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Foster kitten, runt of litter having issues

kathryn
July 5th, 2009, 01:20 PM
First off, hiiii everyone! :grouphug:

I have a litter of 6 foster kittens and their mom Maddie. 5 of the kittens have been perfectly fine and well, but the runt of the litter who I call Timmy has been having issues from day one. He is alot smaller and his face is just small with a big forehead. He's been back to see the shelter vet 2 times but since he is so small and has no actual symptoms of anything there isn't anything we can do right now.

He seems to have trouble eating his food... spits up after he eats fairly often. He also was having a problem with just randomly choking out of nowhere. We thought we were going to loose him the one night when he spit up blood. There are no signs of an obstruction although the vet said his throat was a bit swollen. My tech friend also felt it leaning towards one side at one point.

I have no idea what is going on with this kitten. He's fine one minute then the next he crashes. I've been doing everything I possibly can and there seems to be no apparent reason for his strange behavior.

He's slowly starting to loose the use of his back legs. I am now fearing the worst. They have all been FIV/FeLV tested and the mom is in half decent shape for being a stray mom brought in with a big litter.. I've had them since aprx. May 20th when they were 1-2 weeks old. They are growing bigger and stronger everyday but poor little timmy just seems to be taking a turn for the worst.

I'm taking him to see a different vet I am friends with who has over 20 years experience in shelter medicine and is a super great vet.. the other vet was also a great vet but not AS involved with taking strange cases.


Does anyone have any suggestions? I've been supplementing with nutrical, KMR, lots and lots of canned food and force feeding him but now he's not even running over to great me.. he just kinda stares blankly and his legs are kinda like jello now.

I already have a pre-approved family who wants to adopt him because he was interesting to them, but that was before he started getting really sickly.

I'm clueless :shrug: I think it's going to come down to he makes it somehow or we put him down...


http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs137.snc1/5851_1076765842860_1337640098_165250_5637930_n.jpg
that's him...

here is his twin jimmy
http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs137.snc1/5851_1076765002839_1337640098_165230_8027557_n.jpg

you can pretty much see the difference in just the size and how they look... the rest of the litter is about 1lb 12oz and he is barely 1lb 3oz.. and with kittens thats a big difference.

14+kitties
July 5th, 2009, 01:25 PM
Awww kathryn. I am so sorry you are having problems with your Timmy. He looks quite the little angel. I wish I could help but I think it's a vet's call. It doesn't sound like the little guy has much hope. :sad:
Thank you for fostering this family. And nice to see you. :thumbs up Good luck with Timmy. :angel:

Jim Hall
July 5th, 2009, 01:29 PM
hi no answeres here just some good wishes

Love4himies
July 5th, 2009, 07:29 PM
So nice to hear from you again Kathryn.

I don't have any suggestions to help you out, though. Is he pooping ok? How is his weight gain?

Luvmylabs fosters a lot of litters, you may want to PM her and ask her if she has any ideas.

lUvMyLaB<3
July 5th, 2009, 08:18 PM
oh the poor baby,

First when you said twin, it made me think perhaps that could be it, but I see some white on the paw of the other, so I doubt that is the prob.

It sounds nerological. Was anyone there when he was born? If I had to guess, I would say perhaps he was the first born to a new mother, it would be great if you knew if she has had other litters, how old is she? If he as born first, or presented in a weird position it could have cut off oxygen and squeezed his head too much, resulting in some damage, I would not focus on his throat, I would start thinking nero issues..

And that is sad, there is not usually much that can be done for a little guy like that, and I don't know how far your rescue would go in treating him anyway.

He is a lovely little guy, and it could be so so many things, who knows what happened to them in momma, and for the first while.

Good luck with the little beauty! I will be thinking about him, I have a thing for those little red babies! please update us!

lUvMyLaB<3
July 5th, 2009, 08:22 PM
heehe, L4H, thanks! but I don't really know that much.. the <3 thingy at the end my my name is a heart if you look sideways...

