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Kitten with broken hip cared for at Langley vet clinic


A 13-week-old kitten is on pain management as she heads into orthoepedic surgery to fix broken hips.

P, as staff at the Central Langley Pet Hospital (CLPH), call the surrendered kitten, is showing her personality, despite her injuries.

"She just wanted all the love from everyone, despite the extreme pain she must have been in. After a few days of being on pain control her personality really started showing through. She is silly and very playful. She loves every toy she is presented with," said Jenna Kraeling, a clinic vet tech.
P's surgery will cost about $3,000. She goes in for surgery on Tuesday, July 16, and the clinic has been crowdsourcing for the procedure to give her the best chance at a happy, pain-free life.
"We took x-rays which revealed that she had multiple pelvic fractures and she was badly constipated," Kraeling said. "The tail was shaved and cleaned up which revealed multiple puncture wounds along the length, and a partial purulent degloving injury about 5cm down from the base of the tail. The state of her injuries (and how backed up her intestines were) suggest that they occurred at least two to three days before being found. Our best guess is that she was grabbed by the tail by a much larger animal which would have caused the tail dislocation and degloving injury, and then must have been shook or thrown which resulted in the pelvic fractures. Remarkably, she had no internal organ damage, her bladder and colon were intact, she has feeling and purposeful movement in her hind end."
P will need a procedure common for dogs with hip dysplasia called a femoral head excision as well as other medical care.
"She needs to have the right side of her pelvis (the iliac) surgically repaired (put back into place) and plated," Kraeling said. "She also needs a partial tail amputation. Even though the tail auto-amputated, the degloving injury has left about three to four centimetres of the tail without skin, this section will need to be surgically removed so that the skin can be brought down and around the end of the tail to cover the exposed spinal canal. She will end up looking like a bobcat, which in my opinion, is going to be really cute. She also needs to have the left femoral head and neck removed, this may have to be done in a future surgery as it is the least urgent repair needed, and it will depend on how long the first surgery takes. Luckily, small animals can continue to function and walk normally without their hip joints."
In the meantime, the staff are giving her pain management. Her first surgery will be done by Dr. Nick Wood at Langley Animal Clinic.
"The kitten is receiving around the clock pain control, and medications to help keep her stools soft. She also requires daily hydrotherapy and bandaging to the exposed part of her tail. We are using honey bandages to encourage healthy granulation tissue to form and to keep the skin viable while we await her surgery day," the vet tech explained.
Unfortunately P has to be kept confined in a small area and occasionally a cone, not popular things for an energetic kitten.
"This confinement will also be required during the six to eight weeks recovery period after surgery, and there will be some rehabilitation needed – range of motion exercises, massage, warm and cold compresses, etc.," Kraeling said. "We have to monitor her appetite, weight gain, and eliminations carefully on a daily basis. And of course love and snuggles are given as often as possible. The upside to all of this is that she is in her prime growing stage and is a great candidate for surgery and healing. There is a saying, 'if you put two cat bones in a room, they will find a way to heal together'. Cat pelvic fractures really do heal in incredible ways."
After her surgery and recovery, P will be ready for a furever home. Potential adopters will have to make a commitment beyond just loving P.
"Whoever ends up adopting the kitten needs to be aware that she will never be 'perfect' back there, she may need lifelong medications and special diets to help her have bowel movements, she will be more prone to arthritis and/or mobility issues, and there is a good chance she will need another surgery or two in the future," Kraeling noted.
The clinic will see if it can secure a loving home, and if not, it will work with an animal rescue.
"All of the staff at CLPH love her immensely, but we are all at our max for rescued pets, so we find ourselves needing to ask the public for help for this special little kitten," she said.
Kraeling and the others at the clinic also cared for Mary, a cat that was hit by a car and had to have a front leg removed as well as extensive dental work. It's become the clinic cat. In the past year the clinic has also cared for six abandoned three-week-old kittens that required round-the-clock care for a period. They eventually found homes for all. 
"It is so disheartening when an injured animal is brought in, and has the will to live, but humane euthanasia is the only financial option," she said. "There are many clinics in the Lower Mainland that have partnerships with their local shelters, so we are all on rotation when it comes to helping stray animals with complex medical needs. Personally I know many veterinary colleagues who end up taking these cases on themselves, but eventually we all get maxed out with our ability to financially support and house rescued pets."
If anyone wants to make a donation, they can go to People can also make donations at the clinic, 20015 Langley Bypass (in the PetSmart).
'Any funds donated in excess will be put into an account and held as an 'Angel Fund' so that we can help future stray animals in need of medical care that goes beyond a shelter's funding abilities," Kraeling explained.

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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