Ella is a 10 month old female Burmese who decided that the washing machine would be a lovely place to take a nap.  Unbeknownst to her owners she was resting peacefully inside the drum of their front loader, when a pile of washing was placed inside and a 30 minute delicate wash cycle started.  It wasn’t until 30 minutes later when the wash cycle ended that Ella’s dad emptied the machine and found a very clean but very drowned cat inside who was very very ill.

Ella Burmese Washing Machine Drown Shock WetHer lungs were filled with liquid, her face was bruised and bleeding, blood was coming from her nose and ears and she was wet, hypothermic and in severe shock.  Her Dad immediately phoned our practice, and a quick triage was done over the phone to assess Ella’s condition – it was determined that she was alive, breathing, but very very cranky!  As David was without transport at that moment we advised him to dry her off, warm her up, and immediately sent a Nurse to his aid.

Once at the clinic, Ella was placed on warmed intravenous fluids to support her circulation, and she was actively warmed up with external heat to raise her core temperature back to normal. She was treated with a number of homeopathic remedies to support her system to recover from the shock, fright, hypothermia and near drowning, and to ward off the potential for an aspiration pneumonia.  These included Camphor, Aconite, Arnica, and Antimony tart. Radiographs were taken to assess the amount of fluid aspiration and damage in her lungs and to check for other injuries in her skull and spine.  Her eyes were bathed with a herbal tincture of eyebright to ease the detergent burn and she was then placed in an oxygen tent for a few hours to support her cellular oxygenation while her lungs recovered their normal function.  Then her head swelled and this was treated with homeopathic Apis.

She remained with us for more than 48 hours, going home with our Vets overnight for 24 hour monitoring and veterinary care.  She made an astonishing recovery and was discharged on the third day, with the only souvenirs being some sneezing to clear the fluid and detergent out of her upper airways, and a broken tail that is slowly healing.  One of her feline mates at home didn’t recognise her for the first few days and was hissing and spitting at her, I guess he had never seen Ella look so clean before!  Thankfully they are back to being best buddies again and we are so pleased we were able to support Ella’s recovery using the power of integrative veterinary care to support the body’s own healing mechanisms.  The force is strong in this one!

As an aside, Ella’s parents were fortunate to have had the foresight to take out pet insurance for Ella, and many of the veterinary costs incurred in her treatment were covered by their insurer.  That is always a great relief when dealing with accidental injury and trauma as the costs involved can quickly escalate.  If you don’t already have pet insurance, then there are two lessons to be learnt from this experience – always check your washing machine drum before starting a load, and consider getting pet insurance!

The Natural Vets are a full service veterinary clinic integrating traditional western medicine with alternative therapies on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our fabulous vets please call 07 54767674 or reserve your appointment online: