❦ Diagnosis and treatment
After being returned to the Refuge’s care, Louloutte was brought to the emergency room. She received an intensive course of treatments prescribed by specialists. Louloutte’s regular veterinarian oversaw her follow-up.
. Fluid therapy.
. Complete blood count and daily tests of the principal constituents of the blood to follow the evolution of hepatic function.
. An FIV/FeLV (feline aids and leukemia) test, which came back negative. Either illness could have been the cause of her anorexia.
. A coagulation test. The liver synthesizes several proteins, which are factors in coagulation.
. An abdominal ultrasound, a liver biopsy, and a cytology test to confirm that she is suffering from lipodosis and not from cancer or any other physical ailment.
. Board and medications.
. Electrolytes and force-feeding of a high-energy, easy-to-digest liquid diet through a nasal-gastric tube.
Hepatic lipidosis is often fatal, but if a cat manages to pull through, treatments can last from several weeks up to several months. This illness is difficult to treat because it involves breaking a vicious cycle: anorexia causes lipodosis, and lipidosis causes a lack of appetite.
❦ The early days
Louloutte was born under a car in Verdun on April 6, 2012. The car’s owner took the whole family into her home. Because she was preparing to move at the time, she entrusted them to the Refuge’s good care. Louloutte’s sister Suzy, brother Diablo, and mother Mini-Fée were all adopted in 2012.
While living with her first foster family, Louloutte revealed herself to be a little gem. A very intelligent cat, she learned to do tricks with the greatest of ease. For example, she learned to give kisses. Whenever someone puckered their lips and said « Donne un bis sur le bis » she would come over and put her mouth up against theirs. Because she focuses so much of her attention on the humans in her life, Louloutte could certainly learn to do other tricks, too.
Louloutte gets along as well with humans as she does with other cats and dogs. Affectionate and playful, she seeks out the company of humans to be held and pet, and that of other animals to let loose and have fun. While she was living with her first foster family, she wasn’t fearful or dominant; rather, she was well balanced and confident. She liked going for rides in the car, looking out the window from inside her carrier.
Following her adoption, Louloutte, who was just a year old at the time, stopped eating and developed full-blown anorexia. In order to survive, her body began to consume the reserves of fats it had built up. Because her liver was unable to handle this overload of fats (lipids), she became gravely ill. The illness she developed is known as hepatic lipidosis.
The symptoms of lipidosis are loss of appetite followed by weight loss, lack of energy, dehydration, excessive urination and thirst, yellowing of the skin (inside the ears, and yellowing of white fur) and mucus membranes (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and gums), nausea, and vomiting.
Louloutte’s lipodosis did not have a physical cause. In cases such as these, knowing the cat’s history is of the utmost importance because it can provide insight into to what caused him or her to stop eating.
A change of environment or routine, the loss of a friend, or the arrival of an incompatible being in its environment can all cause a loss of appetite.
❦ The road to recovery
We asked for your financial support to help because we wanted to honour Louloutte’s courage. It is thanks to you that we were able give her the treatments she needed in order to get well. She has a real zest for life and faced her illness with a fighting spirit.
Gradually, Louloutte began eating more and more. She was taking her medication and was on the road to recovery. We didn’t have any reason to suspect that she will have a relapse, but we had to remain very vigilant. Where illnesses as serious as lipidosis are concerned, long-term follow-up is crucial: Louloutte had to remain under observation for several weeks before we could be completely sure that she was out of danger.
After a few weeks, Louloutte no longer needed to be hospitalized and began living with a foster family : We no longer fear for her life. Louloutte doesn’t need medication anymore and is on the road to a full recovery. She eats on her own, without stimulation, and has even started playing on her own, without needing her foster family to encourage her to do so.
❦ Thank you!
From the bottoms of our hearts, we would like to thank the generous sponsors who enabled us to save Louloutte’s life: Agnès, Catherine B., Catherine G., Catherine R.B., Cathy, Céline, Clotilde, Cynthia, Dalila, Elisabeth, Florence, Francine, Giovanna, Isabelle, Jasmine, Jeannine, Jennifer, Jenny, Jessica, Joanne, Johanne, Josette, Josianne, Julia, Julie, Lorraine, Louise Bel., Louise Ber., Lynda, Marie-Eve, Nadia, Nadine, Nathalie, Olivia, Philippe, Stéphanie, Suzanne C., Suzanne F., Sylvie, Valérie, Vincent, Virginia, Virginie, and our anonymous donors!
Louloutte thanks you for your compassion and generosity. Without you, she might not even be here. We hope that she will find a forever adoptive family very soon!
❦ September 2014: Update.
Louloutte was adopted beginning September 2014. All that remains is to wish for Louloutte to enjoy this beautiful life that is offered to her!
The volunteer team of the Refuge pour chats de Verdun