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Kitten head trauma

My kitten Suki is 4 months old. Last night around 10:30 my sisters dog bit her head protecting food, she flopped over with her tongue hanging out panting, I thought her neck was broken at first. My roommate and I rushed her to the emergency vet, where they told us she has head trauma and they were going to keep her for overnight observation while giving her pain meds, Iv fluids and mannitol. They called at 7:30 in the morning to say she hasn't shown any improvement, but she hadn't gotten worse either. I visited her 3 times today; at 10:00, there was still no improvement, she just lay there, head swollen still, she only tried to pick her head up once. She moved her legs a little bit, but seemingly out of discomfort. Still hadn't eaten, or gone to the bathroom, and still not swallowing. Also still on oxygen. I came back again around 3:00 to see her again, this time she was trying harder to stand up to reposition herself, she was responding more to me petting her, although she still hadn't eaten on her own, but she had gone to the bathroom. I came back a third time around 8:30 to say goodnight, and she was even better. They took her off oxygen which they said is a pretty big step, and she was really trying hard to stand up and walk, not just to reposition herself. Head still tilted, and she can only feebly get up on her back legs for a second (her front paws are stronger) but she seems like she's really trying. She hasn't tried to eat on her own, other than the syringe feeding, but she's swallowing her spit now. They said she had gotten a little fever since my last visit too but it had gone down. Her eyes are uneven, but I think her pupils are responding to light. This has been a horrible 24 hours, I have been a complete mess bouncing back and forth between hope and despair. I love her so fluffin much, I can't bear the thought of letting her go without putting up a fight. The vets seem really nice, but I don't feel like I'm getting enough answers. They just keep telling me time will tell, and saying they just don't know it could go either way. They also said they want to keep her an additional 24 hours but if she doesn't improve to consider letting her go. After everything I've read I don't feel like 48 hours is enough time to just decide to put her down. These things can take a while it seems, and she seems to be improving little by little. She's still receiving mannitol there, but I'm considering transferring her to my regular vet to continue her care. I'm not even sure what I'm asking here, I guess I just need a little hope seeing as though I'm a complete basket case over this. This has been so awful, and it's so hard not to feel responsible for not protecting her when she needed me. She is the sweetest kitten, and I don't want to just let her go if I don't have to. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for listening. I'll update, they're supposed to call again in the morning to tell me any news, and I'll be going to visit her as soon as I'm up. I'm sending her positive energy, so anyone who reads this, she could always use some more positive energy or prayers <3
-Caroline
9 Responses
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Avatar universal
Hi Pheonixx,

You have to sooo careful with a kitten. Did you bring your kitten over
to your sister's house ? Anyway, that's horrible what happened to your
kitten Suki. Personally, I would leave the kitten where she is.
The emergency vets handle emergencies which is what this is.
If I were you, I wouldn't transfer her to your regular vet at this point in
time. Transferring her to her regular vet right now would not be in
Suki's best interests. These emergency vets are very skilled and very
knowledgable .They have to be. These emergency vets see and treat a lot of animals who are in critical condition. I hope Suki will recover, but
recovering will take time. Keep your sister's dog away from your kitty
in the future. Eve
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My sister and i live together. Her dog is really good with my other two cats and seemed to really like Suki too, it was really out of the blue. But great news she has made a miraculous recovery today, she's up and walking and eating and meowing, as well as excessively grooming, seeing as she hasn't been able to. We're building a tall dog/ cat barrier for my room before we pick her up so the dog can't get near her. I'm going to be keeping her away from him until she's big and can go outside like my other cats. I honestly think a big part of what happened was due to her being an adventurous playful kitten with no boundaries. Dakota is a rescue dog so he gets somewhat possessive over resources, and there was a hamburger (my roommate was eating) involved. She came up and tried to bat at his face while he was begging and he just snapped at her. My older cats don't do things like that they keep more to themselves and mind their distance from him, they really only give him an occasional nose sniff in passing. I'm assuming Suki will mellow out as she grows up and eventually won't try to play with everything she sees. But until then she is staying as far away from that pooch as possible. I will not let this happen again to her. Thank you for your response, I am so excited to bring her home today!!!
Helpful - 0
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
well thats all great news....we've had previous posters on here with similar head injuries with their cats, and similar experiences...when they are given mannitol quickly to reduce the swelling on the brain the outcomes are usually very favorable....
she may be a bit confused for awhile yet...and in some cases temporarily blind, but eating/drinking/eliminating already within 24 hrs are very very good...she should make a full recovery from her ordeal....
I am soooo glad to hear you are making efforts to keep this little girl away from the dog...
when a dog is eating is the most dangerous time for any 'intruders' into their space...I have seen dogs bite their humans too at these times...don't blame the dog, its their nature to protect their food...
keep us update...I'm so happy for little Suki♥
Helpful - 0
1696489 tn?1370821974
Hi, Caroline.  I worked for a vet for 8 years.  What this vet is doing and saying sounds right to me, but a second opinion never hurts.  You simply cannot know if or for how long it takes a head injury to heal.  Your Suki is on pain medication now, and will probably remain on it for a bit after the doctor decides (if he decides) to send her home.  The thing is this: vets and owners are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to head trauma.  Everyone wants to give the animal a fighting chance to get better, while at the same time, not allowing it to go on TOO long, and tipping over into having a suffering animal.  I don't know what else i can tell you, but will definitely send some Angels of Felines your way, to watch over your baby.  Blessings - Blu
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Pheonixx,

