We’d like to share with you the story of little Dandelion, or Miss Dandy as she has come to be known. Our Serenity Fund is set up to help animals such as Miss Dandy who find themselves in dire circumstances with no where else to go. Your donations make all of this possible.
Dandelion arrived here just a few days old in June 2020. She and her three littermates were found abandoned by a good samaritan after their mother never came home. Bonnie immediately took to bottle feeding them. Two of them were not doing well. One died a few days later and the other, much smaller than all the rest, kept fighting and survived. The two others were totally healthy and eventually went to a loving home together. But the smallest one, who never did well, ended up being our Miss Dandy. Bonnie knew from the very beginning that something was just not right with her. She struggled to pass stool and was just not thriving. Over the next several months, Dandelion went through many different tests to try to find a cause as to what was going on but it was difficult to determine at first what was happening. Our Veterinarian, Dr. Christine, did all sorts of tests and suspected a congenital defect may be the cause. Dandelion had also developed Megacolon where her colon had become enlarged and unable to have the proper motility to pass stool along to the anus. Dr. Christine immediately put her on medication to soften her stool so that she could pass it. Due to COVID and the backlog of appointments everywhere, it took us several weeks to get her in for an appointment with a specialist. In the meantime, we tried to support Dandelion to be sure she was strong enough for surgery should she need it.
In January 2021, a trip to Upstate Veterinary Specialists in Latham, NY brought us more answers. Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. Palamara, performed further diagnostics to ultimately discover and diagnose that Dandelion was born with a congenital defect called Atresia Ani – Type 1. To sum it up, the connection between her colon and her anus never formed properly, leaving her with a very tiny tube connecting the two. It was impossible for her to pass formed stool. As a result of this abnormality, Dandelion also developed a secondary condition of Megacolon. Her situation was dire unless surgery could be performed to essentially open up the anus so that she could pass stool.
Dr. Palamara determined she would be a candidate for surgery but that he was not sure she’d be bowel continent when all was finished. She did not respond normally to nerve stimulation and there was concern that she may not have developed the normal sphincter control needed to regulate when she needed to use the litterbox.
Miss Dandy is quite the personality. She is a favorite of everyone who meets her. She never stops purring and wiggling and playing. She is a mighty soul in a teeny tiny little orange body. She has enough spunk for a cat 10 times her size. Clearly, she wanted to try to live, regardless of the challenges. She was enjoying life despite her difficulties. Our staff had enormous challenges to keep her clean as the medications were needed to induce diarrhea in order for her to pass stool.
We gave Dr. Palamara the go ahead for surgery. Yes, there would be unknowns to face ahead. But we knew that Dandy was making a go of it and we were on board to give her every ounce of help we could. And then we’d take it day by day and step by step.
We are excited to announce that Miss Dandelion had her surgery in mid-January and it was extremely successful. Just one day after she came home, we walked in to find her purring and greeting us enthusiastically from her crate, and found a perfectly normal looking poop in the litter box. She is now continuously producing normal stool and she has not once failed to use the litter box. Miss Dandy has a second chance at life. She has a couple of weeks more of healing before we will repeat the radiographs to see how her colon is doing. There is hope that the Megacolon may reverse itself with medications and the renewed ability for the stool to move through now unobstructed.
Miss Dandy, the princess, will have a place to live her life regardless of the ultimate outcome. But right now, she is thriving. She is finally putting on weight and growing. And the purrs…. Oh, the purrs never stop. This is a kitten so full of life that there was no doubt that we had to try to support her on her journey. She is clearly here with a mission and it’s a big one!
Thank you to our own Dr. Christine Schneider and to Dr. Joseph Palamara for his expertise and support and for his willingness to go into a surgery that was very risky and with an uncertain outcome. And thank you to all of you who donate. Your support makes a huge difference. Dandy would not have a chance without your help. But, in turn, I can assure you that she is touching the hearts and lives of so many others. She is here in all her glory. And we hope that her path will be a long one. But no matter how long we have with her in this life, we will know everyone did their very best to support her and she never lets us forget the depth of her gratitude each and every day.
Dandelion’s medical costs to date have already exceeded $5,000
And here is a video of Miss Dandy