Tundra_Queen
July 6th, 2009, 08:33 AM
Hi
Sorry to hear about poor Timmy. Is he eating wet food? Maybe some chicken baby food with water added will help him be able to swallow. Could u put his dish up on something to raise it up a bit? I know he's tiny but Maybe on a tuna can?

I sure hope the vet can tell u what is the matter with him and fix him.
:grouphug:

Debbie

kathryn
July 6th, 2009, 03:42 PM
His history is not entirely too clear. I picked him up from the local county shelter with the rest of the litter and the mom. The thing is he and Jimmy could possibly be from a different litter. They get in ALOT of cats over there and as long as everyone is combo tested negative they will mix and match to add like bottle babies to moms who already have litters and things like that. They think that's where Jimmy and Timmy (i named them both) came from. The rest of the litter are two buff/tan tabbies and two black cats. The mom is a tortie and maybe 2 years old or so.

Since his history is unknown the best they know is he likely came in as an orphan with his brother and since they were both healthy and felv fiv negative they were put with the other litter to make more space.

He's sitting next to me now kinda just like durrrrr. I don't mean to be mean but I mean within the first week of having him I brought him back to the shelter to say "I think my kitten has down syndrome"..

we've reverted back to bottle feeding him. He can't eat dry food not even the little tiny kitten kibbles. He just chokes. He's having a hard time eating the canned food on his own at all so we've been syringe feeding now.

The 3 kitten foods I've been using are Triumph brand (it's not the best but it was a cheap choice for when they first started eating and wasted half the food anyways)... chicken soup kitten formula and now I just got a case of wellness kitten food.

He's just so lethargic and clueless at this point. He has SOME awareness and tends to perk up after you syringe feed him KMR mixed with the kitten food and you toss him a soft toy he was play with it a bit. It's just kinda sad and pathetic.


Is there any explanation for a kitten basically presenting kinda autism/down syndrome type symptoms?

chico2
July 6th, 2009, 04:04 PM
Kathryn,nice to hear from you again,little Timmy me just about brought me to tears,poor little boy:sad:
I have no experience with such small kittens,I just hope he will be ok:pray:

Tundra_Queen
July 6th, 2009, 07:39 PM
He could be lethargic because he is not getting enough food. He doesn't have a cleft pallet so eating is hard?

kathryn
July 9th, 2009, 03:43 PM
Sorry for the delay in an update. Things aren't looking too good for timmy. My vet friend Adam did some research for me and suggested it could be megaesophagus. My mom is sooo attached to him and is crying over him now. Not sure what to do! Hoping to get him in for a full workup on blood and xrays and stuff.. just trying to figure out how to work this...

thanks for the support :sad:

14+kitties
July 9th, 2009, 03:46 PM
:grouphug: Thank you for caring enough to try to help him kathryn. I know how tough it is. Hang in there. If Timmy is meant to be I am sure you will find a way to make it happen.

chico2
July 9th, 2009, 04:42 PM
So sorry,:pray:sweet little Timmy can be treated,every little life counts:pray:

NoahGrey
July 9th, 2009, 04:46 PM
Please keep up posted. and I am keeping my fingers crossed for Timmy.

ACO22

kathryn
July 9th, 2009, 08:51 PM
as much as i hate using it, the canned A/D is the only thing he keeping down. earlier today he apparently had another choking fit and goop came out his nose and mouth. i wasn't home but my mom was and she got really upset. then later she tried to feed him some canned wellness and he ate it, but vomited it back up a few minutes later.

she gave him some A/D the shelter gave me and he kept it down enough that he got some spunk in him and now is running around my room (in a wobbly sort of pathetic way) and is playing with his siblings and having a ball. that's what is so horrible about it is seeing him go from this adorable silly little kitten and then just crashing into this half dead kitty that's foaming at the mouth and is too afraid to breath let alone eat.

