Friday, February 07, 2014

My Collar Was Too Big...And Then Too Small!

After several months of watching a little wild kitten come to their cat’s feeder, an Elk Grove couple was finally able to trap her.  They had noticed her several months earlier, a little tiny black kitten with a collar that dangled on her like a necklace practically.  After a short while, it became evident that the collar had shifted into more of a banner, draping down around her left arm and around her neck.  As the weeks passed, the kitten grew.  She was very frisky and quite wild, and catching her had been attempted multiple times without success.  Finally, it was clear that she must be trapped and needed help.  The kitten had grown so much that the collar had begun cutting into her skin and had become embedded into her neck and armpit.  The secondary infection that developed, may have weakened the kitten just enough to finally catch her. 

When she arrived at our practice, her odor preceded her.  The nice couple who had taken such pains to catch her and bring her in, wanted to know what could be done, if anything, to help her.  In the hour between catching her and getting her in for an appointment, they had already given her a name, “Sooty”, after a puppet character from a well know British children’s program.  Perhaps that was a turning point for this kitten as her injuries from the collar - once too loose, now too tight - were extensive.  She had a banner type laceration extending nearly circumferentially around her body separating the skin on her head and neck from the rest of her body except for about a 1-1/2 inch strip.  

To repair the injury was expensive, and took over an hour in surgery.  But it didn’t take her new people long to agree to the repair, as otherwise she was sure to expire from infection and pain.

After surgery she had several drains and 100 sutures.  She wore a little t-shirt to protect the area from her own scratching and self-grooming, until the wound healed.  She had antibiotics and pain medication, and in almost 3 weeks, all was healed.   

Since then little Sooty has grown another 1-1/2 lbs., had her vaccinations, and been spayed.  She is now a happy member of her new family and is grateful for her new home.  We will probably never know what happened to the person(s) who initially put her collar on her, thinking they could care for her properly but then somehow not being able to follow through.   Luckily, others in their neighborhood were able to correct their mistake.   It really does take a village!

Thank you Sooty for letting us tell your story!