Extra Love Needed: Meet Snoopy

 
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Snoopy’s mom for answering the questions. You can follow his journey on his facebook page – Snoopy Whoopie -. Pictures used with permission.
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Snoopy Snoopy was born on August 24th of 2011 at our home . We never knew of his condition maybe until 2 weeks after birth When I saw him I knew he was my special little angel. We kept him and his sister Lady and he also has a brother named shaggy who we gave a home.
How does he normally get around?
Snoopy normally gets around without his wheels due to the stairs and we have outside. Kinda steep and dangerous for him to be on his wheels.
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When did he get his first set of wheels?
Snoopy got his first wheel said maybe around April or May of last year. Snoopy he’s gotten some what used to his wheel. He’s not 100% there but still working process. He practice at least when we try to practice three times a week for 30 minutes or as long as he can handle it. When he gets tired he’ll get of them and rest for good while or for the rest of the day.
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What is his favorite thing to do?
  His favorite things to do is eat and of course play with the cats.
What advise does your mom have for people who want to adopt a dog that is missing a leg (or two?)
My advice to people that want to adopt a special needs pets do it. I think that’s the best thing you can ever do. It just feels right and they need love too. When you do it it makes you view life a whole different way. Just remember just because they are different does not mean there no good. It just means there special little angel that can give you lots of love. Snoopy and his furry family are my everything and it makes me happy that they are happy.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Scooter

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Scooter’s Mom for letting me bombard her with questions. Please stop by Scooter‘s page and give her mom some love as she is missing her furbaby dearly. Many thanks to Miss Tami for letting me borrow pictures for the article. 


 

 

How did Scooter come into your life? 
Scooter was found on Oct 31, 2014 under a pile of brush. I had heard her softly crying the night before, but could not locate her. I actually thought I was looking for a injured bird.
The next morning I got up and went out I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. 
It had gotten down to the below 30s that night.. I didn’t think it would have survived. 
As I stepped outside and let my dogs out, I hear her crying, this time a bit more loudly. 
I tracked her to the brush pile and asked a neighbor to help me get in to it, as it was on his side of the fence.. I told him, Something is in there crying, as we tore the branches away he spotted her all nestled up against a pile of bagged leaves. Poor little baby. She was shivering. I brought her inside and wrapped her in a warm towel, as well as my sweater. She was so cold.

My daughter and I got into the car and went and bought her supplies, formula, and what not. Thank you to Iowa Pet Foods & Seascapes for all your help! 
We then noticed after we got her home that her back legs weren’t working, she was pulling herself with her front legs.
So off to the vet we went. Turns out she is a very healthy lucky kitten who was a bit dehydrated but otherwise in good health. According to the vet she was born a paraplegic, therefore, that is why we think her mama left her. 
The vet had taken xrays and noticed her joints in her hind legs were all backwards and  her pelvis is extremely small and he predicted that she would not live past  6 months of age due to her organs being crowded. Due to being a paraplegic she has no control over her bodily functions so she does wear a diaper.

Scoot aka Baaby, is now a active and busy 8 month old kitten. She has really no issues at this time, other than she for some reason has begun to chew her foot. We are not sure why she is doing this so we currently keep it covered and that helps her leave it alone.

Is she on a special diet? 

Scoot is on a normal dry cat food. I cant switch her diet up as it gives her really bad diarrhea. She eats “Fromm” Cat food.
Did she have to do any physical therapy or medication?

We did PT with her when she was a baby using water therapy and moving her muscles.. over time her hips and legs began to stiffen more and eventually fused so that they no longer bend. No medication is needed for her condition. She is in no pain.
 
How does she get around?
She gets around on her bum… by scooting…  🙂 Her favorite activity is going down the stairs and meowing for me to come get her as she cant get back up by herself.. but going down is so much fun for her.. 🙂
 
Does she have any fursiblings?
Scooter is the baby of the family.. she has 3 older furbaby dogs.. Rosco who is 12, Carli who is 6 and Zoe who is 3. They love to watch over her and really snuggle with her when its nap time… We also have 3 geckos and 2 fish tanks.
What would you like to tell other cats that need extra love? 
Don’t give up, keep fighting… there is someone out there who loves you, they just may not have found you yet.
Dedication:
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Scooter
Fly free sweetheart, know you will never be forgotten and you will always be loved.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Bounce

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Bounce & her caretaker. 🙂 If you are interested in reading more abut CH Cats, I have included two articles at the bottom of the interview.

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Thank you so much for letting me interview you. 

-My pleasure! I love talking with all my friends, especially if they are snuggling me!


