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Twinkle: FEGSF

Education > Patient Stories 23rd October 2016
 


Vomiting frequently, growing weaker and losing weight, Twinkle was a far cry from her cheery self. At her lightest, she was 2.92kg. Twinkle’s family fought alongside her, through sickness and surgery, until she was fit to go home.

“One night 11 years ago, we were driving when a kitten dashed across the street. My husband got out immediately and found the kitten huddling in a drain. Although we are not cat people, we just had to take her home. It was difficult caring for Twinkle initially but we learnt along the way. A year later, Heidi joined our family. Like ebony and ivory, Twinkle and Heidi live together in perfect harmony!” ~ Julie



Few months ago, Twinkle started vomiting frequently (vomiting is the primary sign seen with a variety of diseases affecting the GI tract). She was losing appetite and losing weight. She was hospitalised at Mount Pleasant (Clementi) where a naso-esophageal feeding tube is passed through the nose into the esophagus. Only very liquefied food, water and some medications can be given through the narrow tube. An Elizabethan collar is necessary to prevent Twinkle from interfering with the tube.

REFERRAL TO VETERINARY SPECIALIST DR NATHALEE PRAKASH

On 13 September 2016, Twinkle was referred to Dr Nathalee Prakash, veterinary specialist in canine medicine, at Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang). Cat physiology is different compared to dogs or humans. The consequences of not eating are much more significant. If your cat does not eat for forty-eight hours, she can develop a potentially life-threatening form of liver malfunction known as hepatic lipidosis.

Twinkle’s body condition score was 3/9. Upon palpation, a mass was detected in the mid-abdominal region. Exploratory laparotomy was advised, with a possibility that surgical intervention could help Twinkle.



An exploratory laparotomy was performed to examine Twinkle’s abdominal organs. A mid-jejunal mass was identified, measuring 1 to 2cm in diameter, which appears to be causing partial obstruction. A jejunal resection and anastamosis was performed – fully excising the diseased section of the intestine and suturing the remaining sections together. The mass was sent for histopathology examination, together with the mesenteric lymph node and a section of the liver.

Note: The small intestine is the major digestion and absorption site. It is divided into three sections – duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The jejunum is the longest section of the small intestine.



Histopathology revealed feline eosinophilic gastrointestinal sclerosing fibroplasia (FEGSF), an uncommon inflammatory disease affecting the stomach or intestines. FEGSF is treated with steroids and antibiotics to control inflammation and prevent recurrence.

“Twinkle is family. When we choose to welcome an animal friend into our lives, we have to commit to the animal for the rest of his or her life.” ~ Mr Chia & Julie



RECOVERING WELL

On 18 October 2016, Twinkle weighed 4kg (up from 2.92kg). She is eating about 80g of dry food on her own in addition to 4-hourly liquid food and medication through tube feeding. The feeding tube was removed a week later as her appetite continued to be good and she is eating well on her own. Twinkle also started to venture out of the study room/recovery room to the living room and other favourite spots.







PROPER NUTRITION IS CRITICAL FOR SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY FROM ANY DISEASE

If your cat refuse food for more than two days, consult your veterinarian immediately. Force-feeding is unpleasant for cats. There is an increased risk of your cat inhaling food into the trachea or windpipe and developing aspiration pneumonia.

FEEDING TUBES ARE USEFUL FOR ANIMALS WHO ARE ILL & HAVE LOST THEIR APPETITE

The sight of your cat or dog with a feeding tube might be unpleasant. However, feeding tubes are useful for animals who are ill and have lost their appetite, or are keen to eat but have difficulties swallowing or keeping food down.



HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR CAT TO EAT

  • Slightly warm the food prior to feeding.
  • Offer frequent, small meals of odorous, highly palatable food.
  • Hand feed or gently place small morsels of food on your cat’s tongue.
  • Feed in a quiet and comfortable area.