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New Arrival: Union Jack

New arrival at BCWR earlier today.
This is Union Jack.

Union Jack is believed to be around 4 months old and was rescued by housing officers this morning when they entered an abandoned property.
U.J. was living in what can only be described as a drugs den and has been exposed to heroin, crack coccaine, cannabis, needles, asbestos and has also been in a fire.

He has been alone for 7 to 10 days with no access to food or water.
He is absolutely emaciated, severely dehydrated, dreadfully malnourished and is very anaemic due to the incomprehensible number of fleas he is hosting.

Union Jack as been assessed by our vets and is now back at the rescue on our Critical Care Ward on intravenous fluids and being fed a teaspoon of food every 2 hours.
The reason for feeding him such small amounts is we do not want to cause life threatening “Refeeding Syndrome”.

This syndrome is reported relatively commonly in critical human patients being fed after a period of malnourishment and is now recognised in veterinary medicine too.
The body’s metabolism changes dramatically during starvation to prevent protein and muscle breakdown.
Refeeding leads to a surge of insulin, which may result in severe electrolyte shifts including hypokalaemia, hypomagnesaemia and hypophosphataemia. These electrolyte shifts can cause severe clinical signs, and may even be fatal.

Union Jacks prognosis is not good however we will try our best to keep him comfortable and against the odds hope for a full recovery .