Gunners Story

Gunner was once a stray living on the streets in bad shape. He was suffering from an awful skin and upper respiratory infection - a few weeks of antibiotics should get him healthy and back to normal, right? Boy were we wrong.

Follow along with Gunners' story and how he is worth saving.

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The Beginning

September 17th, 2021

Gunner was spotted by a volunteer and at first glance he was a cat we could just not ignore. We could see just how bad of shape he was in and how much he needed our help. He was very easy to trap with how hungry he was.

 

We were able to get him in first thing Monday, our vet had to anesthetized me because at the time we thought he was feral.

They did bloodwork (a CBC and chem panel) and a combo test to check for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus/FIV and leukemia (negative - woo hoo!).
They also neutered and vaccinated him, gave him a flea preventative and treated for ear mites, a Convenia antibiotic injection for a wound on his back foot, and ran a couple of different fecal tests because he was covered in diarrhea and his bum was red and raw.

 

Gunners bloodwork showed that he was anemic - likely from parasites and poor nutrition - and it was obvious he had a horrible upper respiratory infection. And they noticed that he had three broken teeth! He was sent home with medicine for his URI and diarrhea and made plans to schedule a dental and extractions.

At the one week mark, he was feeling better and surprised his rescuer by letting out a big meow and asking for attention! He secretly was the sweetest cat ever!

She let me out of the dog crate to love on me and realized that I was limping badly.

Earlier this week, I went back to the vet and had bloodwork done a second time to make sure my anemia is headed in the right direction. With the improvement, the vet felt confident proceeding with my full dental and extractions because those three broken teeth were painful. They also took x-rays of my front leg and found out it’s BROKEN!
 

Gunner’s vet care to date has totaled about $500 and he’ll need bloodwork done at least two more times to check his anemia number.

We have two options for the broken right front leg. We can amputate at a cost of about $300 or speak with specialtist to see if the fracture can be repaired.
 

This is just the beginning.

Can we save his leg?

October 12th, 2021

He's been with us for five weeks now and he's the best boy!

His upper respiratory infection has cleared, his constant and explosive diarrhea is no more, his bite wounds and scratches have healed, the missing fur on either side of his face has grown back, and his mouth is feeling so much better after a full dental and the extractions of three broken and painful teeth. The only thing that's left is to address is the broken right front leg.

The veterinarian who did the x-rays referred us to two local vets who are really good with orthopedics. One said he could not take Gunner on as a client because his schedule was too full, and the other said he could repair the fracture (and also place a screw to connect the dislocated radius to the ulna) the week of September 20th.

With that being said, there's been an unexpected change of plans. At the start of the week that was to be to the week of the leg repair, we called to follow up with the vet and were told by his assistant that he could no longer do it.

 

This change of plans led us to consult with a surgical specialist at MedVet Indianapolis (MedVet Toledo no longer has surgeons on staff).

The specialist explained that this type of fracture is 100% a defensive fracture, like if we put our arms up to block off an attack. We again want to thank every single person who donated, shared our original post, and sent good thoughts. Nothing bad will ever happen to this sweet boy again.

The specialist (and two other surgeons in the practice) feel strongly that - due to the age and location of the fracture - amputation is the best decision. She also explained that there are some splintered-off pieces in the leg. Leaving them would be uncomfortable like always having pebbles in your shoe, but removing them will negatively affect a joint.....so even if we repair the leg fracture, there's still this issue. She's concerned that he'll develop bad arthritis at some point and will need an amputation before his life is over, even if we repair the leg now.

With that being said Gunner is having his amputation tomorrow, October 13th!

Please keep Gunner in your thoughts and send good vibes, and we will continue to share updates including when he's available for adoption!

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Healing

October 16th, 2021

Gunners amputations went wonderfully! He is doing well after his surgery!

He’s been figuring out how to get around with three legs.

He sometime gets stuck like a turtle on his back but he is able to flip himself right back over.

But we are currently working on getting his strength up and getting him on the road to finding a forever home!

During his surgery we also had a small lump removed that was noticed during his physical exam. It has been sent out to make sure it isn’t anything.

 

Luckily everything came back benign! Our biggest worry was cancer and this poor guy has already been though A LOT!

Ready for a home!

