Help Cover Thumbs Vet Bills

*UPDATE* Thumbs unfortunately passed away on Wednesday December 16. We have updated the goal, but are choosing to leave her story written out. Thumbs is a young polydactyl cat that showed up outside our house one day. We'd been feeding her and other strays for months, then one day she showed up and looked to be in pretty rough condition. We worked on treating her for several weeks, and she seemed to be getting better until she suddenly took a turn for the worse. Today, her condition has worsened. She has a large infected mass, which can be a number of things but we've been told it's not malignant. Alongside the mass, she's suffering severe weight loss, several infections throughout her body, and is in critical condition.

When we first brought Thumbs in, she had severe mange, an ear infection, and worms. She struggled to walk, but made her way up to us and basically begged for help. We'd never met such a sweet cat, so we took her in and rushed her to the vet. We began treating her and she looked like she was improving. The mange was subsiding, her ear infection was gone and so were her worms. Now we just needed to get some weight on her.

After about three weeks of treatment, we noticed a mass growing near her mammary glands between her legs. We took her to the vet immediately, and the first vet told us it was mammary gland cancer and our best option would be euthanasia. We opted for a second opinion, and after several tests and over a week of uncertainty, we were told it wasn't show any signs of malignancy. We began some strong antibiotics and brought her home after a few nights of hospitalization.

We had her at home for two days, and those two days were going well. She was finally able to be near the other pets in the home and she was able to explore the house for the first time. She was so happy! But she discovered what it felt like to be carried around all day and that's all she wanted, so for two days we spent every moment we could with her!

On day three, we left the house for a couple of hours and left her in her room to sleep in her bed. When we came home, we found her collapsed on the floor and barely conscious. Her breathing was slow and her body was stiff. We rushed to the vet again. In the car, she began seizing and we genuinely expected her to die right then and there. We made it to the vet and they immediately gave her medication to stop the seizures and we find out her glucose levels were dangerously low and her body temperature was low. We had to transfer her to the overnight clinic. They began treatment on her, and warned us she likely wouldn't make it through the night. They gave her high doses of dextrose to stabilize her glucose, and they often put her in an incubator to warm her up.

She struggled, and her levels didn't reach normal numbers, but she was beginning to stabilize. We picked her up this morning and then had to transfer her to a specialty hospital, Affiliated Veterinary Specialists, for 24 hour care for several days. They immediately began running diagnostics, and her glucose and body temp had dropped again. They've begun a very strong dose of dextrose and are using an incubator again to warm her up, and she's made progress so far and her levels are increasing, but she's not where they need her to be. 

Unfortunately, the mass that she has is incredibly infected and has severe inflammation. They took x-rays and we were informed it looks like it could be a hernia, but they're still uncertain. Everything else on her x-rays looked good. They had a surgeon take a look at her and they determined if she makes it through the current treatment, it should be easy to remove. Alongside her glucose and body temperature being very low, she is incredibly underweight (about 3.8 pounds now, she was 5.4 when we brought her in) due to the infections she's dealing with. The mass is most likely causing more harm than good, and there's a chance that mass will make it difficult for her to heal, but she's in too poor condition to surgically remove it at this time.  There a lot of uncertainty about how everything will go, and if it comes to it we may have to end her pain, but for now we're trying out best for Thumbs.

I've had several pet cats throughout my life, and I've never met a cat as sweet and loving as Thumbs. We want her to make it through this so badly, and every time we're told she's not going to make it, she pulls through and proves everyone otherwise. All she wants is constant love and affection, and she absolutely deserves it, and we're trying everything we can to give her a fighting chance, but the costs are going up and we need any help we can get.

The expected costs for everything including the treatment she was provided at the emergency clinic, to treatment at the specialty hospital, is estimated to be around $15,000 right now. This includes hospitalization, bloodwork, tests on the mass, x-rays, stabilization(the most expensive thing at the moment), and surgery to remove the mass if we get her that far. Unfortunately, all of this showed up during the waiting period for her insurance and now none of it will be covered. We're desperate for help as we want so badly to get her through this so she can live an amazing life with us. 






The following photos will be more graphic as they contain the large, infected mass which has a bloody and infected appearance, so please be cautious if you're uncomfortable with such graphic images!




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Delaney Benitez 
Orlando, FL
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