Friday, September 29, 2017

Adopt A Less Adoptable Week Bug A Boo Update

With the possible hydrocephalus diagnosis for Joa's Arc foster kitten Miagi, you know who came to mind: Bug A Boo (now Cricket) and we were lucky enough to hear from her mom! Cricket's mom wrote to us and said we could share this exciting update:

I was just thinking of you since I had Cricket imaged at work yesterday. Finally had the MRI done - possible issues with her limbo sacral area of her spine. Fortunately her spine is beautiful. We imaged her brain as well since she was already under general anesthesia. She truly is a miracle!!! The hydrocephalus is so severe (the worst anyone had ever seen) that she really does not have a brain! I am glad that I was finally able to see what was going on in her little head.

The scan also answered a lot of questions for me. She will never be able to decrease or eliminate the Omeprazole or the phenobarbital and she will never be a candidate for the surgery - not enough brain to place a shunt. In spite of all her challenges, she continues to do extremely well and is so sweet. Absolutely amazing and we love her so much!!!!

I think that I realize that I have a thing for hydrocephalus animals - we adopted a "Cockalear" puppy back in April of this year with severe hydrocephalus that is probably a result of a malformation of her skull called "chiari". She is really sweet and doing amazingly well also. Her name is Francie (short for Francessca). We are smitten with her as well. Although I think that Oakley, my Dane, is not sure why we brought her home. You really can't tell anything is wrong with Francie except for her little dom shaped head.

We are so excited to be able to share this update about how Cricket continues to defy ALL the odds she's had stacked against her since birth. Amazing and so fascinating about her brain (or lack of) too, right? She's such a rare, amazing little girl!! And she is so so lucky to have her forever family.


#hydrocephalusawarenessmonth #hydrowarrior #thelegendaryhydrowarriors #hydrocephalus #hydroawareness #HAM2017

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Adopt A Less Adoptable Week Cricket

Our little Cricket was born with RH and so her front limbs are "twisted" making the way she gets around different. Though this definitely makes her "special", it doesn't make her challenging to care for and Cricket certainly doesn't realize there's anything "different" about her.

Cricket was adopted by her foster (and now forever) mom, Emily, who wrote to us saying:
Cricket was my first foster kitten. In the beginning when I agreed to foster, I had no intentions on keeping her. At first, she was scared, standoffish and understandably frightened of my other cats. So, I thought, "Well, this won't be too hard", but as time went on she started to grow on me, loving her head rubs, purring and my cat, Sheldon, just fell in love with her. I fell in love with her too pretty quickly after that and I realized that I was going to have a hard time giving her up.

Cricket soon realized that being the only little girl in the house was to her benefit and she has since ruled this house. She developed a close relationship with her older brother, Sheldon, who just loves wrestling with her - and she usually wins and can then be caught chasing him around the house. It's rather amusing to see all of her four older brothers cater to her knowing she is the one in control. She has become very spoiled and makes it known to everyone when she enters the room, usually at full speed, letting out her little girly cry. She's ornery and sassy and she makes me laugh everyday. She's obsessed with treats and wet food, loves catnip, wrestling, and has taken over the top of the cat tree where you can usually find her laying in the sun all day...

And, her little crooked front legs just make her extra cute in my eyes.

This was a great experience for me and I plan on fostering again in the future. It's a trial and error kind of experience (learning as you go along) that is so rewarding in the end. Thank you, Joa's Arc, from the bottom of my heart. You brought my late Winston into my life and now Cricket.

*Note: we don't call a foster who adopts a "foster failure" - we call them wonderful adopters! Thank you, Emily, for caring for Cricket and welcoming her into your family forever.


#adoptalessadoptable #handicapable #specialneeds

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Adopt A Less Adoptable Week Layla the TriPod

A special spotlight for a special kitty. Her foster mom writes:

Layla* is a beautiful 4 year old kitty who had an unfortunate and very traumatic incident with a dog. Her leg was broken and so damaged that it had to be amputated. So Layla is now what we call a tri-pod kitty.

