Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gideon's Medical Challenges

Hello Gideon!
Have you met our adorable little Gideon?  If you haven’t read his arrival story yet, you may want click HERE first and then return to this posting.  You may recall that when Gideon first arrived, we thought he was a little girl--HERE is our revised bobcat announcement at Gideon is actually a boy!

Now that everyone is caught up, we need to share some important news about our little boy.

About one month after Gideon arrived; our little bobcat started having multiple severe seizures.  They were so bad that in just one week we recorded at least 50 seizures.  We instituted a 24-hour watch for at least six days and treated him with medication prescribed by our vet, with the hopes that his seizures would subside.

Despite his medial challenges,
Gideon loves to play with Jasper!
Our little rambunctious baby bobcat, loves to explore his world—he loves to run, jump and cause mayhem wherever he roams.  During one of his romps he took a tumble from about nine feet off the ground.  We are not sure if a seizure caused him to fall or if the fall caused the seizures.  Looking back at what happened to Wobbles (kitten), we hoped that if he did hit his head, causing some brain swelling, that over time his brain swelling would diminish and so would the seizures. 

After six days, the seizures continued, so we contacted a neurologist and scheduled him for an MRI.  As we suspected, the MRI revealed some brain swelling.  The neurologist administered a drug known to reduce brain swelling, so we all waited anxiously to see if the drug would work.  Success!  To our delight, when Gideon woke up from sedation and he seemed perfectly normal!  No more seizures!!

Or so we thought...

A month went by and Gideon was doing great.  Then out of the blue, just like before, Gideon started seizing right in front of Vicky.  Even though the seizures were not as bad as before, Vicky didn't want to waste any time hoping and waiting to see if they would go away on their own.  This was, after all, our little baby Gideon!  He needed help!  We just couldn't stand the thought of this precious little guy going through the seizures again—not to mention all the tears and sleepless nights spent by Justin, Mak (our lead keeper) and our caregivers who kept a constant watchful eye on the boy.   

Little Gideon...
Last week, Vicky called Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine to schedule another MRI and a spinal tap.  The results were not encouraging.  We were told by the veterinarians that there may be a number of medical challenges facing little Gideon.  We were told that he could have been born with something that was causing the seizures, or perhaps meningitis, or a virus.  All we knew was that the seizures started about two hours after his fall and we wanted them to stop...

We later learned that he did not have any viruses or meningitis.  We were relieved to receive this bit of good news.  Then we received the shocking news.  Gideon has permanent brain damage. Gideon has atrophied areas of his brain that controls his vision and other brain functions. By the looks of the test results, it appears this region of his brain has been dead for some time and we never even knew it.  At one point, when he was having severe seizures he was blind for about five days, so the test results explained why he was having trouble with his vision.  We were told again that he was either born this way or he suffered a traumatic event prior to his arrival which resulted in the brain damage—regardless of the cause, there is no cure for little Gideon.   

Gideon’s former “parents” visits Gideon often to see how he is faring at his new home.  Their arrival this past weekend was fortuitous as Vicky had the opportunity to discuss Gideon’s health condition prior to his arrival at In-Sync Exotics.  She was concerned that he may have been a captive in-breed bobcat since he was having so many problems. 

Gideon enjoying some quiet time
in the sun
Gideon’s former parents were adamant—they did not buy him from a breeder.  However, what Vicky learned next was a complete surprise—Gideon was not just found on the side of the road as previously understood.   Instead, he was found lying in the middle of the road and his rescuers observed at least two cars pass over his little body.  His rescuers rushed over to little Gideon, finding him to be extremely dehydrated and very, very thin.  If Clint and Nikki had not removed him from the road, he would not be with us today.  The couple took him in, nourished him back to health, and then brought him to us after two weeks of care. 

Thus far, we have spent about $5,000 in medical bills, as we sought an answer to learn what ailed our boy.  While we are heartbroken that there is no magic pill or surgery that will cure Gideon forever, we will continue to provide him specialized care.  Right now, a drug called Phenobarbital seems to keep his seizures under control.

