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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Poor Delcy, the Cabbage Patch Baby

My newest mama cat, Delcy, gave birth to four kittens seven weeks ago.  Last week I picked her up and noticed her tummy was very warm.  I knew from a previous experience that this could be an infection of her uterus known as piometria.  I took her to the vet immediately.  An x-ray confirmed it, and she had her spay later that day.  The vet, Marcy Hammerle, also found that Delcy's intestines were very inflammed and weren't digesting the food from her stomach.  Delcy spent two nights at the vet's office on IV fluids and antibiotics. When she was eating and pooping, she got to come home.  This Thursday, I noticed Delcy's stomach was huge and looked like she was pregnant again.  Took her back in, and another x-ray showed her stomach was full of food, but her intestines were empty and still didn't look right.  So, the poor baby spent another two nights at the vet's.  I picked her up Saturday morning when she was eating and pooping again.  Marcy said her mammary glands were engorged and she needed to stop nursing and dry her boobs up.  She gave me a couple meds for Delcy's stomach and intestines, and said I should wrap cabbage leaves around Delcy's stomach to help dry her up.  I had heard of this remedy, but had never done it.

I still had to load up cats and get to adoptions at Petsmart, but I stopped at a nearby produce stand, bought a head a cabbage, went home, put some cabbage leaves in a baggie, got a roll of sticky bandage tape, loaded up cats and headed out.  John was gone until 10pm, so I took Delcy to the store with me because I knew I couldn't do this by myself.

It was pretty busy with people looking at our cats by the time I got there.  I asked one of the other foster moms, Cheri, if she could help me when there was a break in the action.  I needed to wrap cabbage leaves around Delcy's stomach.  Nothing phases Cheri, but the look on her face was priceless.  Even with Delcy being so, so good, it still took three of us to get the job done.  Cheri held Delcy, Lisa held leaves in place, and I wrapped the tape around the cat.  The 2" tape I brought originally stuck to itself and turned into a half inch rope and was impossible to use.  Petsmart had some 4" wide tape, and that worked better.  Too bad we didn't get a video.  The Three Stooges bandage a cat.
Delcy

Cheri took this picture when we were finished.  She also came up with the Cabbage Patch Baby.  You can see some of the cabbage sticking out from the end.  Poor Delcy looks like the deer in the headlights, but she does have very round eyes.  Everybody who came through wanted to know what happened to her.  After telling the actual story a few times, I just told them she had surgery.  One guy came in and asked if she got kicked in the stomach and seemed surprised when I told him no.  Another man wanted to know if she got run over by a car.  No.  The women were much more sympathetic and asked much less violent questions.  Hmmmm.

Delcy
Delcy
Delcy spent the night in the bathroom so she could eat her special food and her meds in some canned food.  I took the bandage off about midnight, and the cabbage was pretty wilted.  However, the six boobs covered by the cabbage and bandage were, in fact, smaller and flatter than the two boobs under her back legs that just couldn't be covered.  Whether it was from the cabbage or just being flattened, I can't say.  There were a lot of dark blood vessels showing on the wrapped part.  My internet research said that the cabbage increased blood flow to and from the area and helped with inflammation.  That's exactly what I saw.

The tape was history, so I had to come up with another method - and easier method - of doing this for Sunday.  Cheri had mentioned using a sock yesterday.  Worth a shot!  John unknowingly sacrificed an old white sock and held Delcy while I put it on her.  Then I stuffed the cabbage leaves in.  So far, so good, but her back two boobs still aren't covered.  I also clipped half of the little elastic threads in the sock to make it looser.  It worked well, except for the last two boobs.  She had four kittens and they only used the back four boobs, so only half the problem is being solved.  I may have to invent a kitty tummy wrap.  I let her out into the house this morning, but will have to put her back in several times a day to feed her.  I hope being separated from her kittens will also help dry her up.  She whines at the bedroom door, but I think she misses her BFF Bridgette more than the kittens.

Delcy
I'm very, very happy Delcy's eating and pooping.  I was extremely worried about her intestines not working again.  She's not out of the woods, yet, but seems to be doing a lot better.  Animal foster moms live for solid poop.  When anything at all is wrong with a cat, they seem to get diarrhea.   With Delcy, I'm just thankful for any poop at all.  Sometimes, it doesn't take much to make us happy.
Delcy

6 comments:

  1. Oh....! Oh, poor Delcy, she's been through so very much. What a good girl she is. I've heard of cabbage leaves being used in olden days on horses legs, for inflammation. Amazing how the old cures can work, isn't it?

    I'm sending universal Light to Delcy for healing, and the boys are sending their purrs.

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  2. Aw, poor baby! I have heard about cabbage leaves for engorged breasts, but always thought it was just an old wives tale. Funny what those old wives knew, isn't it? Hope she's "all better" soon!

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  3. Well, who knew this would work? Amazing! Delcy is quite the trusting lady to put up with becoming a cabbage roll, it MUST make her teats feel better. Fingers crossed her innards keep working and her milk dries up soon.

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  4. I can't decide if this is comical or sad! I do know one thing for sure...she wouldn't have made it this far out in the woods by herself. Thanks for all you do!

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  5. Poor Delcy! Who would have thought that cabbage leaves served more purposes than just being served with corned beef!? BTW, I would have loved to see the look on Cheri's face when you told her you had to wrap cabbage on Delcy's stomach. :) Hope she gets to feeling better soon - you are a great foster mom!

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  6. Purrrrrrss that by now Delcy is feeling better, and no longer feels like a filling in a salad.

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