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  #61  
Old July 22nd, 2009, 08:15 AM
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I really hope you can find help for him. It sounds like he's a real fighter. He deserves a chance to live.
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  #62  
Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathryn View Post
You're spot on. Sorry guys! I pointed it out to everyone else but I forgot to post about that on here 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
Good to hear that's all it was I didn't know the shelter would microchip before an adoption was finalized.
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  #63  
Old July 24th, 2009, 01:03 AM
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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.

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  #64  
Old July 24th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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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?
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  #65  
Old July 25th, 2009, 12:08 AM
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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.

Quote:
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-


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
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  #66  
Old July 25th, 2009, 12:30 AM
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Personally I would go with option #4

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?
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  #67  
Old July 25th, 2009, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by growler View Post
Personally I would go with option #4

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?
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...
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  #68  
Old July 25th, 2009, 12:46 AM
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Good to hear they are not going to kibosh any plans you make

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  #69  
Old July 25th, 2009, 03:36 AM
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Keeping fingers crossed for timmy.

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  #70  
Old July 25th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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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 .

Take care and hope you feel better soon. (and a hug for your vet friend for helping)
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  #71  
Old July 25th, 2009, 06:45 AM
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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.
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  #72  
Old July 25th, 2009, 07:15 AM
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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.
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  #73  
Old July 25th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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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 the vets can help him.
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  #74  
Old July 25th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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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.
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  #75  
Old July 25th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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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.

P.S. - one the previous radiographs, the radio-opacity within the red circle is definitely a microchip.
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  #76  
Old July 25th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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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...
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  #77  
Old July 30th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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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.
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  #78  
Old July 30th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Good vibes all the way.
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  #79  
Old July 30th, 2009, 04:09 PM
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Your doing really great by this kitty for sure. I really hope UPenn gets back to you If not I will be and giving for Timmy on next tuesday .
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  #80  
Old July 30th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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I wish Timmy all the luck in the world. I hope they can help him!
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  #81  
Old July 30th, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Sending along more I'll be thinking of you & Timmy on Tuesday
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  #82  
Old July 31st, 2009, 07:17 AM
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Lots and lots of and some for Timmy.

And of course a to you and the vet.
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  #83  
Old July 31st, 2009, 09:15 AM
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  #84  
Old July 31st, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Sending good vibes from us to you as well......
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  #85  
Old July 31st, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Prepping for the surgery... gathering all the crazy instruments we need.

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



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.
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