November 29th, 2021

We've been working hard on Gunners strength and he is so excited to announce he's been cleared by our vet to start finding a forever home!

He made himself at home with his foster family and has become fast friends with the resident cats and 75 pound dog, but he's ready for his forever home!

WHAT HE GETS: His happily ever after and the best Christmas present!

WHAT YOU GET: A big, fluffy dude who is soft like a cloud and sweet like pie!

You would never know that this is the same cat who was anemic and hobbling around the woods all alone with a severe upper respiratory infection, constant and explosive diarrhea, bite wounds and scratches, no fur on either side of his face, three broken teeth, a broken pelvis, and a fractured front leg.

 

Three months later, all of his medical issues have been resolved and he has one less leg!

 

We didn’t have room to take in another cat, and we hadn’t planned on one with extraordinary veterinary bills, but we could not allow him to stay on the streets. We made it work. YOU made it work.

A Home for the Holidays?

December 14th, 2021

Remember Gunner who one of our volunteers found all alone in the woods in August with tons of medical issues? We were initially hopeful that a vet would be able to repair his fractured leg, and then we thought we fundraised too much when an amputation was the only option?!

In the weeks that followed, additional x-rays revealed he also had a SI luxation (pelvis issue) and he developed two gnarly growths that were likely adverse reactions to vaccinations. One was removed and both were biopsied (benign!).

All together, his medical expenses totaled almost $1,700!

Thanks to everyone who donated, shared, and sent positive thoughts, Gunner is now happy, healthy and ADOPTED!

That's right, Gunner moved into his forever home today where he'll have a cat brother and a dog sister!

 

Gunner is home for the holidays!

Oh no!

February 1st, 2022

Dear Community,

We need you. Gunner needs you.

He's back in our care and unable to walk.

Gunner is the stray who came to us in late August. He was found all alone in the woods un-neutered with a severe upper respiratory infection, no fur on either side of his face, a wound on his back foot, ear mites, and three broken teeth. He was anemic, his right front leg was fractured (and we amputated), and he had a SI luxation (pelvis issue). We consulted with a specialist, and by Christmas, Gunner was happy, healthy and adopted.

Over the last two weeks, Gunner has experienced a medical crisis that no one anticipated. He was hospitalized with a bowel blockage that we now know is a result of him not wanting to get-up or walk (and therefore not go to the litter box). X-rays show nothing wrong and no changes compared to previous x-rays. He was literally fine one day and not the next. The specialist suspects that scar tissue may have developed that is negatively affecting the sciatic nerve.

Gunner needs a MRI (of the spine) and CT Scan (of the pelvis) for a definitive diagnosis! The estimate is $3,500 - $4,500 (plus $1,300 worth of vet bills from the bowel blockage).

Dr. Becky Ball at MedVet Indianapolis has provided feedback on Gunner's case since we found him (on her free time and at no charge). She can squeeze him in this coming Tuesday, February 8th, but Fur Angels Rescue is a small group and we need to make sure we have the money to pay the bill before we can move forward. (MedVet Toledo no longer has specialists and surgeons on staff, and Michigan State and OSU are booked until April and July respectively.)

Gunner is currently very comfortable on pain meds, and Miralax and lactulose to keep him pooing normally. He's using the litter box when we place him in it, eating like a piggy, rolling over for belly rubs, wanting to be loved on, and giving love. He'll sit up, but he won't stand or walk.

We obviously don't know what the MRI and CT Scan will reveal. We hope like crazy that it shows a problem that can be fixed because - despite the fact that the cost of potential surgery is already causing much anxiety - the alternative is a quality of life issue.

We never want to let cost stand in the way of an animal getting the care they need. Gunner deserves for us to do everything within our power to get a diagnosis and try to restore him to health.

When he first came into our rescue, we promised him that nothing bad would ever happen again. Will you help us keep that promise?

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Cozy

February 7th, 2022

Gunner is getting cozy for the night as he has a big day tomorrow!

We will be headed to MedVet in Indianapolis for his CT scan. It will likely take a couple days for Dr. Ball and the radiologist to review the scan together and get results back to us. Good thoughts are welcome!

We have raised $1,440 towards his scan (which is on the low end of the estimate). The CT Scan could be as much as $2,100, plus potential surgery and the $1,350 worth of vet bills he had in the last two weeks.

