First off, thank you to everyone who has donated to Heartwood’s “Tender Care Fund” which was established this year to help treat pets that otherwise would not be able to afford veterinary care. The fund has accumulated money from our yard sale, direct donations, and raffles that we have held at the hospital for gift baskets. Two weeks ago we were able to save our first life with this fund and the story follows below:

Stitch was a 3 week old kitten who was being bottle raised by a good Samaritan after finding her in her yard. One morning, in a really bizarre accident, Stitch somehow swallowed the rubber feeding nipple that goes on the end of a milk bottle. She was immediately rushed to Heartwood Animal Hospital, where X-rays were taken to confirm the ingestion of the feeding nipple. As you can see in the X-ray below, the red arrow is pointing to this nipple lodged in the esophagus very close to the stomach. It’s amazing to see how large this foreign body looks inside of this very small kitten.

An obstruction of this size in the esophagus would not pass through Stitch and would cause her to become very sick if it stayed in. After an unsuccessful attempt at trying to make Stitch vomit this up, surgery was deemed the only possible option. After a brief surgery, the feeding nipple was removed by opening up the stomach and pulling the nipple out from the stomach! Surgery was slightly stressful, as keeping Stitch warm and safe under anesthesia was tough due to her very young age.

Stitch spent the night at Dr. Murray’s house, where she was bottle fed throughout the night and kept on a warmed heating pad. She went home with her owner the next day in very good spirits. We recently saw her for her medical progress evaluation and Stitch was doing great, gaining weight, and the surgery site is healing well.

Thank you everyone for your support and we hope we have several feel good stories for years to come from your contributions.