It's been one week since Mabel came home from the AMC after her procedures. For such a small cat, she had a ton of issues! But the balloon dilation and stents seem to be doing the job, she no longer struggles to get air into her lungs. Previously, she looked like a fuzzy bullfrog, her neck inflating hugely as she forced air through ever-smaller nasal passages. When I think about it now, it seems pretty horrible to have to live like that, and she lived like that for a long time. And was even playful and affectionate through it all (well, okay, not all the time).
Part of her condition made her vomit with alarming regularity. She threw up all the time, usually just stomach bile. Apparently, from having to struggle for breath so often, she ended up swallowing lots of air. This distended her esophagus (megaesophagus) and caused a hiatal hernia (most of her internal organs were squashed forward in the abdominal cavity from overactivity of the diaphragm muscle). So she had to struggle to breathe AND she barfed a lot.
One week after the procedure, her breathing is silent and her neck no longer bulges. She has vomited a bit, but it's mostly been very small amounts, and only food (I'm not sure why I think that's an improvement over bile but I do). The vets said to expect this but that it should stop soon as her body recovers. We're hoping her esophagus and stomach can heal so these GI issues resolve.
One downside to her getting better is she no longer has a loud, musical purr. This was always one of her most endearing traits, her purr was extremely loud and bubbly, going up and down the scale. See the video from when she was recovering from her ear canal surgery, the purring is like a babbling brook! We now know that this purring was actually due to her condition, the extra tissue (that was also constricting her airway) was vibrating and amplifying her purrs!
As you can hear in the new video, Mabel's purr is now far more pedestrian. We'll miss her big purrs but knowing it was a sign of what was wrong with her makes it easier to say good riddance!
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bless you so much for taking care of this girl! <3