of water and getting thinner for a coupla months. Nicco usually hangs out in our garage and plays in the storage boxes.  Do you think he could’ve gotten sick on ribbons or party flavors I keep stored for my catering business?”

If you love animals, are a veterinarian, or an aspiring veterinarian, or just have cats that get sick often, you’ve probably already noticed several red flags in the situation.

Nicco’s Red Flags:

Ribbons, strings where a cat can get to them

Kept in a garage (toxic chemicals anyone?)

Sick for months

Weight loss

Dehydration (how do we know?  Remember Skin Turgor?)


Oh yeah, Jaundice. “What’s jaundice?” you ask?  Well, Doc Truli will tell you…yellow skin, usually seen first in the back of the mouth, or more practically in cats, the whites of the eyes turn yellow.  In fact, the yellow is what Nicco’s mom noticed most.

“I went to pick him up from behind some cardboard boxes, when I noticed his skin was all yellow, especially his ears and his eyes.”

Yikes!  Jaundice means a build-up up of the metabolic waste-product bilirubin, in the bloodstream.  Normally, red blood cells break down in the body, get filtered and converted vis bilirubin in the liver, and travel out in the bile and the intestines.  So anything which makes extra dead red blood cells, messes up the liver, or blocks the out passageway can cause back-up of bilirubin yellow pigment into the blood, which is carried all over the body and makes a cat or a person feel weak and tired, achey, and sick.

Nicco’s Total serum bilirubin was sky-high!  We became treatment with intravenous fluids to dilute and attempt to flush out the toxin.  But, without figuring out the underlying cause of the jaundice, we were doomed to fail.

Read more tomorrow about Nicco, the jaundiced cat.

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