Christmas for Craisin
By FieldHaven Feline Center
The Miracle of Craisin
Your support is needed for Craisin and others like him.
When Georgetta awoke on that cold winter morning she saw something motionless in the middle of her lawn. When she went to investigate she found the almost frozen, lifeless body of an orange cat. Georgetta immediately called FieldHaven Feline Center in Lincoln, CA.
At about the same time, FieldHaven staff member Jen was warming up her car to drive to the shelter. Her phone rang with a call to please drive by Georgetta’s house as soon as she could. What Jen saw was heartbreaking. Why was this cat in the middle of the yard she thought? Apparently he tried to seek shelter in the garage but ran out of strength. Jen gently picked up the cat, wrapped him in a blanket and rushed to the shelter. Because it was a Wednesday one of FieldHaven’s veterinarians was there to assess his condition and either administer lifesaving treatment or gently help him pass away.
Dr. Rensing asked veterinary technician Natalie to get the warming blanket as she placed an IV catheter in the cat’s front leg. As warmed fluids began to enter his body she commented how he looked like a shriveled up “Craisin”. Now this kitty had a name and thus began his incredible journey.
The next thing Natalie did was attempt to get Craisin’s temperature. He was so cold that the thermometer didn’t register that low. After an hour under the warming blanket there was still no measurable temperature. It wasn’t until almost seven hours later that Craisin’s body warmed sufficiently to register the very low temperature of 94 degrees. (A cat’s normal temp is 101 degrees) As Dr. Rensing continued her examination and found that Craisen was anemic, emaciated, dangerously dehydrated and hypothermic, had severe dental disease and his pupils were unequal.
In any veterinary practice a doctor, when presented with a critically ill patient, must talk with the client about treatment options, quality of life, possible euthanasia and costs. At FieldHaven we weigh those options as well. Craisin was very gravely ill, possibly feral (he had an ear-tip) and was exhibiting some neurological systems. None of which weighed in his favor and euthanasia was discussed. But the one thing he did have in his favor was a very strong will to live. And under that warming blanket a faint purr could be heard and his eyes showed a spark of life.
In the days following his arrival at FieldHaven more diagnostic testing was done. Blood work could determine why he was so debilitated and if his systems were physical or possibly caused by trauma. We learned that he has elevated white blood cells, most likely from his dental disease and that he is FIV positive. He also has elevated liver values. On “paper” he really didn’t look good but he was beginning to stand and he was eating well. Additionally, he began to purr every time he was given attention and he became stronger as he walked around the med room.</p?
Craisen was also diagnosed with Horner’s Syndrome, a common neurological disorder of the eye and facial muscles. The most common symptoms are a drooping of the eye on the affected side and a much smaller pupil in that eye. It can be caused by a bite from another animal or blunt force trauma such as being hit by a car. Either of these could explain why Craisin became incapacitated.
He is still very sick and will need additional medical testing and procedures, like x-rays, more bloodwork and a dental to determine his long-term prognosis. Dr. Rensing is much more optimistic as Craisin is now stable and his attitude and strength improve daily. There is no crystal ball in shelter medicine but everyone at FieldHaven is hopeful that Craisin will be a Christmas Miracle.
Follow Craisin’s journey on FieldHaven’s Facebook Page