Lockridge Animal Hospital is pleased to introduce Henry. Henry is a very distinguished elderly gentleman who was adopted by none other than Mrs. Mary Lockridge on June 7th, 2015. Dr. Thomas Lockridge and his wife Mary owned and operated this Manchester veterinary hospital from 1960 to 1996. In 1996 they chose Dr. Michael McCammon and Dr. Pamela Richard to continue their legacy. Dr. Thomas Lockridge passed away in 2005 and his wife, Mary, has remained a client here allowing us the privilege of caring for her cats. Mary is keenly aware of shelter overpopulation. So many wonderful adult and elderly cats wait for what seems an eternity for adoption.
Henry is a fantastic boy. His time in the shelter was very difficult for him. He is a very social and sensitive man and during his time there he became depressed and did not eat well or use the litterbox often enough. In an older kitty this can cause severe constipation as it did for him. He began not feeling well and that only complicated his situation. When cats, especially middle aged and older cats or overweight cats, don’t eat well and become lethargic they are prone to other issues. Particularly a disorder called Hepatic Lipidosis. Hepatic Lipidosis occurs when the body is not receiving the caloric intake required to function properly. It begins to break down the fat stores in the body. This causes a large amount of fat to enter the blood stream and liver. In the liver lipoproteins are made to use for energy. This process of making lipoproteins in the liver is not efficient. More fat than is used remains in the liver causing the liver to swell, turn yellow and compromise its function. The most noticeable symptom of this is jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes and sclera but it can also cause vomiting, bleeding disorders and ultimately complete liver failure and death.
Luckily, the mainstay of treatment is proper nutrition. This, as some of you know, is not always easy with cats. Cats that have developed Hepatic Lipidosis whether it was caused by another disease process or, as in Henry’s case by his anorexia, constipation and depression, or as a primary disease, often require the placement of a feeding tube. This allows us to get the proper amount and type of nutrition into them in a stress-free manner. Reversing the damage done to the liver and surrounding organs during the lipidosis process takes a long time. It is not unusual for feeding tubes to remain in place for a month or more in these cases. With nutrition and medications to protect and support the liver and other organs cats can recover when they receive veterinary care promptly. Henry was very lucky that he was adopted by Mary when he was. She was able to recognize something was wrong and brought him in right away to begin treatment. She remained dedicated to him during his 22 day hospital stay! Yes, he spent more time in the hospital than he did at his new home after he was adopted!
Once Henry was feeling better and wanted to eat on his own we were able to remove his feeding tube but he must remain on his medications. Some of them he will be on for several months but he is on the mend and finally in his forever home. Since arriving home he has continued to improve and flourish. He is bonding with his new mom and giving her a run for her money when she attempts to medicate him. We all fell in love with him while he was here and are so pleased that he has continued to improve. He deserves his happy ending!