Spotlight on Kitties with Leg and Tail Injuries

by Hilary Bentley • Posted in: Awareness/ PR, Pets Needing Homes, Special Needs Pets

Some cats and kittens are born with a disability, and some may face some trauma or accident that leads to an injury or amputation. APA has several cats and kittens in foster who have lame legs, amputated legs and tail injuries.

Benny – He came to Austin Pets Alive! at just 5 days old. He had an injury to his right rear leg and his bone was exposed, but with proper care it has healed up nicely and to see Benny running around and playing, he clearly doesn’t know he’s missing anything! He does bear some weight on the leg, which has led to some blisters, so it’s possible that he will need to have the leg amputated up to a joint so that he is less likely to have future injury. Benny will not require any special long-term care for his leg. Just lots of room to run and play and a comfortable place to nap. Here is a video of Benny that his foster mom took showing Benny doing what he loves best:

Lambchop – Lambchop recently arrived in the Bottle Baby Nursery with one sibling and his mom. It was quickly noted by one of the volunteer feeders that he wasn’t using his back legs. The vet staff evaluated Lambchop and suspected that a blood clot and/or circulation issue was causing nerve damage. This is a very serious condition, known as Saddle Thrombus. The GOOD NEWS is that massaging his legs and doing range-of-motion exercises with him seems to be giving him back use of his legs. Volunteers are continuing to work with him, and the vet staff periodically evaluates his progress. His right rear leg may have to be eventually amputated if his circulation doesn’t improve, but he would make a great little tripod kitty! Meanwhile, he is eating and drinking on his own, and even managing his trips to the litterbox quite well.

Debbie – Debbie is a lovely gal with amazing colors and patterns in her coat who has had a really rough time. She was rescued from the shelter pregnant and with a severely injured tail. Tail injuries can often lead to significant nerve damage on the hind end. Her pregnancy was closely monitored in the event that her injury wouldn’t allow her to properly deliver her kittens on her own. And as luck would have it, she was not able to deliver so an emergency C-Section was performed. Only one kitten survived, but then Debbie became very sick with an abdominal infection and the baby was placed with another nursing mom cat that APA! had rescued. Debbie will likely have her tail amputated altogether just to help keep her “bottom area” clean. The BEST news is that Debbie is fecally continent and has minimal urinary accidents. Her foster mom says that she is easily managed with some baby wipes to her bottom occasionally and Debbie stays in a bathroom when the family leaves the house for long stretches of time. Aside from this rough experience, Debbie is still very affectionate, talkative and likes to dance around the mop when her foster cleans house!

Daffodil -13 (also known as Bilbo Baggins) -He is a 3 year old orange tabby rescued with an injury consistent with being shot. He has lost the use of his rear left leg, but he has had it wrapped in a splint for a couple of months to see if it would heal with minimal infection. He has not regained use of his leg and will therefore probably require amputation, but he is still active and gets around fine and enjoys being picked up and held. This affectionate boy would prefer to be galavanting around his forever home. If adopted prior to resolution of his hind leg, APA will continue to provide care and surgery related to this injury.

Winnie (L) & Patti (R) – We first introduced you to Patti last year. Patti was rescued as a bottle baby with a pelvic injury/deformity that has made her incontinent. Her tail was amputated in November of last year to help keep her as clean and infection-free as possible. Winnie is a little Manx girl rescued 4 months after Patti, also as a bottle baby,  with Manx Syndrome. Manx Syndrome occurs when the gene that causes Manx (no tail) kittens actually shortens or fuses the spinal chord and leads to dysfunction of the bladder and bowel. Patti and Winnie have been in foster together since last year, and their conditions have become quite manageable. These girls are on a special raw diet which has reduced the frequency in which they need to use the bathroom (they currently only poop in their sleep!). Their fantastic foster mom has also figured out a great system to keep them clean and healthy and her home clean as well!! The ideal setup for these pretty tabby girls is an indoor/outdoor area that is protected (like a screened in porch) with access to AC/Heat that can be easily cleaned. They also must have room to play… Patti is especially playful and races around with great speed. These cats are not outdoor-only candidates because their condition will attract predators. In nearly any other shelter setting, Winnie and Patti would have been euthanized. However, they are beautiful cats with amazing personalities. They deserve every possible chance at finding forever homes…together.