Bebe is our Braveheart for November

We first met Bebe on Saturday, September 20 after her owners were worried about her lethargy and weight loss. We took blood and urine samples, which showed a urinary tract infection, so we sent Bebe home with antibiotics and pain relief.

Two days later, she hadn’t improved so her owners admitted her to hospital. We gave her intravenous fluids and medication to encourage her appetite and to stop her feeling sick. Although this helped initially, Bebe’s respiratory rate increased, which was a major concern for our vets. We carried out chest x-rays, which showed a pyothroax (pus in the chest). Large amounts of pus were drained from Bebe’s chest and sent for analysis to the lab. Our vet Olivia also placed a chest drain so we could continue to drain the pus as it formed.

The following day, we were relieved when Bebe was slightly brighter and started eating small amounts. However, two days later, and despite intravenous antibiotics and other medication, Bebe still wasn’t eating well. After discussions with her owner, a feeding tube was placed directly into Bebe’s oesophagus so that we could feed her.

Over the next three days her feeding ration was gradually increased to make sure she was getting all the nutrition she needed. Unfortunately, two days later, Bebe’s breathing became heavy again and an xray showed she needed another chest drain placing on the other side of her chest, so that we could drain both sides.

Bebe had to stay in the hospital another five days while we continued to regularly drain pus from her chest and feed her via her tube. Bebe is a very sweet cat and was a model patient for this! We repeated chest x-rays at this point and found one side of her chest was clear of pus, so we could remove the drain. However, there was still pus the other side, so we had to leave that drain in and keep Bebe in hospital. There was good news four days later, when chest x-rays showed both sides of Bebe’s chest were free from pus and she could finally go home. Later on that day, Bebe was discharged with her feeding tube still in place so the owner could continue tube feeding and giving her oral medication down the tube.

Over the next few weeks, Bebe regularly came in for check-ups to monitor her progress and to change the dressing around the feeding tube. Six weeks after first seeing Bebe, chest x-rays showed her chest contained no abnormal material. As she was eating well and maintaining her weight, we were able to remove her feeding tube.

Throughout Bebe’s stay in the hospital she coped really well with having regular checks and tolerated her chest being drained, being tube feed and having all of her medications. She quickly became a firm favourite with the nurses during her stay. It is great to see her now doing so well and being back to her normal self at home with her owner, who worked very hard to look after Bebe with her feeding tube. Bebe is very deserving of this months’ Braveheart award.