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Operation Liberation: Emergency Medical Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The Petfinder Foundation Emergency Medical Grant awarded to our organization provided much-needed veterinary care to Dorothy, a sweet kitty who was born with severe congenital abnormalities that required surgical correction to prevent further pain, suffering, and eventual blindness.

The grant funds were to be allocated to help save Dorothy’s eyes and help her live a healthy, pain-free life. Without surgery, Dorothy’s ocular health would exponentially decline, ultimately causing her to become completely nonvisual. The “lip to lid” surgical graft procedures were going to make Dorothy much more comfortable and had the potential to restore her ocular health.

Upon entering our organization’s care, she was spayed, vaccinated, and underwent additional diagnostics at a local ophthalmologist and our primary vet. Unfortunately, Dorothy tested positive for progressive end-stage feline leukemia and quickly declined in health prior to her bilateral “lip to lid” procedure that was to be performed through the help of this grant. She succumbed to the virus and unfortunately never underwent the procedure.

How many pets did this grant help?

This Emergency Medical Grant assisted one very special cat, Dorothy. May she forever rest in peace.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Unfortunately, until we rescued her, Dorothy lived a tough life as an outdoor, stray kitty. She was emaciated, suffered from limited vision, and was no doubt in a lot of pain.

Once we rescued Dorothy, she went to a local ophthalmologist, who determined that Dorothy suffers from bilateral coloboma. In summary, Dorothy was born with severely underdeveloped eyelids, which caused her fur to constantly rub against her eyes. Unfortunately, since Dorothy went so long without treatment, the condition caused her to suffer from corneal ulcerations, extreme dryness, and keratitis in both eyes.

Given the severity of her condition, Dorothy required surgical reconstruction of the upper eyelid in each eye to create adequate corneal coverage and reduce ulceration and associated issues. This procedure is reserved for cats with significant defects in their eyelids, which was true in Dorothy’s case.

Without this surgical procedure, Dorothy’s ocular health would have continued to decline, potentially resulting in total blindness. Thanks to amazing advancements in veterinary medicine and a fantastic local team of veterinary ophthalmologists, we were very hopeful for Dorothy and were so excited for her to finally get the care she deserved.

Unfortunately, in the days leading up to her scheduled procedure, Dorothy began to exhibit signs of lethargy and inappetence. We performed additional diagnostics (a full blood panel and quantitative PCR testing) at our primary vet and learned that Dorothy was battling end-stage feline leukemia. The vet also suspected she likely had feline infection peritonitis (FIP).

Unfortunately, Dorothy declined rapidly, and we made the compassionate decision to ease her suffering by helping her cross the rainbow bridge. In Dorothy’s honor, we took in three visually-impaired kitten siblings a couple of weeks later. They are doing fantastic and each recently underwent an ocular procedure — something we wish Dorothy had had the opportunity to undergo as well.

We miss Dorothy and are so saddened that she never got to live free of pain. However, we are grateful that she left this world knowing compassion, a cozy kitty bed, and a full belly thanks to her foster Stefanie, our supporters, and the Petfinder Foundation. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for your assistance in providing Dorothy with excellent veterinary care.

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