We were recently contacted about a very special cat in need. As a kitten, Ziggy was declawed which is now causing complications in his now adult, 7-year-old life. We must stress our goal with this post is to advoCATe for Ziggy and hopefully further eduCATe about the ramifications of declawing along with providing information about humane alternatives (see our partner organization, Alaska’s KAAATs Paws Need Claws Brochure).
Ziggy started having issues with his front right paw, an infection in the bone, a while ago, therefore he began treatment with his vet. When his owner felt he wasn’t getting the proper care he was referred to another vet who did an exam, X-rays and discussed the options. Sadly due to the damage to his paw from the Nocardia infection and the disintegration of the bone (which you can see in the X-Ray), amputation was the best option for helping him as advised by the specialist. His owner was struggling with this decision and asked to give him medication to fight the infection.
Sadly it wasn’t improving, however, thanks to the efforts of very kind people, his owner reached out to us for support. It was shared with us that the owner was not prepared to handle keeping Ziggy if he needed the amputation and had even considered euthanasia. We discussed his quality of life and what that would look like. His quality of life now is awful. Ziggy is in constant pain, has built resistance to antibiotics, struggles to walk and is 19 pounds! Having so much pain in his paw led him to be less active which didn’t help with his weight. We discussed that if he continues in this way, he will only suffer more. However, on the other hand, providing him with the amputation surgery would only improve his quality of life and allow him to live a much happier, active one.
We were in a bind at first. We wanted to be able to help Ziggy and bring him into our Mojo’s Hope program but had to make sure we had a quiet spot for him where he could be on his own as we work through his transition. Not only would he need a spot for recovery, but Ziggy also has never lived with other animals.
Thankfully we were able to arrange a purrfect spot for him and we picked him up on Thursday. His owner completed our owner surrender form, including an agreement about not declawing any future cats (if adopting again). We also received a generous donation towards his surgery which we appreciated.
Yesterday we took him into our fab vet at VCA Alaska Pet Care Animal Hospital and reviewed all of the diagnostics done, did a wellness exam and our vet is discussing the X-Rays with the specialist again. Since he was already consulted with through the previous vet, limb amputation is likely the way we will need to go. We are starting Ziggy on special food to help with his weight loss, along with building enrichment activities to help get him a bit more active in the interim. We have him on meds to help alleviate the pain in his paw and his surgery will be scheduled for as soon as possible.
We do not have an estimate on the amputation surgery yet, but based upon our previous experiences with amputations, we know it will be costly. If you would like to donate towards Ziggy’s surgery and care, we have several options:
1. The @venmo app we receive the funds without any fees. Just search for @mojoshope
2. Our PayPal link on our website: http://mojoshope.org/donate/
3. Through the Facebook Link on this post.
4. Through the mail: 2440 E Tudor Rd PMB 896 Anchorage, AK 99507
Ziggy has settled in very nicely in his foster home and we are grateful we will be able to help him to have a fulfilling life free of pain and onto his next adventure once he has recovered.