Field Trip!

February 23rd, 2022

We've been working hard behind the scenes to determine the best path forward for Gunner! We recently went on a field trip to MedVet Indianapolis to see a specialist/surgeon. Dr. Ball - based on physical examination and more x-rays - did not see any surgical options or any explanation for why he suddenly can't walk. She recommended water therapy, laser therapy, and acupuncture and put us in touch with a neurologist colleague.

This past Monday, Gunner went on another field trip to MedVet Commerce/Detroit for a consultation with a neurologist. Gunny had normal reflexes during the physical exam, but the neurologist said this: "A possible neuropathy or myelopathy has to be considered given the history (likely hit by car sometime prior to being found as a stray on 8/30/21). The only way to fully evaluate for both neuro problems and orthopedic problems would be an MRI of the spine and a CT Scan of the pelvis."

Which brings us to this:

MRI and CT Scan = $3,500 to $4,500 (see pic of estimate below)

12 water, laser, acupuncture sessions (may need more) = $575

MedVet Detroit (neurology office visit) = $128

MedVet Indianapolis (office visit and x-rays) = $267

South Suburban Animal Hospital (bowel blockage) = $1,341

TOTAL = $5,800 to $6,800

Thanks to our generous community of donors and people who shared, plus our Super Bowl Squares fundraiser, we've raised about $2,100. We are a very small rescue group, and, until we plant a money tree in the backyard, we don't have a large savings. What comes in goes right back out to help homeless animals. Please continue to donate (none is too small!) and share so that we can move forward with Gunner's treatment plan ASAP and ensure we can help the next cat or dog who comes along.

Oh, and Gunner has been given a middle name. It's "Worth." Gunner Worth. Because we realize this is a ton of money to spend on one creature, but every life matters and he's more than "worth" it! (He continues to be a silly, happy boy who rolls over for belly rubs, gives love, purrs up a storm, attacks feet under the blankets, bats at the fishing pole toy, and eats like a pig. He's back to pooing every day and is completely normal except for the not walking.)

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mri & ct scan

February 28th, 2022

We’re up at MedVet Commerce (Detroit) with Gunner for his MRI and CT Scan!

He’s in good hands with Dr. Moeser (the neurologist) and we’re hoping to get some answers on why he doesn’t want to walk.

We should get results within a couple days.

Please send some good vibes for Gunner

Donations are still needed & very appreciated!

Estimate for CT Scan and MRI =

$3,500 to $4,500 and we only have 30 days to pay the bill!

Now we wait

March 1st, 2022

Yesterday Gunner spent the day at MedVet Commerce (Detroit)! He had a MRI of his spine and a CT Scan of his pelvis in an effort to find out why he suddenly quit walking in mid-January.

The MRI looked pretty normal. The neurologist could see lots of changes on the left side from his original injuries (likely hit by a car prior to being found as a stray on 8/30/21) but nothing that explains why he quit walking. The good news is his spine looks good and there's no damage to that!

We're waiting for a radiologist to review the CT Scan of the pelvis. In the meantime, Gunner has his initial physical therapy appointment tomorrow! We will meet with a veterinarian who is board certified in water therapy, laser therapy and acupuncture.

Gunner continues to be a silly, happy boy who rolls over for belly rubs, gives love, purrs up a storm, attacks feet under the blankets, bats at the fishing pole toy, and eats like a pig. He's back to pooing every day and is completely normal except for the not walking.

MRI and CT Scan = $3,133.26 (we only have 30 days to pay the bill!)

12 water, laser, acupuncture sessions (may need more) = $575

MedVet Detroit (neurology office visit) = $128

MedVet Indianapolis (office visit and x-rays) = $267

South Suburban Animal Hospital (bowel blockage) = $1,341

TOTAL = $5,444.26

Thanks to the generosity of our community and supporters, we've raised about $2,200 so far (THANK YOU ALL!) but we still have more than half way to go! We are a very small rescue group, and we don't have a large savings. What comes in goes right back out to help homeless animals. Please, please donate if you can (none is too small!) and share so that we can move forward with Gunner's treatment plan ASAP and ensure we can help the next cat or dog who comes along. Any donations that are not needed for Gunner will be used to help other homeless animals and to do Trap-Neuter-Return.

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