Kitten Needs Special Surgery: Very Rare Congenital Hernia
Organized by: Mary and Charles
UPDATE: Because of your help and an additional loan - Hilda had the surgery she needed on November 19th. She's recovering great. Thank you so much!!!
Any donations received beyond our goal will go to repay the loan.
Our beloved Hilda - a rescue cat in Tucson, Arizona (in the neighborhood called Barrio Blue Moon) desperately needs an expensive surgery for a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia that formed when she was just an embryo. She's now 8 months old and the sooner she receives treatment the better for optimal outcomes, ideally before she turns one year old.
We have founded this CrowdRise effort after investing in initial appointments & testing - and are saving as much money as possible for Hilda's surgery. We're asking our community to join the cause and help make this a reality.
Click on the many photo slides (left) to see Hilda when she was little up till now, and to see a copy of her radiological diagnosis results - and the final slide will take you to a recent youtube video of her playing in the backyard. Donations both LARGE and SMALL are helpful. If you have trouble with the Crowdrise function, email us privately for a paypal transfer which we'll add to the tally below.
And if you want to learn much more about Hilda and this fundraiser, read on.
Thank you, each and every one.
Hilda's Arrival: Rescued Sister For A Rescue Cat
Hilda (short for Hildegard) joined our household via a Craigslist ad when she was 10 weeks old, to be a companion for another Tuscon Rescue Cat who is just a few months older than her and in excellent health. Soon, Hilda and her new sister bonded heartily and the crazy playing began and continues. Hilda's new biologically-appropriate dietary nutrition quickly transformed her dull coat and made it silky.
However after the first month of settling in, Hilda began to show a breathing quirk (snuffly noises and snoring) and some eating challenges that didn't go away and became concerning, despite her great energy, food intake, digestion, and no signs of fever, cough, discharge, or sneezing.
First Veterinary Feedback
When Hilda reached 6 months old and was taken to be spayed, the Associate Veterinary Surgeon at the low-cost clinic (Dr. Gurshabd Khalsa) wisely refused to do the surgery, urging that Hilda see a specialist, because of anesthesia concerns related to her mysterious breathing symptoms.
Second Veterinary Feedback & Radiological Second Opinion
Hilda was then examined at Bernarda Animal Hospital by its founder, Dr. Kayomee Daroowalla. And X-rays confirmed by a vetrinary Radiologist revealed something dramatic: a Peritoneopericardial Diaphragmatic Hernia, a very rare congenital condition that affects about 35 in 1000 felines. Basically, Hilda's diaphragm muscle developed with a defect: it has a hole in it - a significant amount of her intestinal sac (with stomach and liver) have migrated through the diaphragm up near her lungs & heart. Over time, twisting and adhesion of organs become riskier.
Reasons For This Condition
This developmental issue often comes from the mother cat being exposed to environmental toxins (teratogens such as the mercury in canned tuna and shellfish, as well as tainted industrial cat food) or from the pregnant mother being severely injured, or from nutritionally weakened genetic lines typical in poorly nourished city cats.
Hilda's Maturation & Spaying Concerns
Though Hilda is largely symptom-free and might live many years as-is, there are some extenuating circumstances to confront. Due to her quircky breathing apparatus, Hilda cannot be spayed/desexed without first reducing if not fully correcting the hernia situation which affects her breathing. It's too risky to spay an animal in this condition without freeing up the pressure in the thoracic area and having proper physiological capacity for surgical recovery. And she does need to be spayed for preventative reasons.
An unspayed indoor cat is a natural force to reckoned with, so much so that they often eventually manage to dart out of the house to become pregnant - and for Hilda, any pregnancy would for her likely be life- threatening due to further displacment of the herniated organs and compromise of her breathing system and heart. In addition, any accidental serious fall or unexpected acrobatic play mishaps can quickly mean collapse and early death. Needless to say, we have been beside ourselves about Hilda's situation.
