Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Say a prayer for Johnnie

Here is Johnnie, a Nokomis tomcat who is tame and sweet but very sick. His feeders called KWCS a few days ago asking for help with 3 yard cats who were not fixed. They caught 2 very quickly and Johnnie was turned over on Sunday to me.
I took him into the TNR surgery at a local vet on Monday knowing he was sick. The vet fixed him, gave him a rabies shot and an ear tip, and gave him back. I knew I was rocking the boat with this one, because most vets and many cat care experts would simply say to "put him down" due to his condition. However, when he came in, I couldn't see all the blood and puss because of the extreme mange and matted hair.
After his neutering, St. Francis agreed to allow him to stay in its infirmary for 2 weeks so that he could be given medications, and then today, Tuesday, I found out how sick he really is. His face is oozing blood and puss from both sides and the mange is crusted over his head, and present over the rest of his body. Of course, mange is not fatal, just disgusting and itchy.

So it is an ethical question for me, should a cat like this be immediately killed, or should we treat him as best we can and try to bring him back to health? Johnnie has the next few days to help us answer this.
We have treated him for mange and he is on antibiotics. His infections (from fighting or an attack by an animal??? we just don't know) have gotten pussy, swollen and the abcess is broken. I am going into the shelter to help clean the pus out and clean up the dead mange parasites.
You can see in his picture how bad he looks. I will let you know in a day or two what the prognosis is and how he's doing. He did eat several bowls full of food today (thanks Judy!) and he rises up in back to meet my hand when I rub his back, so his pain and illness is not all consuming.
Check back on Thursday or Friday for how Johnnie is doing. I have not seen a street cat/mange cat in this bad of shape in 8 years, other than 1 I remember in Key West that was on death's door and in fact died as soon as he was caught.
Thanks for loving all the cats, even the unpretty ones like Johnnie!

1 comment:

  1. I'll be sending Johnnie the light and put him on all the prayer lists I can - as well as you and the other caretakers. When faced with a decision that can go either way, if it's 50-50 I usually take the attitude, "When in doubt, don't." And once the balance shifts to the side of health or decline it will be clear to you. You'll know what to do. You're intuitive so I'm sure you're asking Johnnie. I think the body language he's giving you says thank you and he'd like to be healed and live if possible. That's my feeling as of Wed afternoon. I'll keep checking in. Bless you. Bless your work.


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