Meet Cici! This sweet kitten was recently rescued from Collier Domestic Animal Services, limping on her front left leg. Despite her pain, Cici is an incredibly loving and social kitten. She gets up and comes to the front of her kennel when approached.
Radiographs were taken of Cici’s pelvis and femur to evaluate them for injuries. Her injury was obvious. Cici had a fractured left femur. On physical exam, our veterinary clinic team also determined she had a brachial plexus avulsion – the nerve bundle that controls and gives feeling to the front left leg – was permanently damaged.
The 1.5 lb kitten was sent to Southwest Florida Veterinary Specialists & 24-Hour Emergency Hospital for surgical correction with board-certified surgeon Dr. Chris Potanas. Because the fracture was chronic and trying to heal in an incorrect place, it was very difficult to re-align. When it was lined up, it caused the hip joint to dislocate.
One of the common ways to address this injury is to perform a Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) to prevent chronic pain and arthritis in the joint. During Dr. Chris Potanas’ examination, he also realized that Cici had a persistent, already healed fracture of the left tibia and fibula (back right leg). This leg was determined to not be surgical at this time since it has healed.
In the end, animals with FHOs may return to normal function and you may never be able to tell that they had the procedure. Sadly, the next step for Cici will be amputation of her front left leg – the one with the permanent nerve damage. Without removal, she would be prone to trauma and infection.
Help us continue care for Cici and animals like her that come our way.
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Update: March 18
Cici has been moved into a foster home and will be cared for by the fabulous Andreson family until she is fit for adoption.
Update: April 9
Cici had a recheck of her back leg and as expected, it is healing well. She has started to use her back leg and is getting stronger each day. There still lameness in her front left leg due to nerve damage, but we are monitoring that closely.