If it comes to the point where he is sick more then he is better I think the kindest thing to do would to be humanely euthanize him. Until then we just need to find a game plan where we can find out what is wrong with him and in the mean time make him comfortable.

14+kitties
July 9th, 2009, 09:45 PM
It's breaking my heart to read this thread. :sad: Having a Timmy myself who had his own issues last year when he was born I know how difficult it can be. But he wasn't as bad as your Timmy sounds like. I hope you can get some answers soon from a vet. :pray::fingerscr

onster
July 9th, 2009, 10:11 PM
awww kathryn...i am go to see you here..but sad it had to be under these circumstances :sad:

poor timmy :grouphug:, poor u :grouphug:

You are doing the best you can....we will add our prayers for the little guy :pray::pawprint:

chico2
July 10th, 2009, 06:51 AM
Kathryn,at this point,I would feed him whatever he eats and keeps down,,after all,it is a questionof life or death for this little sweetie:sad:
:fingerscrthat he will pull through this:fingerscr

ancientgirl
July 10th, 2009, 08:37 AM
Kathryn, what a handsome and sweet little guy. I pray he is able to beat this. I'd give him whatever he could keep down. It's not fair such a little kitty should have such a difficult time.

Please keep us updated.:pray:

Love4himies
July 10th, 2009, 08:47 AM
Awwww Kathryn, I am so sorry. These little guys are such fighters, I hope you can get him through this :pray: :grouphug:

Tundra_Queen
July 11th, 2009, 02:51 AM
Did u try putting his food on a dish or saucer an inch higher than the floor? And Just giving him a teaspoon at a time, say like every 30 minutes?

There is also this stuff I got from the vet when Willie was really sick and throwing up a lot and not eating. I can't remember the name of it, but it comes in a tube from the vet and it is to put weight on sick cats.

Debbie

lUvMyLaB<3
July 11th, 2009, 08:53 PM
Good luck with kitty.

How old is he? Would it be better for him to stay at the shelter now so the shelter vet and staff can keep an eye on him, willhe be back at the vet soon?

he is so cute, I am really pulling for you guys! I have been through this so many times, I really understand! Good luck little Timmy, we are pulling for you!

kathryn
July 12th, 2009, 02:38 PM
Did u try putting his food on a dish or saucer an inch higher than the floor? And Just giving him a teaspoon at a time, say like every 30 minutes?

There is also this stuff I got from the vet when Willie was really sick and throwing up a lot and not eating. I can't remember the name of it, but it comes in a tube from the vet and it is to put weight on sick cats.

Debbie

My vet friend did suggest that.. I've been trying to and also feeding him with the syringe so it goes straight down... also I have been using the Nutri-Cal which is likely what you are thinking of.

Good luck with kitty.

How old is he? Would it be better for him to stay at the shelter now so the shelter vet and staff can keep an eye on him, willhe be back at the vet soon?

he is so cute, I am really pulling for you guys! I have been through this so many times, I really understand! Good luck little Timmy, we are pulling for you!


He is about 9-10 weeks old. Still not growing :( and no, he can't go back to the shelter. It's a county shelter with limited resources. I mean we do have a vet and everything .. there is absolutely no room there though and he would likely just get sicker there and die from stress or catching a URI.

I'm taking the whole litter in Wednesday to be evaluated and get fixed and their vaccines and everything. Timmy of course can't be fixed but he's just being checked out and so we can compare him to the rest of the litter.

ancientgirl
July 12th, 2009, 02:43 PM
I wish Timmy the best of luck. I hope you and the vet can do something to help him.:pray:

lUvMyLaB<3
July 12th, 2009, 05:58 PM
aww, I hope the vet can do something, hopefully something will show up on the tests!!

Tundra_Queen
July 12th, 2009, 11:58 PM
My vet friend did suggest that.. I've been trying to and also feeding him with the syringe so it goes straight down... also I have been using the Nutri-Cal which is likely what you are thinking of.




I'm taking the whole litter in Wednesday to be evaluated and get fixed and their vaccines and everything. Timmy of course can't be fixed but he's just being checked out and so we can compare him to the rest of the litter.

