We received this email from the rescue colleague in the interior of BC whose rescue work Animal Advocates pays for and makes possible:
"I received a call this morning to pick up a sick kitten someone found. Her anus and vagina were full of maggots and she is quite dehydrated. I've bathed the area, given her an enema and I'm trying to hydrate her by injecting saline under her skin. I can't find a vet open or willing to take her today. If she makes it until Monday, I'd like to bring her to the vet. Can Animal Advocates help with the bill?"
We said Yes, of course – that is what we do. Our colleague got Ellie the earliest possible vet appointment, but before bringing her to the vet made sure to get the maggots out:
"The vet can't see her until Wednesday. I think I've got the maggots out (we lost count at 76). She is eating and seems to be hydrated. Thanks. I'll update you after the appointment."
After the vet visit we get some sad news about poor Ellie:
"It is not good. She is a Manx and consequently her spine did not fully develop leading to partial paralysis. I saw she walked funny but I thought it was due to the huge inflammation in her rectal area. The vets cleaned her up and treated her severe ear mites as well. The vet said she will need a special home for the rest of her life. He recommended waiting a few months until she recovers from the trauma her body was in, and while she grows a little bigger before making any decisions.
She is a very happy kitten. My husband bathes her in the morning and I'm bathing her in the evening. This is followed by cuddle and drying time. We are keeping her in a large kennel with her own food, litter and bed. Last night I put in some toys and she played for a long time before falling off to sleep. Some of my older cats are tending to her cleaning and care and she passively lets them dote on her. But she is not out of the woods."
Our colleague continued with the bathing, cuddling, rest and relaxation, and we hoped for the best...
"Ellie is an active kitten and doesn't seem to understand the short stick she's been dealt. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much improvement. She still has very little bowl control and consequently we bathe her twice a day. Her back legs work, but she is not as agile as a normal cat and she tends to hop more than walk. The vet was telling me that people were actually breeding manx cats intentionally to have these qualities and calling them cabbits (cat/rabbit mix).
Ellie is so full of love and she likes nothing more that to have her ears rubbed, especially since she can't scratch them with her own back legs. These photos (above) are of Ellie after her bath. My husband and I bathe her and then my husband cuddles and plays with her while I bleach out her cage. We've seen so much improvement in her mobility that now we're hoping her bowl movements can be controlled."
Update September 12 2015:
"Ellie came down with a bladder infection and needed antibiotics. The vet has warned us that this may be a lifelong affliction. She is doing very well with her mobility but she still is unable to have complete control of her bladder and bowel movements."
Poor Ellie has a lifelong affliction. But our rescue colleague and her husband, kind and generous and good-hearted as they are, decided to take it upon themselves to adopt Ellie, ensuring that her life would not be cut short because of the terrible hand she's been dealt. In fact, Ellie couldn't have found a better forever-home.
Lifetime care is exactly what AAS pays for. There will undoubtedly be future vet bills which AAS pays for as long as Ellie is alive. This partnership between our rescue colleague, AAS, and our generous donors continues to give down-on-their-luck animals like poor Ellie a second chance at life, happiness, a real home, and a real family. If you would like to help us, please donate here.