Peanut, a 5-year-old cat, was relinquished to the Dumb Friends League due to cat allergies in her owner’s family. From the start, Peanut was an anxious and fearful cat. Although we enrolled her in our Feline Fortitude behavior program to relieve her stress, Peanut stopped eating and could not be encouraged to take food.
Peanut also was suffering from an upper respiratory infection and a severe case of calicivirus, which caused bleeding ulcers in her mouth and on her tongue. We sent her to the home of Jim Slater, an experienced foster volunteer, to recuperate, but eating and drinking were extremely painful for Peanut, even when Jim attempted to feed her gently using a syringe.
“I couldn’t get enough food inside her to keep her from starving,” says Jim, who brought Peanut back to the shelter for a consultation with our veterinary team. The decision was made to insert a feeding tube in Peanut’s neck in order to bypass her ulcer-filled mouth, after which she went home with Jim once again.
“I immediately started giving her Hill’s® Prescription Diet® a/d® Feline Critical Care food through the feeding tube,” says Jim. “It’s a special canned food that has extra nutrients for cats recovering from a serious illness. After five days on that food and an anti-viral medication, she started gaining weight, and after a week, she began eating on her own again.” Following her recovery, a healthier, happier Peanut returned to our shelter and was adopted by a kind woman who says Peanut is doing great and has an “astounding” appetite.
Jim, who has fostered more than 90 cats and kittens in the past four years, says he wishes people understood the extent of the care and compassion he witnesses at the Dumb Friends League. “Anyone who thinks that this shelter is too quick to euthanize animals should see everything we do for them and how hard we try to help these pets. I believe they’d feel differently if they did.”
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