Sammi came to us at 4 weeks old with a semi-feral mom and one sibling, CustardPie.
It was evident from the start that Sammi had problems. His hind legs dragged behind him and he pulled himself along with his front feet. He had standard kitten illnesses too, like an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria causing horrible liquid diarrhea and dehydration.
Sammi was given SQ fluids, NutriCal suppliment, KMR, and Clavamox to build his strength and put him on the road to health. He did not always nurse, so he received two meals a day from a bottle until he was weaned.
His hind legs have full range of motion, but were thin and weak. He could not hold them under him, but tried to scrabble with them as he walked.
To build strength, he had a PT routine, first extending & retracting the legs without any weight on them, then holding him so he stood on his hind legs and doing "squats."
His legs became stronger and he walked more on his own, after about three weeks he could run and even hop. It was then that his other problem became evident. Sammi could not see except for very close up.
He was given daily vision tests, to see if he could track a finger close to his face, and farther away. To see if he would respond to something coming straight towards him, or from the sides.
Sammi mapped out his world carefully, and was always surprised by the other cats suddenly appearing. He would look in the general direction of his human mom when she talked to him and make his way over.
Then one day, on 6-15, he followed the finger that went back and forth in front of him. The next day he was staring at things, focusing on them. The day after that he was tracking his human mom across the kitchen and making a beeline towards her. He began deliberately going up to things and staring at them. He became much more interactive with his environment and even started pouncing on small pieces of lint.
For most of this time he never made a noise. Not a mew, not a purr. He would open his mouth, but never any sound. The same weekend he began to see, he began to vocalize. A tiny mew surprised his human mom one morning. When she held him she could feel an unsteady purr. Two days later his purr was audible, a soft and steady sound.
Sammi, most likely, has brain damage. This can happen if a pregnant cat is exposed to the Panleukopenia Virus. The mom cat may not get sick, but the virus will hurt some or all of the developing kittens. The most common signs are blindness and co-ordination problems. For some kittens the damage is permanent. We are lucky that with time, Sammi has made immense progress. Some people would have put him to sleep early on. But once again we see that given time and TLC a kitten was able to overcome his disabilities.
Sammi may have future problems, we do not know what other damage was done.
He definitly has some spinal problems, as there is a dip between his shoulder blades. His hips also have some problem that is very clear when watching him walk.
On 6/23 Sammi developed an abscess on his right forearm. In spite of being treated & spending all of monday at the vet, it got considerably worse by tues eve.
Sammi was taken to the emergency clinic and had surgery on his arm. Due to the presence of a lotof necrotic tissue and its sudden appearance without any apparnet injury, and the amount of swelling, the clinic diagnosed him with a spider bite.
Sammi appeared to be recovering from his spider bite. He would run around and play, had a good appetite, but the swelling continued to spread. All of his skin turned blue, altho he was not anemic. Even tho the infection was cleared up by Friday, the swelling was still getting worse. He was given a shot of steriods Saturday morning. While it made him feel better, the swelling continued to spread. He went down suddenly Sunday afternoon, and despite everything that coudl be done he passed away at 11:11 pm.
We are having a necropsy done so we can understand what happened. I suspect the spider venom did a great deal more damage than was apparent.
Goodbye little Sammi, we will miss you very much.
Necropsy results came back July 15. The infection had spread througout his system, most notably in his lungs. He was also still positive for roundworms, in spite of being wormed 4 times. The vet said that because of his developmental delays, it is possible his immune system was not developed enough for him to handle the infection.
These are photos showing his leg the morning of June 30. This is what a spider can do to a kitten