Did you know that in the Bible, Gideon means “powerful warrior” – truly an apt name for our little warrior, whom we pray will conqueror his medical challenges!  Please keep Gideon in your prayers! 

If you would to make a kind and generous donation towards Gideon’s medical bills, we would be truly grateful.  To make a gift in Gideon’s name, please click HERE.  In the comment box, please indicate your gift is for our precious Gideon.  Thank you!

Now for the In-Sync Exotics Election News!

As you know, our two young and enthusiastic tigers went tiger-toe to tiger-toe this election year.  We had a wonderful voter turnout! And the voters have spoken!

This election's year winner is...Smuggler! 

We closed the poll at 9:00pm so we could tabulate the winner.  We had 108 people participated in this years' voting competition!  Smuggler received 61.2% of the vote, Aasha received 38.8% of the vote, and Sabu had the most write-ins!    Here are just a few comments made by voters:
Sabu!!!! And Gideon. And Quisto. And Nefertiti. And Trooper. And Freddie. And Java. And Nugget. And whichever cheetah didn't spit at me (I can't tell them apart). To have equal party representation, and all... 
Jazz & Shazam as Co-Presidents!
Lydia--the matron of the Bobcat world!!!!!
Even little Nugget secured two votes!  Way to go Nuggie!

Our gracious Aasha congratulated Smuggler for a job well done and gently reminded him that she'll be running against him just four years! Congratulations, Smugger, for your selection as In-Sync Exotics' Exotic Animal Representative!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!




  1. Two years ago (in December. In Ohio.), someone on a knitting forum I read found a kitten in a snowbank; she thought the kitten may have been hit by a snowplow. She rushed the kitten (whose eyes were fixed and dilated) to the veterinary ER (on waitstaff pay, mind) and on initial intake was told the kitten likely had some broken bones, was probably blind, the vet suspected possible rabies and distemper, the kitten didn't respond to light, sound, food or water for two days.

    That was two years ago.

    Today, the kitten's alive. She had no broken bones, distemper or rabies. She started having seizures around what would be the time for puberty, but is on medication (oddly enough, phenobarbital, if memory serves) for them now. She still won't jump, and she seems to get confused sometimes...but she loves her humans and she loves to be petted and to play and is otherwise living 100% normal indoor cat life. What she loses in health issues she makes up for by being SPOILED ROTTEN.

    So I have faith for Gideon, and THANK BAST for Clint and Nikki!!!!

    As soon as I post this I'm going back over to that knitting forum to redirect the whole lot of them to this post.

    1. Thank you so much for that story! We are all holding hope for our baby Gideon. Thank you as well for the repost to your friends.
      Vicky Keahey

    2. Hm. In Mojo's case, if memory serves, once she hit puberty, seizures seemed to be triggered by hormonal things (like she was going into heat...the vets were wary to sedate her under the circumstances) and I think also high emotion. I think her rescuer was gone from home longer than usual one and it stressed her out and she had a seizure. There was a period of meds adjustment, but I don't THINK she's had a seizure since the last adjustment *and* she's since been spayed (and came through that with flying colours).

    3. I'm one of the Ravelry knitters too :) We have a beautiful black ladycat who is now four and a half. At three months, she had violent seizures, probably fever convulsions from a herpes infection. She has some brain damage, is partially deaf and has dubious eyesight, and occasionally shows evidence of her inner ear damage, but she's generally happy and hasn't seized in over four years. She's on a high-fat diet (of all things) and lysine. A friend of ours had a wonderful red tabby who was not expected to live more than a year or two because of seizures. Phenobarbital and lysine also did the trick for him and he lived to be 12 before dying of unrelated liver cancer. Don't give up!

  2. There had to be floating chads! Need a re-count since Aasha should have won. JPC

  3. phenobarbital is an excellent anti-seizure med. my ninja was put on it after the seizures broke through the prednisone - they thought it was possibly a meningioma causing them. The phenobarb worked beautifully.

    1. We praying the same medicine will help Gideon like it helped your Ninja!