Help Puffin Heal

Help Puffin Heal2020-10-21T12:00:57-04:00
About 10 days after her third surgery, Puffin’s stitches were removed and she was put on antibiotics. After being under the care of our dedicated staff in the Alex Lewyt Medical Center for three months, Puffin was finally ready for a home of her very own. No more surgeries. She was transferred over to Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center in the hopes of finding her purr-fect match.

And that’s where Anthony and Veronika found her! They just couldn’t resist her sweet little face and wanted to adopt her right away. “We are so delighted to have a new member of our little family! Puffin has been the perfect addition with her quirky little attitude and endless curiosity,” said mom Veronika. “She has also showed us how to unconditionally love in such a short amount of time. How could you not love that face?!”

Anthony and Veronika have given her the nickname, Puff. Veronika says that Puff herself would like to give everyone an update:

“I love my nickname, Puff. My legs are healing perfectly so I can climb all over my new home like Spider Man! My favorite part of the day is when my mom and dad get home. I am so excited that I wait by the door for them and follow them around for some much-needed snuggles before it’s playtime! I love all my new toys, especially the ones with feathers and bells! I felt shy at first, but now I am curious as ever and always under mom and dad’s feet to see what they’re doing! I am an only child, but I love meeting all of my new friends and family.”

Tiny Puffin defied the odds after a traumatic impact on the streets of Brooklyn and now she is loved and will be living a wonderful, happy life on Long Island with her new family. “Having Puff in our home has brought us so much joy and laughter, as well as anyone who gets an opportunity to meet her or even see her,” exclaimed Veronika. “Her precious little face lights up any room. We are so excited for the years and memories to come!”

After the initial surgery to place the pin, Puffin developed a persistent infection in the area. Repeat x-rays revealed that the fracture was healed so the veterinarian scheduled another surgery to go back in and remove the pin. The coiled wire was left in place. Then, while Puffin was under already under sedation, the femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery was performed on her left hip. This procedure removes the “ball,” or head of the femur, that is part of the hip joint. The surrounding muscles and the scar tissue that develops work together to act as a “false joint” and there is no longer any pain.

Everyone thought that would be her last surgery. But poor Puffin had a persistent draining tract on the outside of her thigh, where the broken bone had originally poked through. A tract like this develops due to inflammation and the material generated seeks to drain to the outside of the body. The veterinary team decided they needed to take her back to surgery again. “We found a small, loose piece of dead bone that didn’t heal and it was floating around in there,” said Dr. Mark Verdino, Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Staff at Animal League America. “We removed that bit of bone and closed her back up. We are hopeful that now she can finish healing and will be ready for adoption soon.”

Tiny Kitten Survives Deadly Impact but Faces an Uncertain Future

At only eight weeks old, tiny Puffin has survived a traumatic impact that might have killed even a larger cat.  No one knows for sure, but it’s likely that Puffin was hit by a car in Brooklyn, NY.  It was a miracle that she survived and she needed intensive medical care immediately.

As soon as North Shore Animal League America’s Rescue Team received the call, they raced to the Animal Care Centers to pick her up. On first examination, Puffin’s right hind leg was lame. She was barely able to stand on her left hind leg and only in a sad-looking, hunched over position. The attending veterinarian at our Pet Health Centers ordered full body x-rays and luckily her lungs had not been affected and there were no other internal injuries.

“This was a pretty gruesome injury. The femur broke and came through the skin,” said Dr. Mark Verdino, Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Staff at Animal League America. “The open wound then became infected. The left hip was also dislocated. It would have taken a significant impact to cause both of these injuries.”

Now, it was up to the veterinary staff to determine the best way to proceed to heal Puffin, given her multiple injuries. Something had to be done quickly. “If it wasn’t for the dislocated left hip, we would have opted for an amputation of the right hind leg given the severity of the injury and the infection,” stated Dr. Verdino. “However, if we amputated her right hind limb, she would have been left with only her abnormal left hind limb and may not have been able to walk. We opted to try the repair and aggressive antibiotic therapy.”

Before surgery.

After surgery.

It was a difficult surgery and doctors needed to realign the bones before placing a large pin and three wires to hold them together. Puffin is still recovering in the emergency care unit and she’s starting to stand. The veterinarians all say she is so sweet, super cute, and such a good patient!

Her bones will take some time to heal and she still faces some major hurdles. The veterinary technicians have to watch out for any ongoing infection that could slow down her healing and she’s still being treated with antibiotics. Then, of course, she will face more surgery on her hip. Meanwhile, this courageous kitten is giving it everything she’s got in her struggle to walk again.

This type of case is something we see far too often, especially during Kitten Season. When stray cats give birth in record numbers and their kittens are left to struggle for survival. Your support of our Help Me Heal Program will help Puffin, and animals like her to get the lifesaving care they need, and the opportunity to one day become a cherished companion.