Yes, Nutri Cal was what I was trying to think of.

I hope the vet can find out what is wrong with Timmy and fix it. Poor little sweetie.

Debbie

kathryn
July 15th, 2009, 02:31 AM
Just wanted to let everyone know i'm taking the whole litter in tomorrow to be evaluated and get fixed/vaccinated if applicable. Timmy will be getting some blood drawn if he is strong enough for us to get a proper sample. Hoping to get him in for some chest x-rays as well.

Thanks for the support. Will update sometime tomorrow or the next day on his condition. He vomited again today after eating and was foaming at the mouth and was lethargic for several hours. He's feeling well enough now to run around the room so I still don't know what to do with him..

http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/17446017.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0ZRYP5X5F6FSMBCCSE82&Expires=1247644034&Signature=vIODByCm9NYyF71qlcithwmuw28%3D

growler~GateKeeper
July 15th, 2009, 02:40 AM
awww that pic is adorable :lovestruck:

:goodvibes: for the whole litter & an extra :goodvibes: for Timmy

Love4himies
July 15th, 2009, 06:48 AM
Sending some :goodvibes: for the litter today and an extra :pray: for Timmy. I hope the xrays will give the vet a better idea of what is happening.

ancientgirl
July 15th, 2009, 07:05 AM
I hope they can figure out what's wrong with Timmy so they can help him. :pray:

chico2
July 15th, 2009, 07:52 AM
:pray:for little sweet Timmy:pray:

kathryn
July 16th, 2009, 08:38 PM
Hi guys, still no diagnoses on him.

Here are two videos of how he acts... first one is leading up to his actual fit.

http://img190.imageshack.us/i/dscn0227.mp4/
http://img190.imageshack.us/i/dscn0228f.mp4/

he did eventually vomit off screen and spazzed out and then 5 minutes later was back to normal.

Jim Hall
July 16th, 2009, 10:32 PM
is he keeping anythong down? i think thatyou need a good gastro specialist it may be congenital

growler~GateKeeper
July 16th, 2009, 11:01 PM
aww :sad: those videos & his plaintive crying are just heart breaking :grouphug:

I don't suppose any of the vets can get a throat & chest xray done?

I wonder if he is aspirating some of the food :shrug: maybe the esophagus and the trachea haven't fully formed / closed off properly and he's getting some food in his lungs :shrug:

I do find it odd though that is is crying during these "episodes", generally when a cat is about to / during vomit/ing they are not meowing.

:goodvibes: little Timmy :goodvibes:

ancientgirl
July 17th, 2009, 06:55 AM
Growler makes a good point. Since he's the smallest, he may not have fully developed like the others.

My heart goes out to this little guy. He seems like a fighter though. I hope you get some good news for him soon.:pray:

chico2
July 17th, 2009, 07:16 AM
OMG Kathryn,poor little guy:cry:
I could not watch all of the video,it must be heartbreaking for you,hopefully someone can find out whats wrong with him:pray:

Love4himies
July 17th, 2009, 07:40 AM
Hmmmm, very mysterious. Was the vet able to hear any congestion in the lungs that may be caused from some food to go into them?

Love4himies
July 17th, 2009, 08:47 AM
The more I look at that video, I am thinking a blockage in the upper intestines, thickening of the walls just after the pyloric valve, or a nerve condition causing the stomach or intestinal tract to spasm. I don't think it is a lung issue.

Love4himies
July 20th, 2009, 09:30 AM
Any updates, Kathryn?

diandpat
July 20th, 2009, 10:06 AM
Oh My Heavens...those are two of the saddest videos :cry: Poor poor soul. I hope that you have been able to get some answers. I can't imagine watching that on a daily basis.