I'm so glad to hear that Suki has made a miraculous recovery and that
you are able to pick her up today. Building a tall dog/cat barrier is a good
idea. Don't want to scare you, but make sure it can't topple over for example if the dog were to lean against it. Please make sure the barrier
is secure. I wish you well, Phoenix. Eve
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Suki update: she's doing great! The barrier is actually a door with hinges and a lock so it's very secure. She eats like a horse, but she's not as interested in water so when I notice she's not been drinking I give her a syringe. She also sleeps a lot but I think that's probably part of the healing process. But besides that she's great, walking better every time she tries. The vet had me get a playpen for her so there's no risk of her falling off of anything and injuring her self. I went back to work for the first time this morning since it happened and it turned out I was on call and didn't need to be there. I went straight home and had quite a scare: Suki was gone from her playpen! Of course I went wild looking for her tears and all, found her in my closet up pretty high on some folded blankets with a sleepy look on her face that said "geez whats all the commotion can't a girl get some rest?" haha so she's alright. The experience taught me 2 things #1: she's better than I thought, I hadn't thought she was agile or sure footed or determined enough to get out of the playpen so that's cut ally a good thing. #2: I gotta create some sort of lid for the pen for when I'm gone lol. She stays in there when im around, but I think she went looking for me. I'm just so grateful she didn't hurt herself again.
In other news, the vets told me she'll always need to be an indoor cat even if she makes a full recovery. That makes me sad but it's not the worst news I could have received. I'm keeping her far from Dakota, but after she's fully recovered I'll allow her to be in the living room and stuff with us supervised. We are already putting the animals away whenever we eat and feeding them in their own places, not only for when Suki is better but for my other cats as well. We had some bad habbits with feeding the animals, including letting them all be around eat other while we were eating ourselves, which was a product of pure ignorance on our parts. This has been a learning experience and I won't allow this to happen again to Suki or any of the other cats in the house no matter how much more "mature" and independent they are. Anything can happen and I never want to go through this again. Any of you guys too, if you own a big/medium sized dog and cats, feed them separately and make sure they're put in their rooms when you eat, you never know what can happen and I would never wish this on anyone. This was way out of character for our dog so you can never be too cautious! I asked our vet if they see a lot of cases with head trauma for cats, she said yes it's very common. I asked if its frequently different situations than mine and she said no, the majority are actually my same exact situation. So anything can happen, take all the steps to avoid having to go through this!!! Thank you all for your support!
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Avatar universal
That last posting had HORRIBLE typos. I really hope you guys can make sense of it lol
Helpful - 0
587315 tn?1333552783
Hi, I've been following this post and am so thrilled to hear about Suki's recovery.  That is wonderful!!!  =)

When she's ready maybe you can start training her in a harness and take her outside to play.  Some cats don't mind harnesses at all!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Great to hear that Suki is continuing to doing so well in her recovery.
So the vet told you that Suki will always need to be an indoor cat.
That's okay. Cats shouldn't really be allowed to go outside.
You have to be careful with harnesses. Cats have been known to
escape from harnesses. Better to leave her inside where she can
stay safe. Our cat, Sammy, is a rescue cat that we adopted 2 years
ago from a cat rescue organization. I had to sign a contract when we
adopted our Sam. One of the conditions on the contract was that I
promised I would never allow him to go outside. That's how important
it is to keep kitties inside. Outside there are all kinds of dangers for
kitties like other animals, cars, poison materials and people who hate
cats and want to hurt them. Unfortunately, these dangers are all to real.
Helpful - 0
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