Kitten surgery costs
A few weeks ago, Jason was on his way up to visit his dad in the hospital in Iowa City when he noticed a car pulling over on the highway in front of him. Looking more closely, he saw a fluffy white kitten sitting in the middle of the road, his tail (just the tail sheath as it turns out) sitting several inches away. He stopped and as he got out of the car the other driver was already approaching the kitten. Unfortunately, the kitten hissed and scared the other driver, so instead of picking up the kitten to get him off the road, he kicked him to the far side of the road instead. Needless to say, this is where Jason got involved. Speculation is that this kick is the cause of the kitten’s broken leg.
Jason took the kitten (estimated to be 7 or 8 weeks old) up to the emergency care clinic, where they immediately set to work on him. Both back legs were severely lacerated and the tail was a total loss. So after many stitches, a tail amputation, and his leg bone being pinned and set we were able to bring him home.
At first, things were going well. The leg lacerations healed better than expected. One of the lacerations wrapped around the leg, cutting across his toes. They were afraid he might lose the toes, but they healed with full blood flow. The amputated tail also healed up nicely. Even with the pins in his leg, he was soon moving around his enclosure, happily playing with an ever increasing number of toys.
The back leg also seemed to be healing better than expected. The main pin became loose at about the 3 week mark, and even though it was a week earlier than they had planned, they pulled the pin after seeing how nice the bone looked in the X-Rays. Well, the X-rays appeared to have lied. That evening when we got home, he wasn’t putting full weight on the leg and seemed to be in distress when he moved it. We were advised to wait a day to see if things got better, and they didn’t. So the day after we took him back up to the clinic where they discovered that the bone had apparently re-broken in the original spot. The vet there suggested that we go somewhere that had a board-certified surgeon – which came as a shock since we had assumed they were the specialists.
So, we loaded up little Alexander, drove 115 miles to the next city that had a board certified surgeon. As it turns out the bone wasn’t so much re-broken as really bent. So the X-Ray didn’t lie - connection between the bones was made, it was just very soft and really bendy. They put a plate in his leg to keep the bone straight, and the surgeon was very pleased with how it all turned out. Depending on how large he grows, the plate might need to come out at a future time, or he might just need to be careful at airport security for the rest of his life – LOL!
So things are looking well for little Alexander to have a long, high quality life. But vet surgery bills are shockingly high, and to have two leg surgeries has made Alexander a very expensive kitten indeed. We did set the amount a little higher than current costs to cover for his recheck in a week or so, but if we overestimated how much it’ll be, any extra we collect will be split between our two local no-kill animal shelters – Noah’s Ark and Heavenly Pet Sanctuary.
Thanks for taking the time to read through all this! Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted, and no worries if you can’t donate at this time. If you would consider sharing Alexander’s story that would be just as helpful. Alexander also has his own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AlexanderTheKitten/ where we will also be posting pictures and updates if you need more cross-eyed kitten goodness.
Alexander's Doctor said the holes in his bone, where the screws were removed, have filled in well enough that he can roam again - no more movement restriction! That makes for one very happy cat (and two very thankful cat parents)!
We can't thank the Doctor and the entire team @ IVRC - Iowa Veterinary Referral Center enough for the outstanding, professional and compassionate care they have given Alexander. :)
We also want to again thank everyone that so generously chipped in and helped with the gofundme - both online and offline! <3
We'll try to get some pics/vids of Alexander playing with the rest of his kitty family soon!
He has to go back in for another followup in 2 months. One of the (6!!!) screws they put in that leg bone was larger than the others, because the previous pin had been placed there and the hole was too large for the smaller size screw. They are a bit nervous about the ratio of the size of the screw to the size of the leg bone, so they might want to take that screw out. Eventually (after he stops growing) they might want to remove the plate and all screws (since they really perforated that bone with screw holes) so the holes can fill in to be sure it's a good bone for the rest of his life. But that won't be for at least another year or more.
And speaking of growing - his bone grew a little more than a centimeter on each end of the plate, so it wasn't just our imagination that he's put on a growth spurt!
We'll post some video this weekend of him enjoying his new freedom - I just wanted to get the good news out to all of you. Thanks so much to everyone!!
I want to apologize for the infrequent updates. As many of you already know, Jason's dad recently passed away which has thrown all of our daily routines into disarray. Things are slowly getting back to normal, so expect more pictures more often.
Alexander continues to improve - and grow! He's going to be one big cat when he grows up. I guess he'll be living up to his name in yet another way - Alexander the Great (big cat!)
His next vet visit is on Thurs, where they will take another round of X-rays to see if he can finally come off movement restriction. I can't believe we (and he) did it! He has so much energy, it's been really difficult to keep him from running and jumping. Fingers crossed for Thurs! I think he'll be a little mountain goat once he starts jumping around for real.
Thanks again for all of your support. The amount raised so far almost covers the cost of one of the surgeries, which is really awesome!
But now for the medical update! So, we (Tahmi and Alexander) went back up to Des Moines yesterday to get the incision checked. One of the stitches had worked it's way around, so they clipped that one. Otherwise, everything was healing there as expected. So he gets his e-collar off - yay!
He's still on 4 more weeks of restricted activity (insert massive LOL here) but they were very impressed with how well his leg was working. Not only is he putting weight on it, but he's learning to use it independently of the other leg. So instead of bunny hopping everywhere, he is alternating back legs now when walking around. Big improvement! Here is some video from this morning showing off his movement and attitude. :)