By Claudia C. Gray, DVM
is a calico cat with quite a tale.
She was a stray, relying upon the generosity of humans to feed her and
show her affection every now and then.
At some point in her short year or so on the street she managed to not
only get pregnant (something almost all stray female cats do), but also be
involved in some sort of traumatic accident. It’s possible she was struck by a car or may have fallen
from a significant height. Either
way, when Lulu came to Ellicott Small Animal Hospital, the damage had been done. Her owner had been feeding her for a
while and ultimately had taken her into her home. She realized it was important for Lulu to see a vet since she
didn’t seem quite right. She was
having a very difficult time breathing.
we first saw Lulu, she was quite thin and was laboring to breathe. Her accident must have occurred
some time ago, because there were no wounds or signs of trauma. Xrays revealed that there was a hernia,
or tear, in Lulu’s diaphragm, the thin muscle that separates the lungs and
heart from the abdomen and other vital organs. She was also in the early stages of pregnancy. Lulu was having breathing difficulty
because part of her liver and intestines were in her chest cavity, putting
pressure on the lungs.
order to save Lulu, surgery was necessary to repair the torn diaphragm
muscle. This type of surgery is
very risky and expensive, and Lulu’s new owner was not prepared for this. She had taken Lulu in and cared for her
because she was homeless. There
simply were not resources available in this home for Lulu to have surgery. She was facing a very serious
decision. Lulu could not survive
carrying a litter of kittens and delivering them in her condition. She would almost certainly die during
labor. Surgery, although risky, would
be the only way to save Lulu’s life.
to the generosity of pet owners in Western New York and their donations to the
Pet Emergency Fund, Lulu is not only surviving, she is thriving! Although her kittens were unable to be
saved due to how early the pregnancy was, Lulu handled surgery well and has
become an affectionate and healthy part of her new home.
This year’s Run For Rover on July 12th will help to add to the PEF. Participate!