Please come back with an update :goodvibes::goodvibes:

kathryn
July 20th, 2009, 02:21 PM
He has a 4:30 appt today for hopefully some xrays and bloodwork. the vet clinic is donating their time and services to help out my kitty so thanks very much to them :lovestruck:

Love4himies
July 20th, 2009, 02:23 PM
:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: for him.

chico2
July 20th, 2009, 03:37 PM
Kathrynthat's great,I was worried about the cost to you:thumbs up
:pray:the little kittie can be cured of what ails him,he is such a little sweety,soooo deserves a chance at life:lovestruck:

lUvMyLaB<3
July 20th, 2009, 05:18 PM
Oh baby boy!! Praying for him!!

I think the possibility is there that it is not one thing, but several. I did not understand before, that video is so much better than words. Good for the x-ray, Wonder if it is a congenital defect, perhaps a hernia in his chest that has allowed intestines up in to his chest that is pressing on his lungs, and stomach and heart, and creating difficulties like that. What are his teeth like? DOes he have normal teeth or do they look different?????

cpietra16
July 20th, 2009, 06:36 PM
he looks like a fighter.....i wish him the best and hopefully a good diagnosis

kathryn
July 20th, 2009, 08:52 PM
Hi everyone.

I've come here with some very very bad news.

Timmy infact has an extremely rare congenital heart defect. His aorta is wrapped around his esophagus, which caused a megaesophagus. When the heart spazzes out it causes a constriction around his throat which makes him choke. The only option at this point would be to perform open heart surgery to see if the problem can be corrected. Otherwise what is probably going to happen is he will have to be humanely euthanized. The condition may be manageable and the veterinarian I saw today was hinting at the idea of possibly giving him a bit more time to see if the condition can possibly improve with a bit of TLC.

I'm taking his x-rays and him with tomorrow when I go into the shelter to volunteer. That way I can get a few more opinions before I make a decision. He also bit one of the technicians so is on a 10 day rabies hold regardless. So I have 10 days to see what will happen to little Timmy.

I'm going to see if I can't perhaps upload a scan of the x-ray. Otherwise, thanks for everyones concern and I'll let you all know what happens in the end.

lUvMyLaB<3
July 20th, 2009, 08:58 PM
Well, Glad you know. After seeing the video I figured it was congential, and more than one thing going on.. Poor little guy. I will pray they can find a way to treat him to help it improve enough that he can live happily, and maybe grow out of it. Poor little thing, I hope something can be done to help him, if not I know it is such a hard choice. He doesn't deserve that. I know the pain, trust me I know, of watching a foster baby go through hard stuff and there is nothing you can do. I lost 4 out of 5 earlier this year.. Truly heartbreaking.

growler~GateKeeper
July 20th, 2009, 10:17 PM
I'm sorry it wasn't more promising news :sad: :grouphug:

:goodvibes: :fingerscr :pray: Timmy can outgrow this or that surgery is a viable option :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

ancientgirl
July 21st, 2009, 06:53 AM
I'm sorry it's not better news. It sounds like you're going to do everything possible to give him a chance. I hope the little guy gets a break soon.:pray:

chico2
July 21st, 2009, 06:55 AM
So sorry for the little guy,as little as he is,I don't think heart-surgery,would be an option,but of course I could be wrong,I often am:shrug:
Hopefully it can correct itself,but only time can tell,as long as he's not suffering.
His little life is of course worth saving,like any other kitty,if at all possible:pray::pray:

Love4himies
July 21st, 2009, 07:09 AM
Oh Kathryn, I am so sorry to hear it wasn't better news. Sending some :goodvibes::goodvibes: and :pray: for little Timmy.

kathryn
July 21st, 2009, 06:44 PM
Hello again everyone. Timmy's outlook is looking a little brighter! I showed the xrays to a veterinarian i know today who is a very good surgeon. He may be interested in doing the surgery with another vets help. It's a very rare condition and he is very curious. It's a very unusual surgery and condition.

