It has already been more than two years since Neige was found living in the street by a veterinary technician. Neige was very small and emaciated at the time. The technician asked the Refuge pour chats de Verdun whether we would take care of Neige; that is, whether we would agree to assume her healthcare costs and undertake to find an adoptive family for her. Because the Refuge never has enough foster families, the technician agreed to become Neige's foster mother while she convalesced, and until she was adopted.
A preliminary veterinary exam revealed that Neige was suffering from severe rhinotracheitis, that she had not been spayed, and that her two front paws had been declawed. She was treated with antibiotics and spayed shortly thereafter. Not long after this, she developed another case of rhinitis, and was treated for weeks, then months, with a different antibiotic. However, the problem persisted. She was tested for leukemia/FIV. Fortunately, the test came back negative. Although this was encouraging, it did not bring her any closer to being cured. The Refuge decided to get a second opinion from another veterinarian. This veterinarian came to the conclusion that Neige was suffering from chronic rhinitis, which meant that Neige would have to take antibiotics whenever her rhinitis flared up, but that she was otherwise in good health.
This diagnosis presented the Refuge with a problem: given her health issues, it was proving nearly impossible to find an adoptive family for Neige. How could the Refuge estimate Neige's healthcare costs for a potential adopter? After spending several months with her first foster family, the technician who had taken her in could no longer care for her, so Neige was sent to live with a new foster family. We continued to look for a solution to Neige's problem, but her quality of life was not so bad, so she continued to live a normal life even though she needed to take medication on occasion.
Finally, after Stella's successful surgery (view Stella's Story), we decided to have Neige evaluated by the same veterinarian, who concluded that Neige suffered from the same problem as Stella. It was only then that we learned that the cause of Neige's recurring infections was an inflamed feline polyp in her right ear. The solution to all her problems was to have the polyp removed. All we had to do now was raise the funds to pay for the surgery*; no small feat, given that this type of procedure costs over $900.
Unfortunately for Neige, her health deteriorated in the weeks leading up to the surgery, requiring some serious veterinary intervention. After undergoing blood tests and an ultrasound, and spending several days at the veterinary clinic on an IV to administer the appropriate medication, Neige was back on her feet, and the veterinarian decided that she was healthy enough to have the polyp removed. However, Neige's case proved to be more complicated than Stella's. The polyp was too large to be removed using the same procedure; instead, the veterinarian had to cut her ear open to remove the polyp.
Despite having undergone such a major surgery, Neige recovered over time and returned to her foster home with an Elizabethan collar, which she wore without complaint. She had a follow-up appointment with the veterinarian, who concluded that the surgery was a success. She continues to recover well, eats with a good appetite, and breathes without any trouble at all.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to Neige's generous sponsors: Alain & Joanne, Andrea, Anita, Ashley, Carmen, Clothilde, Cynthia, Danielle, Danut, Frederic, Hilda, Joanne, Josée & Patrice, Louise, Michelle, Nathalie, Paul, Salammbô and Sandra.
She is a magnificent, courageous little cat who is very affectionate and full of life: after a few weeks of convalescence, Neige was adopted on July 4, 2011. She can now spend many well-deserved happy times!
Our heartfelt thanks go out to Neige's godmothers and godfathers!
* VBO (Ventral Bulla Osteotomy).