While she now only has 3 legs, Layla has adapted very well. She has learned to balance herself and gets around like any other cat. Layla is very sweet, loving and friendly. All she does is purr and make biscuits. She will follow you around and she will also hop up on the sofa to lay with you – purring the entire time. She can be a little shy initially (like a lot of cats), but warms up very quickly. It has only been about 3 weeks since her surgery and she is already acting just like any other cat.

Fostering is so crucial and Layla is a purrfect example of that. For a kitty like Layla, her future was uncertain and so the shelter made a social-media post about needing a foster for her. They wanted Layla to recover in a clean, calm environment with a family to tend and keep a close eye on her - giving Layla the best shot they could.

Layla's foster mom is no stranger to fostering special pets and kitties. In her words, she's a sucker! :) But we did ask her about fostering special needs pets and why she stepped up for Layla. She said: I honestly saw her post - and of course we are all visual so there were pictures and I felt really bad. I felt bad for her situation, but I also felt bad that she would have to recover in a shelter in a crate/cage with her incision. How would she learn to walk being in a crate? Not bashing shelters - they do what they can, but even the kindest, most animal-centered ones are limited... every shelter is super crowded, super busy, super loud and knowing how it's hard for the "special needs" ones to get what they need in a shelter environment... I just stepped up for Layla. I had to. I didn't even really have the space - I had to put her in a bathroom until I could shift things around in my house for her, but even in the bathroom, she could at least hop around.

So, according to this foster mom, sometimes you see a picture and you just jump in, which I guess really is the case a lot of times. In doing special needs rescue, we say yes not always knowing how long we'll have them or how much work it'll be - it's sometimes trial & error as we learn what they need to make their lives as comfortable & happy as possible. But the most important aspect, the thing that makes it all worth it - is they are safe and have the chance at a great life because you said yes to fostering. Layla's recovering in a wonderful foster home because someone stepped up for her and she's got a shot at a wonderful (3-legged) future in front of her.

*Layla is located in South Jersey, but is not with Joa's Arc rescue. If you have any interest in giving her a forever home, let us know and we can put you in contact with her foster mom.


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Monday, September 18, 2017

Dory on The DoDo

Our Dory's story made it on to The DoDo. We are so proud of her and her forever mom for all they are accomplishing!!


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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Walter Update

Walter update: As we expected, Walter's neuro issue is not cerebellar hypoplasia. He was seen by neurologist Dr Bendicenti, DVM at the University of Pennsylvania and also was evaluated with a geneticist at Penn. They agreed that he has a degenerative disease affecting the nervous system most likely a storage disease. To pinpoint which storage disease it is, it would involve a series of tests including muscle and nerve biopsies which are tedious and painful. Even with the correct one identified, there is no treatment for any of them so we will not subject him to this testing. Sadly this type of disease will progress over time. We can say Walter is in no pain so we will monitor him and allow him to enjoy his life for however long that may be. He can live a few weeks or a few months or a few years, no one knows.

Seriously Walter is a sweet guy who will purr in your arms and loves to wrestle with Sid. As long as he is happy, we are happy to care for him. Think good thoughts for Walter!

Details here:

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Miagi has hydrocephalus

Today Miagi was seen by neurologist Dr Benedicenti, DVM at the University of Penn. We will be treating him for possible toxoplasmosis and hydrocephalus. Dr Benedicenti suggests an MRI after the treatment for toxo is complete. This treatment is a four week course of clindamycin and if he has toxo we should see an improvement in his neuro status. Testing for toxo is inconclusive, so treating is the appropriate course of action to rule it out.

As for the hydrocephalus, he just recently started to exhibit signs of it. This may be secondary to a lesion in his brain. An MRI will be done in the weeks to come as long as he remains stable. At his age, MRI imaging can easily miss a minuscule lesion so waiting four to six weeks will be beneficial. Luckily his foster mom is highly experienced with hydro, so he is in good hands.

He also is deaf and has vision only out of one eye.

We will be doing a special fundraiser in the near future for Miagi's medical expenses. Of course, this is not what we wanted to hear, but we will move forward and do whatever needs to be done since he is a happy, sweet kitten that melts the hearts of everyone he meets. Please see the video of Miagi below - this is why we do what we do: he loves life!

#hydrocephalusawarenessmonth #hydrowarrior #thelegendaryhydrowarriors #hydrocephalus #hydroawareness #HAM2017

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