Here are his xrays

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs144.snc1/5335_1084444434820_1337640098_186588_8073301_n.jpg

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs144.snc1/5335_1084444474821_1337640098_186589_1295093_n.jpg

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs124.snc1/5335_1084444514822_1337640098_186590_2152416_n.jpg


The surgery involves opening up his chest and throat, severing and closing off the rouge artery, correcting his aorta and putting that all back where it belongs and then just putting him back together. Then he should hopefully self heal from there. He will likely be on a soft or canned food diet for the rest of his life. That's not the worst thing that could happen to the poor little guy though.

I'll let you know if I can find a vet to do the surgery (hopefully for free!)

ancientgirl
July 21st, 2009, 06:50 PM
Kathryn, I'm sending all the positive vibes:goodvibes::goodvibes: I can muster your way. I hope you can find someone to do this. At least you know now that there is a way to help him.

:pray::pray:

growler~GateKeeper
July 22nd, 2009, 12:35 AM
Kathryn did you ask about this spot here:
55478

It shows in each xray in the same spot, it looks like he's got some foreign solid object lodged in the back of his neck or an extra bone spur :shrug:

:goodvibes: for the surgery :goodvibes:

chico2
July 22nd, 2009, 06:46 AM
Yes,whatever that is,does not belong there:confused:maybe it's something they used to calm him for x-rays:confused:

ancientgirl
July 22nd, 2009, 07:13 AM
It almost looks like a microchip or something.

Love4himies
July 22nd, 2009, 07:15 AM
Sending lots of :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: and :pray::pray: Tmmy's way.

kathryn
July 22nd, 2009, 07:46 AM
It almost looks like a microchip or something.

You're spot on. Sorry guys! I pointed it out to everyone else but I forgot to post about that on here :o It's just his microchip that's all. So now if anyone has ever been curious as to what a microchip looks like in a cat that's it :p

ancientgirl
July 22nd, 2009, 07:48 AM
He's so small though. Is it okay to microchip so young?

kathryn
July 22nd, 2009, 08:13 AM
It's fine to microchip at any age. It doesn't bug them at all... they put them in birds and other exotics afterall to keep them from getting stolen. I put his in about a week ago and he didn't even mind getting it at all. He was more upset about getting his kitten booster shot :p

he's running around like a maniac today. I'm taking his xrays with me to show another vet to get his opinion.

ancientgirl
July 22nd, 2009, 08:15 AM
I really hope you can find help for him. It sounds like he's a real fighter. He deserves a chance to live.

growler~GateKeeper
July 23rd, 2009, 11:30 PM
You're spot on. Sorry guys! I pointed it out to everyone else but I forgot to post about that on here :o It's just his microchip that's all. So now if anyone has ever been curious as to what a microchip looks like in a cat that's it :p

Good to hear that's all it was :D I didn't know the shelter would microchip before an adoption was finalized.

Tundra_Queen
July 24th, 2009, 01:03 AM
Poor little Timmy. I hope u can find a vet to help and that knows their stuff! I will be sending good thoughts his way.

Debbie

catlover2
July 24th, 2009, 10:36 AM
Any update on Timmy? What did the other vet have to say about his X-rays. It's possible you might get a "free" surgery from a vet school. They might be very interested in his rare condition. Is there one in your NJ area?

kathryn
July 25th, 2009, 12:08 AM
Hi guys!

Here is the news so far. hope my rambling makes sense.. i'm sick with a lovely fever but am just killing time hoping ill fall back asleep soon.


Okay, so as for options for Timmy.. there really are 4 options-

1. Pay $2,500 for the surgery with a vet who has never done it before but is a good surgeon. We are still calling around to get other prices.

2. Euthanize him before he gets any worse

3. Leave him be and hope for the best

or
4. Do the surgery at a local vet hospital by my vet surgeon friend and one of his associates and hope for the best.

I think I'm going to go with the last option. There are no vets around here that have ever done this surgery before or really even seen it outside a textbook. It's an extremely rare condition.

We are trying to contact U Penn vet school since it's right across the bridge and see if they want to do the surgery for free.


