Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Okemo and Nadia's Planned Trip to the Vet

We simply love our wild ones!  We make sure they receive lots of attention, quality food, treats, and bones, plus we make sure they have a safe and secure place to live.  So, when one of our cats is feeling poorly, it affects us all—doubly so, when two cats need medical attention.

Okemo's swollen jaw
Last Thursday evening Vicky noticed Okemo had a swollen jaw on the right side of his face.  His appetite was good and he did not show any behavioral changes.  Like always, Okemo was happy to see Vicky, chuffing to her with affection.

The vet was called the next morning and he came out to see Okemo.  We are not sure why he has a swollen jaw—perhaps an impacted tooth or worst case scenario, bone cancer.   Thankfully, the swelling has not increased since it was first discovered and Okemo does not appear to be in any pain.  He is eating his meals and enjoying his treats and bones.  What concerns us is how fast his face swelled up in such a short period of time.  He was fine during the day on Thursday; however, by dinner time his face was noticeably swollen.

Another view of Okemo's swollen jaw
Tomorrow, Okemo will be sedated and taken to the vet’s office so a thorough examination of his jaw can be made in a controlled environment.  We will also do a full blood work up to make sure there is nothing else going on with our precious tiger. 

Needless to say, we are a concerned with the effect anesthesia may have upon Okemo’s body since he is about 18 years old (considered geriatric). Often geriatric animals may have health conditions associated with the aging process, so they carry a higher risk than younger patients. 

Now for our second patient—Nadia, an eleven year old female tiger, will also be going to the vet with Okemo. 

This is what the would looked like 2 weeks ago
Two weeks ago, we noticed a small puncture wound on the side of her face.  We prayed this small wound would heal on its own, but unfortunately, two weeks later, she still has the same wound—it is not any larger, nor is it any smaller than when it was first discovered.  Her vet recommended she travel to his office so she can be thoroughly examined.  We are anticipating the wound will be excised in its entirety, tissue approximately one half inch around the wound will probably be removed and then the skin stitched closed with dissolvable stitches. 
This is how the wound looked on Sunday
Nadia will have round the clock “watchers” who will make sure she does not claw at her face for seven days, ensuing that her wound does not become infected.

Like Okemo, Nadia is eating well and her behavior has not changed since the discovery of the facial wound. 

We’d like to extend huge two paws up with a mighty roar of approval to our “watchers” who will keep a close eye on our convalescing tigress.  Our tiger’s health and well-being is truly in your “paws!”

Please keep Okemo and Nadia in your prayers tomorrow and we will keep you posted on their health progress.  Hopefully we will have some good news to share with you very soon.



  1. Of course, they will be in my prayers!! How do the "watchers" keep them from clawing at wounds - with the spray bottles?

    1. The watchers must watch Nadia very closely during an eight hour shift, to ensure that she does not damage the incision. The watcher must pay attention every moment, and can only leave his/her post as long as someone else covers the position! If she starts to fidget, the watcher must try to distract her from tearing at the incision, with or without a squirt or two from the vinegar/water (50%/50% mix) spray bottle!