If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
I am new to this board - and excited that I found it! I work for a no kill rescue in Philadelphia. I am particularly fond of fostering special needs kitties: 3 legged, CH, one eyed, neuro issues, head tilt, etc. etc. etc. - I used to work for the high kill facility here, but could only stand it for so long. It was heartbreaking...
Anyway - I recently rescued (from that same high-kill facility) a kitten (approx. 4-5 weeks at the time, now is approx 6-7 weeks) a male kitten with all 4 legs deformed.
His front left leg is indicative of typical "twisty kitties" - his right leg is formed like a twisty kitty, but it does not bend and frequently hyperextends behind him (does not seem to cause him pain, just doesn't help with his mobility). His back legs are a mangled mess. He basically has no recognizable 'feet' - they are both twisted at incorrect angles, and his claws are interspersed in there where they should not be (some just hanging). The only place that he seems painful is his back left leg (which is the leg that hangs at an odd angle and he seems to have less control over than the other one). He is growing, eating, playing, meowing, and 'skootching' himself everywhere -- he's much more mobile than I thought he would be at this point...
I came to this board for advice. I want to know if it's realistic for me to a) think there might be a home out there for him or b) think there might be a way to help at least his front right leg (the one that hyper-extends and does not bend) through ortho-surgery or some other treatment. As someone who frequently fosters special needs cats and kittens, I am prepared to stay with him for the long haul - as long as he needs me, I'll be there - my biggest problem is pain. I am well aware cats are stoic creatures. Having worked at the city shelter, I have seen cruelty cases where cats very well should have been dead on the table, but were soliciting attention and pets. It is in their nature to adapt... I just do not want this kitten to be in pain when he is with me.
I have also noticed he may have an optical deformity or lag. His eyes seem set a tiny bit lower in the sockets than normal cats. When he looks at me and his eyes dilate, I do not see the bottoms. (I will eventually get good pictures and be able to post once I get home). They have gotten better in the past few weeks - they also water more. I feel like he has a bit of a lag re: his optical development. The issues I see his eyes having now are usually issues I see in kittens whose eyes have just opened recently. Still, he can find me and notices things - will also chase a laser (albeit slowly) with his gaze.
I am just looking for anyone who has had experience with issues like these. Having visited other websites, I am discouraged that kittens are PTS for issues far less than his. I feel its not his fault he was born like this - and if I can help him, I will do everything in my power to do so - I just don't want it to be at the cost of his comfort. My sister was born with cerebral palsy; she is severely affected - she cannot walk, or feed herself, dress herself, etc. They did not think she would live to be 20 years old, let alone 45... yet she's still going - but there have been costs re: pain and surgeries. I have never felt like I was obligated to help her, as it was just the right thing to do - and I think that's why I pulled this kitten... it was just the right thing to do...
I'm not incredibly concerned with his litterbox issues (he has been using a puppy pad quite well lately in the small enclosure I keep him in) and he will let me know when he has to go if he's on his pillow (which is not where his puppy pad is), and he's eating like a horse and drinking fine - I guess I just need some encouragement that I'm not doing the wrong thing by keeping him with me.
I will try to post pictures later on tonight. I have named him Henry Turtle (mainly because when he's on his back he's a little like a stranded turtle - (it's not making fun of him, I use the term affectionately - because he is also a little slow on his feet, naturally). He's currently sleeping curled up in my hoodie, and he'll probably stay that way the entire drive home. I"m (obviously) madly in love with him, or I wouldn't be as concerned as I am about his future...
Let me know if anyone has any advice/experiences they would like to share and Thanks so much!
As parent to a severely disabled CHer and a pretty severe spinal cord injured fella, I know what you mean. Personally, I'd wait and see, and take things as they come. My CHer can't really walk or anything else, but, like your severely disabled boy, she's the happiest little bugger, and she loves to travel and visit. Your baby may one day be a therapy kitty and an emissary for handicappers everywhere too!!
*picking up the sweet lil bendy kitty and running home with him*
oh he is even bendier than I was!
much more so!
do his claws get caught or hung on things? i had a claw that was in teh middle of my foot, it became very irritated when I walked and so we had it removed. I walked much better with out it. If any of those claws or toes get hung on things, or become irritated, I woudl consider doing the same but if they aren't causing any problems then don't worry about it.
he is at risk for developing early arthritis but there are wonderful arthritis treatments now (we have an ancient kitty whose front feet are scary looking from arthritis and on Adequan, she walks everywhere now and even is climbing again).
If that one leg is a big problem, then when he is older I would consider amputating it. If it is causing pain, getting stuck continually, is a clear, constant problem. Otherwise, again, I wouldn't worry.
He is a sweetie and belongs here .. ahem..
I mean, he is a sweetie and so are you for taking care of him!
you can check out my website to see my bendy legs, and also look at TwoBit who has no hind legs and zooms around fine. She has a video on Youtube (sorry I don't have the link offhand) of her walking along down the hall.
WELCOME to the board! you are in the right place!
Apologies...I see that you posted about little Henry Turtle in April, 2011, and I was googling one night, signed up to be a part of Handicapped Pets.com after seeing his story.
Do you still have this little boy??
I wish I had joined sooner, as my boy Brody has the same problem in just his front legs, and I could have told you all I went through etc.
My personal email is Rocketmahler@yahoo.com if you would like to talk...
Brody is 5 1/2 years now and going incredibly strong!!!
Hello ! Recently when I gave a friend and her dog a ride to the vet, I saw and fell in love with a 5 mo male tabby kitten they called a "twisted kitty". I adopted him a couple days later, he is so sweet! He is affected on his left front leg only, and has little problems getting around or playing! Well, two days later the shelter called me and offered me his sister for free! She is twisted in mirror image to his left, a beautiful tortoise shell tabby with long hair. Her limp is a little more severe than her brothers. Of course I adopted her also! Since they were reunited it seems to be non-stop play time! Anyway, my question is this: can all this rough and tumble be detrimental to their health? Can their condition be worsened? I really don't know what to expect as they get older, either! Can someone help me learn how to help them!?
hello and congrats!!!
can you post picts of them so we can see their legs?
the rough and tumble is actually good for them, they need to keep their legs strong. mobility is the best thing!
you can look at my story www.alittletlc.com I wore braces as a very young kitten that straightened my legs out, I still have a boatload of other problems tho. Mostly they will be just like normal kittens/cats, they will learn how to jump, run, climb etc despite their deformity. As they get older they may develop arthritis in the affected limbs a little earlier but thisis a maybe, not a definite. You'll find many 'alternately configured' animals on this board. Glad you found us!
beautiful beautiful kitties.
they should get along just fine. no, the legs aren't correctable, at least i don't think so, but i also don't think they need anything thanks so much for posting their picts.
thanks, FYI, for the link!
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