Here is an email I just got a bit ago from a fourth veterinarian I am consulting with.

Dear Kathryn,

I have reviewed the literature on megasophagus in kittens. The probability is high that you are dealing with a persistant right aortic arch (which will require a thoracic surgery to repair - by the way many cats with PRAA also have a persistant right vena cava (which also has to be repaired by ligation).

Although less likely this could also be a pulsion diverticulum or a congenital myasthenia gravis case. Both of these are difficult to diagnose and you probably won't spend the time or money to confirm the diagnosis before attempting surgery.

Unfortunately all of these conditions have poor prognosis. Sorry but good luck.

Gordon

So I have quite a number of vets on the case...

So I feel like the best option would be for the surgeon I am friends with to do the surgery for free (or realllyyy cheap) at the local animal hospital. Everyone is fairly certain that this is what the condition is and the surgery will correct the problem. I need to be realistic here in that I can't afford a nearly $3,000 dollar surgery and neither can the shelter. I don't want to just euthanize him if he has a chance at a normal life. He will likely suffer if he doesn't get the surgery.

My view is even if he dies during the surgery, he will already be asleep and atleast we tried.

Here is a diagram of the condition I found on google-
http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/cardiosf/project/embprs/emb1.jpg

The green line is the arch that needs to be severed. You can see to the left of the picture how the esophagus is affected. The food tries to go down but meets the constriction and it ultimately causes a deep pocket to form. That could very well be irreversible at this point, BUT taking out the arch would greatly improve his quality of life.

Any input is appreciate it. Thanks everyone :cat:

growler~GateKeeper
July 25th, 2009, 12:30 AM
Personally I would go with option #4 :2cents: :goodvibes:

What is the shelters' view on the situation? I know they wouldn't have the funds to pay for the surgery but Timmy is still a shelter cat - so isn't the final decision still theirs? :shrug:

kathryn
July 25th, 2009, 12:40 AM
Personally I would go with option #4 :2cents: :goodvibes:

What is the shelters' view on the situation? I know they wouldn't have the funds to pay for the surgery but Timmy is still a shelter cat - so isn't the final decision still theirs? :shrug:

Everything has been left to me and the veterinarians I have consulted. I've been volunteering long enough that the shelters I help trust my judgement. It is ultimately still 'their' kitten, but when the only other option at this point is to euthanize him everyone has agreed that it's probably best we just atleast TRY to help him.

Hopefully will have a plan by the end of next week...

growler~GateKeeper
July 25th, 2009, 12:46 AM
Good to hear they are not going to kibosh any plans you make :thumbs up

:goodvibes:

Tundra_Queen
July 25th, 2009, 03:36 AM
Keeping fingers crossed for timmy.

Debbie

Love4himies
July 25th, 2009, 06:42 AM
I agree with Growler, option 4. I understand a shelter just doesn't have the funding to do such expensive surgeries that may end up with the cat not surviving, but with option 4 at least you have given the kitten a chance.

This cat has come into your life for a reason, Kathryn, there are very few people who would give this kitty a chance in life, but you are one of them :angel:.

Take care and hope you feel better soon. :grouphug: (and a hug for your vet friend for helping)

14+kitties
July 25th, 2009, 06:45 AM
Good luck for little Timmy.
I hope you don't mind but I pm'd Dr Lee to see if he wanted to add his ideas to the mix. :fingerscr

chico2
July 25th, 2009, 07:15 AM
My first thought was"oh no,the vets want to use his rare condition for experience,as a guinea-pig":sad:
However,after reading through everything,if little Timmy has a chance to live a normal life,why not try.

