Flashback to October 29, 2016. A tiny, 2-month-old, grey puffball of a kitten with three legs is timestamped at ACCT Philly because of a suspected diaphragmatic hernia. Without hesitation, The Philly Kitty rescue confirmed we can help this adorable kitten, who I named Olive.
I picked up Olive from the shelter the following day. I've taken in many, many kittens in my almost 10 years of fostering, but I've never met a kitten quite like Olive. This girl was born with a congenital amputation of her left from leg, and when I placed my hand under her to lift her, I literally felt her heart beating against my fingers. Despite her physical differences, Olive is very much a normal kitten who has boundless energy, no fear, and gets into everything.
Our first step was to get Olive to an emergency vet (Mt Laurel Animal Hospital), where they took some x-rays. It turned out she doesn't have a hernia, but rather she is missing most of her sternum and her ribs haven't fused to the sternum section remaining. The recommendation was to let her grow for several months and recheck the x-rays to decide if surgical intervention was necessary.
On February 22, 2017, Olive was evaluated at VSEC Levittown to decide whether or not her condition required surgery. She had x-rays taken and got an ultrasound to better understand what was needed. Dr. Jennifer MacLeod recommended that we go ahead with surgical repair of Olive's sternum defect. Ideally, this repair would be performed soon since her bones are still "pliable" and would likely have a better surgical outcome.
We would love to give little Olive a chance at a normal life. A life where she can run and jump without the risk of injury to her unprotected heart.
Before any surgery, Olive's veterinary care is just shy of $1,000. The estimate for the surgical repair is from $3814.05 to $5062.79, assuming there are no complications. She will also be spayed at the time of the sternum repair and require postsurgical follow-up visits. Please consider donating towards Olive's surgical costs. All donations are tax deductable and will help us give Olive the full, happy life that she deserves!