15 Feb Pishi was Caught in a House Fire & Survived – Emergency of the Week
Sweet Pishi was trapped in a house fire that left her in critical condition. Although she did not suffer from any burns, she did inhale a lot of smoke which caused her to have difficulty breathing and severe dehydration.
Upon assessment, her lungs sounded harsh and she had a cough that was producing clear, viscous fluid. Pishi also had nasal discharge, all signs that she was in respiratory distress. Due to the lack of oxygen, she suffered, her mucous membranes had turned a blue-grey colour, a condition known as cyanosis.
She was breathing with increased effort and had mildly weepy eyes, as well as a large superficial corneal ulceration in one eye.
A corneal ulceration is an open sore on the outer layer of the cornea which can cause the eye to feel itchy and irritated. Treatment includes antibiotic eye drops, and most ulcers heal without complication if they are treated promptly.
Of highest concern was Pishi’s inhalation of smoke and potentially other toxic fumes which lead to her suffering from esophagitis. This is a condition that is used to describe the inflammation of the esophagus.
This leads to difficulties swallowing and potentially narrowing of the esophagus. Coupled with Pishi’s vomiting and dehydration, there was some concern that Pishi may have suffered from a possible chemical burn to her upper airway from inhalation of toxic fumes.
Thoracic radiographs were taken, and Pishi was diagnosed with severe bronchitis.
Pishi was hospitalized and started on intravenous (IV) fluids, oxygen supplementation, and various medications to manage her numerous symptoms.
Pishi’s mucous membranes returned to a normal colour during her first night in the hospital, but Pishi had sustained hard swallowing, open-mouth breathing and a high body temperature due to her level of dehydration and severe bronchial pattern. IV fluids were continued as well as oxygen supplementation.
Over the next couple of days, Pishi’s supplemental oxygen level was gradually decreased until she was comfortably breathing on room air.
She was given an anti-nauseant medication while in hospital to entice her to eat, but due to her sustained high body temperature, she was not interested.
On her third day in the hospital, her temperature finally started to reduce back down to a normal range and her appetite improved. Although she still had a cough, she had recovered enough to return to her family.
She was sent home with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories for pain relief, gastrointestinal protectants, anti-nauseants, antibiotic eye drops, eye lubricant, and strict orders to avoid stress. Her breathing was to be monitored for any declines as well.
Pishi is now doing much better, and her corneal ulcer has fully resolved.
With the gracious help of the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, Pishi was able to get the care she needed and is happy to be reunited with her family.