Pablo Returns

Pablo is two and a half year old domestic short hair tuxedo cat. Pablo's story started some time ago when he went missing. He didn’t come home one night for his dinner (which he always does) and his owners grew concerned. When he didn't return in the following days his owners were worried the worst had happened. They contacted all the vet clinics in their area and notified them of his disappearance, but as time went on his owners thought they would never see him again. 

Then, 6 weeks later in the early hours of the morning, there was a sound at the back door. It was Pablo!

Looking very skinny and hungry, Pablo had managed to get himself home - some six weeks after he went missing. However Pablo had been hurt, the first thing his owners could see was that he was now unable to use his left forelimb as he once had.

His owners brought him to AdelaideVet Trinity Gardens first thing in the morning, they were extremely worried about him. The vets were able to assess Pablo and he was admitted to hospital for x-rays and further neurological assessment. He was very skinny at 2.4kg, which is about half his current weight. Upon further examination, his righting reflex was not present and his withdrawal reflex was delayed. He also had a large wound on the forearm from constantly walking on this part of his arm.

When Pablo’s x-rays were completed they showed that there were no abnormalities or fractures, thus the diagnosis was brachial plexus avulsion. Brachial plexus avulsion is caused by damage to the nerve roots of the forelimb at the level of the spinal cord. Clinical signs depend on the nerves affected by the injury. In Pablo's case, cervical nerves 5-7 were affected, keeping his elbow held in a flexed position. 

He was sent home that day on anti-inflammatory pain relief and strict cage rest in the hope he would regain function in the left forelimb. 

Pablo returned to the clinic four days later after he started vomiting. Due to his low weight, he was once again admitted to hospital as he was becoming dehydrated. He remained on fluids and antibiotics overnight and was discharged the following day on continued cage rest.  

Almost three months later, after strict cage rest and very little improvement in his left forelimb function, the decision was made to amputate his forearm. The wounds had healed but he was still walking on the forearm and not weight-bearing on his paw. The limb was very skinny and had no muscle present and remained contracted. The forelimb was surgically removed with the scapula left in place. He remained in hospital overnight on pain relief and was discharged the next day.  

Since his return to his owners, he has nearly doubled in weight. He is now living his life as a three-legged cat and no longer has mobility issues. He is also now a spoilt inside cat!

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