Captain Jack Sparrow’s Miraculous Recovery
By Imogene Ewen | Dated October 7, 2018
Captain Jack Sparrow, the very dashing 7 year old cat is well known for his ability to open cupboards, fit into small spaces and hide. Trickster by name and by nature! Unfortunately, this mischievous skill of his almost cost Jack his life. Jack Sparrow was found in a drain 9 weeks after escaping from his owner’s apartment. Before the escape, Jack weighed 8kg and lived a very luxurious life, lounging in front of the TV and often got caught red handed eating his owner’s prawns and avocados. Jack’s owner, devastated by his emaciated condition, brought him straight to Gordon Vet. On presentation, Jack was skin and bones, weighing 3.9kg (he had lost more than half of his body weight!). He was covered in fleas, very jaundiced, had head tremours and was unable to stand.
After performing blood tests and an abdominal ultrasound, Jack was diagnosed with Hepatic Lipidosis, or “fatty liver”. This condition is caused by starvation and is one of the most common causes of liver failure in cats. Normally, in starvation, fat is moved from the body’s storage depots to the liver for processing into lipoproteins. In cats, whose physiology is geared towards a completely carnivorous diet, their liver struggles to handle large amounts of mobilized fat. Hence, their liver becomes infiltrated with fat and fails.
Treatment for Hepatic Lipidosis involves aggressive nutritional support. A high protein diet must get into the cat to reverse the metabolic starvation state. Unfortunately Jack was so sick that he had no appetite. In order to give Jack a chance of survival we placed an oesophageal feeding tube, which exited the side of his neck. After 3 weeks of tube feeding, physio to build muscle strength and fluid therapy, Jack had regained his strength. Jack is now back home and back to his old antics. Well done Captain Jack Sparrow!