With Surgery, An Excellent Prognosis
The only treatment to repair PPDH is surgery - and the proposed surgery, while a serious one, has up to a 90% success rate with very young cats such as Hilda, depending on the complexity of the particular hernia. The younger the cat, the less adhesions have formed between the hernia and organs, the easier it is to separate the herniated contents from their locations and return them to the lower belly.
There should be no complicating factors, but highly specialized surgery by a Veterinary Surgeon is required to close the hernia and place the viable organs in their normal location - and the professional advice from some of the best sources is that the benefits of the surgery far outweigh the risks, and that otherwise healthy cats with this condition should receive surgery for it.
Why Help A Special Needs Cat Like Hilda?
In a world where the majority of humans don't have access to clean drinking water, many luxuries don't make sense - including expensive veterinary surgeries! In the world before x-rays and spaying, Hilda's breathing problem would just be considered a quirk, and she would have lived a short life either due to being eaten by a predator early on due to her noisy breathing moments or by not surviving the strain of a pregnancy on her system. However, being that we are privileged enough to learn the diagnosis, there are choices to be made. Despite the daunting finances and highly specialized surgery required, Hilda's prognosis should she have this surgery is very good.
Dr. Daroowalla is referring Hilda to a specialist Veterinary Surgeon, but she sang the praises of crowdfunding stories she's heard of from her own practice, and heartily recommended trying to raise the funds that will allow Hilda to have a full & normal lifespan with no other health concerns. She also said it makes people HAPPY to help when they can - and she's right - it does, doesn't it? (This houshold donates regularly to various causes, in small amounts). So, please consider increasing your happiness by investing in Hilda's surgery.
Invest In Hilda's Best-Case-Scenario Outcome
Hilda is full of intelligence and is very affectionate, and chatty. Despite her scrambled innards, she is the picture of health and does not have any disease. Hilda is a tough-playing and assertive RASCAL, hilarious acrobat, and a formidable boxer & wrestler who runs full speed through the house. With your help, this wonderful being will be given the chance for a normal lifespan with her Rescue Cat sister.
For those who can help, please know that your investment will help provide Hilda with a best-case-scenario for lifelong survival as a cat in this world, and be of positive impact for her rescue cat sister too. If you would like an emailed document of Hilda's veterinary diagnosis to help you in your crowdfunding on her behalf, please contact us via this page.
We have already invested hundreds of dollars in getting to Hilda's diagnosis and are saving as much money as possible to fund this surgery. 100% of the money raised through CrowdRise will go straight and ONLY to Hilda's surgery - and you will be updated on the journey to full recovery. The pre-surgery appt. for additional blood tests & ultrasound plus the pre-op in-hospital day, surgery day, 2-3 post-op hospital days, and followup costs will total around $4K (which is significantly more than one month's income for this paycheck-to-paycheck household). It is conceivable that if crowdfunding is significantly raised, the surgeon could be convinced to discount the procedure.
All donations no matter how LARGE or how small are needed, as spirit moves you.
What's wonderful about crowdfunding is that when many people get involved, amazing things can happen (and CrowdRise only charges us a 1% handiling fee, unlike Gofundme, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter).
And, should the surgery be called off for any reason, all monies raised would be refunded (minus any Crowdrise deductions).
Yes, there is a 10-15% chance Hilda won't survive the surgery or have unknown complications. But if the funds can be raised, it is a necessary risk to do the surgery. The only other options are to have her become an exclusively indoor, unspayed cat with a strong drive to escape one day and become pregnant - and then have a tragic ending that way - or euthanasia.
Other Ways You Can Bless Hilda
Please help us get the word out! Please pass Hilda's link through Facebook, Twitter, email and other social media sites to help us fundraise for beloved Hilda. Or consider hosting a fundraiser dinner party or disco dance in her honor.
Thank You In Advance,
to all Friends & Strangers!!!