First, where did your name come from?
-At first, the wonderful people at Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary called me “Blip”, which was because I think they just didn’t quite understand me.  I was just a baby, so my words still didn’t quite come out right.  When daddy found me, though, and asked my name, he understood.  He’s had kitties for a loooooong time. (He’s old, you know)
I have the name “Bounce”, though, because I don’t move quite right.  I bounce and flop around some because I have something called Cerebellar Hypoplasia (or CH for short).  It varies in severity with different kitties, but basically the Cerebellum didn’t develop quite right, so it seems like we CH kitties are drunk all the time.  Some of us just walk a little stiff legged, or high step.  Some of us can’t walk at all.  I’m somewhere in the middle.  But I still get around just fine and use the kitty box okay… most of the time.
How did you come to live with your dad?
-Well, my daddy and mommy came to Best Friends Adoption Center looking for a calico, but as soon as daddy saw me, he fell in love and took me up to the counter to adopt me.  I thought that was funny, because he wasn’t supposed to do that. He was supposed to have the really awesome helpers there get me out of the little house and bring me up.
Do you do any therapy to help your balance?
-Not specifically.  Sometimes daddy or someone will give me a treat, and because I can’t really keep my head steady sometimes, it’s hard to pick up.  When that happens, the figured out that if they just put a couple fingers on the back of my head and neck, I’m able to get the treats a lot easier.  I also fall over a lot more when I get excited, so when that happens, they just talk to me or stop me for a second and calm me down.  Mostly, though, I just get to run around and get strong and play how I play.  It’s a little different, but I still have a lot of fun and do just fine.
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Did your dad make any adjustments to your home to make sure you don’t hurt yourself?
-Not really.  A few little things, like making sure I don’t get by the stairs by shutting that door, and moving some of the harder things that I could bonk my head against if I’m trying to run, but otherwise I mostly just flop my sides against the walls and stuff.  They keep a good eye on me though and learned very quickly that even though I can’t jump, I can climb great!  Daddy was so funny, the first few times he saw me figure out how to get OFF of the bed or couch.  I learned to grab on with my hands and sort of flop my butt to the floor then let go.  I know they love me a lot and will always make sure I’m okay, even if I get huffy and grumpy when they try to help me.  I’m a very independent kitty.
Do you have any fur siblings you live with?
-I sure do!  Eden is a very pretty grey kitty, and Ken-Oki and Ryo-Oki are “tuxedo cats”.  Eden took a little while to warm up to me, but she’s a super hero to me.  She’s so graceful and fast and smart!  Now she loves me, and I love her a whole bunch.  The Okis are a lot older, they’re 14 now, almost 15.  Ken-Oki is the more friendly one, and we will hang out together a little bit sometimes.  Ryo is super pretty, but very shy.  She’s really nice, but we don’t interact a whole lot.

What would you or your dad like to tell people about ch?
Hi everyone, James here now.  If I could tell people about CH cats, I would tell everyone that CH is NOT contagious.  CH cats are generally not helpless at all, unless it is very severe.  I would also say that CH cats are just like any other cat, they are just wobbly.  They are lovable, sweet, and although physically not quite as capable they seem to be outlandishly clever.  There are a couple concessions one needs to make with CH cats, such as making sure that they can eat and drink okay, and occasionally giving them a bath, if they fall into the litter box incorrectly.  I’ve found that a Litter Maid litter box works great to fix that last issue though.  CH cats make GREAT lap cats, because they are comfortable laying down and leaning against things for support.  Most importantly though, they just want to be loved and have a forever home with people who care about them, just like every other kitty out there.

What is your favorite thing to do?
-Cuddle!  I love to cuddle!  I also like eating… a LOT!  I use a lot of energy just getting around.  With the way I move, I essentially travel twice as far, sometimes more, to get somewhere.  It’s also made me super strong though.  I even like to go on car rides!  Traveling is super duper fun!

Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
-About myself, no.  I just want to reinforce what daddy said about adopting CH kitties.  Don’t walk away from us just because we move a little funny.  We are an adventure unto ourselves, as we don’t know where we are going all the time, and when we play we don’t really have any idea where our toys are going to end up.  We’re just a little different physically, but we are still wonderful, smart, loving cats who want to share your life and your heart.  So please, when looking to adopt a kitty, don’t shun one just because it has a difference.  Just because a kitty might be missing an eye or a leg or is clumsy or deaf, doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have a heart and a lot of love to give you.

What is Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

Cerebellar Hypoplasia (cer·e·bel·lar hy·po·pla·sia) is a disorder found in cats and dogs which causes jerky movements, tremors, and generally uncoordinated motion, just like ataxic cerebral palsy in humans.  A cat with CH often falls down and has trouble walking or cannot seem to walk at all.  CH in cats is non-progressive, meaning it does not get worse with age.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia occurs when the cerebellum, the part of the brain which controls fine motor skills and coordination, is not completely mature at birth.  Symptoms of CH can usually be seen immediately at birth.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia is most commonly caused by the kitten’s mother contracting the Panleukopenia virus while pregnant. If the mother passes on the virus during the end of pregnancy, the kittens can be born with CH. Kittens with CH are not infected with or carriers of the Panleukopenia virus, it has only stunted their cerebellum’s growth while in the womb. Cerebellar Hypoplasia can also occur if a trauma, including malnutrition, occurs to the kittens while in the womb.

Cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia are often euthanized, as people misunderstand the condition as being painful and/or contagious.  However, they have a normal life expectancy and are very affectionate, sweet, and loving.  They return the extra care they need with an intense love for and bond with their adoptive families.

The Truth About CH Cats

At this time, many veterinary and rescue professionals are still unaware of CH.  Many CH cats are needlessly euthanized before given a chance at a proper diagnosis and life, making it harder for awareness about the condition to grow.

Cats with CH:

  • Are not in any pain
  • Are not contagious
  • Have a normal life expectancy
  • Live happy, healthy lives
  • Learn to adapt their abilities and compensate over  time
  • Can be spayed/neutered safely
  • Need to be indoor-only & should never be declawed
  • May require no extra care, or a great deal of extra care, depending on their severity
  • Can be more prone to accident-related injuries, like chipped teeth or broken nails

 

Severity Levels of CH Cats

Mild

Cats with mild CH are very capable and require little to no extra care.

Symptoms:

  • Unusual gait (high step or waddle)
  • Occasional balance loss
  • May have subtle head tremors when excited or stressed

Abilities:

  • Walk
  • Run
  • Jump
  • Stairs

Special Care:

  • Cannot live outdoors
  • May prefer a modified litter box with high sides
  • Prefer carpet or rugs, but not a necessity

 

Moderate

Cats with moderate CH can get around on their own, but one end of their body may appear to be doing something else than the other end.

Symptoms:

  • Walk with legs splayed in a wide stance
  • Frequent balance loss, falls
  • Noticeable head tremors, especially when excited or stressed

Abilities:

  • Walk short distances
  • Expert climbers

Special Care:

  • Cannot live outdoors
  • Prefer a modified litter box with high sides to support themselves against; can be messier than non-CH cats
  • Have an easier time balancing on carpet or rugs
  • Raised food & water dishes
  • Modified furniture to protect them from getting hurt when they fall (e.g. adding bumpers)

Severe

Cats with severe CH cannot walk on their own and require a great deal of special care.

Symptoms:

  • Cannot walk or stand
  • Flip and Flop to get around
  • Constant head tremors

Abilities:

  • Expert climbers

Special Care:

  • Cannot live outdoors
  • May need help using the litter box;  prefer a modified litter box with high sides or pee-pee pads
  • Prefer carpet to help grip and propel themselves forward
  • May need help getting set up at their food dish
  • Modified furniture to protect them from getting hurt when they fall (e.g. adding bumpers)
  • Are ideal candidates for wheelchairs, which can help improve mobility and coordination

7 Things You Should Know About Cerebellar Hypoplasia

1. CH arises because of exposure to a virus or prenatal trauma

If a pregnant cat is exposed to the virus — or the vaccine — for panleukopenia late in her pregnancy, the developing kittens’ brains can be affected. But not every kitten in a panleukopenia-exposed litter will develop CH. The condition can also be caused by prenatal trauma, including malnutrition.

2. Kittens are born with the condition

You may be able to see right away that a kitten has CH because she doesn’t seem to be able to get herself into the right position for anything. If you don’t notice it at birth, you’ll certainly notice something is amiss once the kittens start crawling and walking around.

3. There are different levels of severity

Cats with mild CH have few symptoms. They may have a slightly waddling gait, but they’re quite capable of getting around like other cats. Moderate CH is a bit more challenging for cats because they can’t seem to get their whole body to work together sometimes, and they tend to have a splayed walk. When stressed, they can develop head tremors or have more difficulty getting around. Cats with severe CH need a lot of special care: They typically can’t walk on their own, have almost constant head tremors, and flip and flop to get around.

4. CH is not a progressive condition

A cat’s cerebellar hypoplasia isn’t going to get worse over time. It’s not going to get better, either, but as a cat learns to adapt to the condition it can appear that she’s improving. Physical therapy and hydrotherapy can help a CH cat to adapt to her disability.

 

5. CH is not contagious

There’s no reason to fear bringing a CH cat into your home, because your other cats won’t catch the disease. CH is congenital — kittens are born with it — and don’t acquire it later in life.

6. CH cats can live with non-CH cats

It may take a little while for a non-CH cat to get used to a CH cat’s body language, since CH cats don’t move like ordinary cats, but CH kitties can be integrated into a household just like any other cats.

7. CH cats have a normal life expectancy

Cerebellar hypoplasia is not a life-shortening condition. Although their lack of coordination can increase their risk of injuries, it does not predispose them to any other illnesses.

There’s no reason to be scared of cats with cerebellar hypoplasia. They don’t suffer, they’re not in pain, and they love and purr just as much as ordinary cats.


If you are interested in adopting a ch cat, please visit – http://chcat.org/

This article is a part of the extra love needed theme, for more interviews with pets that need extra love and care, please click on the below badge.

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