I just hope he will not suffer too much with all the procedures,he is such a little baby:sad:
The only other option being Euthaniza,trying surgery is well worth it,if financially possible.:pray:

ancientgirl
July 25th, 2009, 10:34 AM
I think you are making the right decision. You are giving him every chance possible. Hopefully this is what he needs to help him. I :pray: the vets can help him.

edwina
July 25th, 2009, 01:00 PM
I agree also with #4. If you can get the surgery done cheap , he will at least have a chance, and it wont cost you an arm and a leg. And like you said if he didnt make it, he would already be sleeping. At least the baby will be given a chance. :cloud9:

Dr Lee
July 25th, 2009, 02:48 PM
These decisions are always so difficult. This surgery is a challenging surgery and should be done by a surgical specialist. While the diagram is accurate, it does not look like that inside the chest.

Another option might be a veterinary teaching hospital at a university. Most of these hospitals work at about a 60ish percent deficit (which is made up by student tuition) because they need these types of cases for training. The experienced veterinary professors will teach resident veterinarians on becoming surgical specialists by working together on situations like this. Often these costs might be much lower depending upon the level of interest in the case.

In lieu of this then option 4 does have some advantages.

I hope this helps. I wish you the best during this difficult time. :pawprint:

P.S. - one the previous radiographs, the radio-opacity within the red circle is definitely a microchip.

kathryn
July 25th, 2009, 05:31 PM
Thank you Dr. Lee. I'm still calling around to see if anyone can help me. The surgeon I am friends with is really great and fixes stuff all the time.. but he has admitted he's never had to do a surgery like this before. Maybe I will get lucky and UPenn will do the surgery for me...

kathryn
July 30th, 2009, 03:17 PM
Timmy's surgery is planned for next Tuesday. It will be done at the shelter by my surgeon friend. No other vets are interested at this point and the one that is said $2,500 minimum. We are still going to try and contact UPenn and see if they will do it for free. Unlikely though. We'll see.

We are already gathering the instruments needed for the surgery. We have to use a special retractor .. it's a 'finnochio' retractor.. that's how you pronounce it but now how you spell it LOL. Then we have to get tracheal tube in his size... then we have to set up the anesthesia machine so we will be able to breath for him once his chest is opened up.

The surgery is fairly straightforward in that we open up the chest by going in between like the 3rd and 4th rib.. find the artery and just tie it off and sever it. Then just free his esophagus and get the negative pressure back in the chest cavity by using a catheter and sew him back up and hope he starts breathing on his own.


So... I'll let you guys how it goes if we do it.

BenMax
July 30th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Good vibes all the way.:goodvibes:

MommaKat
July 30th, 2009, 04:09 PM
Your doing really great by this kitty for sure. I really hope UPenn gets back to you :fingerscr :goodvibes: If not I will be :pray: and giving :goodvibes: for Timmy on next tuesday .

ancientgirl
July 30th, 2009, 05:29 PM
I wish Timmy all the luck in the world. I hope they can help him! :pray::pray:

growler~GateKeeper
July 30th, 2009, 11:23 PM
Sending along more :goodvibes: :goodvibes: I'll be thinking of you & Timmy on Tuesday :grouphug:

Love4himies
July 31st, 2009, 07:17 AM
Lots and lots of :goodvibes: :goodvibes: and some :pray: for Timmy.

And of course a :grouphug: to you and the vet. :angel:

cpietra16
July 31st, 2009, 09:15 AM
:goodvibes::goodvibes::grouphug: from our home to yours

luvsmallfurries
July 31st, 2009, 10:48 AM
Sending good vibes from us to you as well......:goodvibes:

kathryn
July 31st, 2009, 03:29 PM
Prepping for the surgery... gathering all the crazy instruments we need.

Had to go pick this up from a local vet today.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/large/20609978.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0ZRYP5X5F6FSMBCCSE82&Expires=1249072654&Signature=If8Sz1ANKfyKNY0LiCjodlTI6Pc%3D

it's the retractor we need to hold his rib cage open. It's crazy we have to do this in just a shelter spay/neuter clinic and we are hoping another veterinarian will be there to have an extra set of hands. I'm very grateful the the vet who is doing this for me though.. he really has no obligation to do this and is doing it for me for free.

Just getting a wee bit nervous about it all.. ugh. But, it's gotta be done.