7/26/20 - This little ball of orange fluff is Gus. He’s a real hero. If it weren’t for his bravery, he and his siblings would probably not be here today. Memorial Day weekend, Gus stumbled out from under a shed, eyes so crusted over he could not see where he was going, but he knew he needed help. Thankfully, a kind person scooped him up, and Gus found his way to Animals in Distress that day - arriving in a box that said VICTORY on the side. We could tell he was a fighter from the very beginning!
Gus was only 4 weeks old, wobbling all over the place and so congested his little body rattled with each attempted breath. He could not see at all and we thought his eyes may be gone. He also could not smell, which means he had trouble eating too. Since he found us on a holiday there were no vets open, so that same day he had his first visit to NorthStar VETS in Robbinsville, a place he knows too well for such a tiny kitten! We got meds to get him and his five siblings (who had the good sense to follow their brother out for help) started on the road to recovery. All went into foster where they received meds, love, and were introduced to solid food, etc. Things were looking up and a few weeks later, all were moved to our Adoption Cottage --
Little Gus is one of the happiest kittens you can imagine. His joy over every moment is very contagious. Everybody loves him.
During play times, volunteers soon noticed that while Gus was the tiniest of his litter, he ate equally as much as his siblings, and he looked different, small but round, with a big bloated belly. Concerned, we consulted with our veterinary partner, Mercerville Animal Hospital, who performed some tests & discovered fluid in his belly. They suspected a possible perforated bowel and informed us that whatever was going on, it was very likely a life-threatening condition and he needed immediate ER evaluation for the best chance of survival.
Of course we rushed Gus back to NorthStar VETS. On July 16, 2020, the specialists did an abdominal ultrasound, and diagnosed Gus with something we had never heard of --- intestinal intussusception, which is a telescoping of the intestinal tract - the condition causes partial or complete obstruction of the bowel, cuts off the blood supply to tissue, and without intervention would likely perforate the intestine or bowel, causing him to quickly become septic and die. The only path forward to save his life was emergency surgery - that day!
So into surgery he went, this tiny patient – 11 weeks old and only weighing in 2lbs. The surgeons did indeed find dead tissue, something that would have killed him had it not been removed. He made it through and to give Gus the best chance at a full recovery, we decided to keep at the ER clinic for expert monitoring -- where he has won the hearts of everyone! Gus is so popular, he already has a forever home all lined up and he even gets to be adopted with one of his sisters!
Unfortunately, Gus's fight is not over - he took a turn this morning (July 26) and was rushed again to the ER clinic, where he again had an ultra-sound a second intestinal intussusception has occurred!
So on July 27, 2020, Gus again finds himself under anesthesia for surgery. One more time dead tissue was found and removed (though the site that was repaired earlier this month looks good!) – additionally the surgeons have sewn “loops” to keep the intestines from telescoping on itself. Our initial report from the hospital is good.
Little Gus is has a huge personality and is an incredible patient -- he seems to have no idea that he's going through anything -- he is bossing everyone around to feed him, and hug him, and pay him attention.
As you can imagine, the bills for Gus’s care have been significant and we are not out of the woods yet. Animals in Distress welcomes any donations contributed - every dollar helps. Sharing his story also can help us to reach our goal.
We are a 501c3 non-profit organization with no paid employees. We are 100% volunteer, meaning all funds raised will go directly to covering Gus’s care.
We have actually estimated on the low side as he is still in critical care at the moment. Should we be so fortunate to exceed our goal, and cover all of Gus's expenses, any excess would go directly to helping other animals in need such as this one.
7/27/20 - Gus was reported to be out of surgery last night, up and meowing, and wanting to eat. This morning he is quieter and overall less happy. He has been through a lot and needs healing - please send plenty of good vibes and love out to Gus. We will hear from the hospital again this afternoon. They continue to monitor and we are all on Team Gus!
7/27/20 - Report is in and Gus is feeling a little "brighter" than he was earlier. And he pooped! This is big news when you've had 'the plumbing' repaired. We are on the upswing! Go Gus!
7/28/20 - Friends, Gus needs lots and lots of prayers. He has been swinging from high to low to high to low and it is not any fun. This morning he was great, doing all the kitten things & vitals were good. and we expected him to be able to leave the hospital. This afternoon, however, he crashed - his little body was trying to arrest - and the cause is unclear at the moment. His blood sugar dropped dangerously low and he went from being bright and perky and playful to critical emergent in a matter of 30 minutes. He was given an injection of dextrose to get the sugar up, and he is back on fluids as well as a sugar supplement, and with have 24 hours of antibiotic. Repeat ultrasound showed no issues from the surgery - but there may perhaps be some bacteria he is fighting off. There is concern again of him turning septic. The docs are doing everything they can. He is a fighter and has a strong will to live.
We are not giving up on him. Please send love and prayers.
7/30/20 - Update - Yesterday Gus remained on his personal roller-coaster and it has been scary to watch. He had two more crashes, but both averted. His food requirements has now been calculated to give him the exact kcals needed and he has been changed to A/D to give him higher calorie in lower volumes to see if that will help him stabalize (his hunger is ravenous and so he stuffs his little belly if it is his choice, and given the two surgeries, perhaps this could be a contributing factor - so we shall see!). Overnight Gus has NO repeat events, which is very positive. Today the doctor's are lowering the amount of sugar supplement to see if he can remain stable with lesser dose and will continue to monitor. He is completely off pain meds, remains "bright, alert, purring, and begging for attention (and food!). He's a happy lovey kitten despite all he has been through. Please keep sharing his story and keep the prayers coming. He needs us more than ever right now! These next two days are critical for him to stabalize.