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Sasha’s Happy Ending

Sasha came to RAPS as a weak and sickly stray Ragdoll-cross kitten who had a very rough start to his life. He spent his early days at RAPS being bottle-fed, nursed, and supervised 24/7 at the home of a staff member. Sasha was very anemic and malnourished, and it appeared that he had been taken away from his mom too early for a young kitten.

Sasha’s medical needs had to be monitored very closely by our veterinarian, Dr. Guy Arad. Unfortunately, although such a young kitten, Sasha had many different courses of medication, fluids, diagnostics and testing. And, as he got older, Sasha eventually had to be force-fed a special gastrointestinal diet with probiotics to ensure he was receiving the nourishment he needed. Sasha also experienced ongoing dyspnea (laboured or difficult breathing), which also had to be monitored closely.

Sasha5-SQAfter a fecal test was sent to the lab, it was determined that Sasha tested positive for Feline Corona Virus and Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin A. This diagnosis means that Sasha will always test positive for FCV, which is a virus that is transmitted from cat to cat through the fecal-oral route but remains inactive unless a mutation occurs that causes the virus to transform. Clostridium perfringens is a normal bacteria found in the environment, but when high levels are found in the intestines, it can lead to gastrointestinal upsets. Most cats have antibodies that can clear any overgrowth from their body, but a kitten with a compromised immune system, such as Sasha, would be susceptible to illness. In order to treat the bacteria (Clostridium perfringens), Sasha had to be prescribed a 28-day course of antibiotics. This meant that Sasha had to live in our Isolation unit without the company of other animals or people, except for our Animal Care Attendants.

Although our staff gave Sasha as much attention as possible, we knew he was very unhappy and depressed, and missing out on so many normal kitten behaviours. Dr. Arad recommended that Sasha leave the Shelter environment, so that his immune system could strengthen and he would have a better chance at finally being healthy.

Thankfully, we were able to find a foster family with no other pets, who understood Sasha’s condition and medical requirements. After months in isolation, Sasha was finally able to live in a home! He spent about two months in foster, where he absolutely blossomed. Sasha was able to be a normal kitten – playing, cuddling and getting into mischief! His foster family kept close tabs on his health, and kept our managers and veterinarian updated on his condition.

Fortunately, Sasha showed huge improvements and his health returned completely. He no longer had laboured breathing, gastrointestinal upsets or malnourishment. Sasha’s fecal test results were back to normal, although he will always test positive for FCV.

It came time that we knew Sasha should be placed up for adoption – although we knew that it would be very difficult to find him a forever home.We did not want him to have to return to the shelter. Dr. Arad determined that, although Sasha appeared to only be a carrier of the Feline Corona Virus, we should play it safe and try to look for a home with no other pets. However, sometimes things just don’t work out how they are “supposed to!”

We received an inquiry from a lovely woman who had other cats in the home, but was very understanding of Sasha’s situation and history. She and her husband had many years of experience as cat owners, and were very knowledgeable. She had asked if we would consider letting her meet and/or adopt Sasha, despite having other felines in the home. Dr. Arad felt that if Sasha’s potential applicant discussed the situation with their own veterinarian, that we could consider this as an option for him. Although we wanted to play it safe, we also wanted to give Sasha a chance at the best possible life. After reviewing Sasha’s medical records, the veterinarian determined that it would be safe for Sasha to join the family and we even received a lovely reference letter and a letter of confirmation that Sasha’s FCV status had been discussed at length between the applicant and her veterinarian. Within the same day, we also received an exceptional application for Sasha!

Upon meeting Sasha at his foster home, his applicants fell in love with him right away! They knew within seconds that he was going to join their family and that it was “meant to be.” Sasha went home with them within the next couple of days, and his new family transitioned him into their home slowly, although he settled in immediately.

Currently, Sasha (now named Teddy) is enjoying the company of his new brothers and sisters and nobody would ever know how sick he used to be! Teddy enjoys normal cat activities and keeps his new family smiling with his antics. He is also reported to (still) be the sweetest and most affectionate cat ever. We are so grateful for his new family, and the opportunity they have given him. He is totally healthy, and his new family monitors him closely and are very committed to his health and wellbeing.

We are so thankful to our dedicated and skilled veterinarian, Dr. Guy Arad, as well as our Animal Care Team, who put their heart and soul into every animal they look after. We also could not have done this without a dedicated foster family, who stepped up and payed a huge role in Teddy’s happy ending.

This sort of story is possible because of the model of NO-KILL animal care RAPS has created, which combines the Shelter, the Sanctuary, fostering and the most devoted medical care and personal attention possible.

By creating the RAPS Regional Animal Hospital, we are confident that we can ensure more happy endings like Teddy’s for more animals than ever before. When you give… They live! Please help support RAPS

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