When a kitten named Slug first arrived at Chatham-Kent Veterinary Hospital in early June, he was a sorry sight. Slug was a 3-week old stray kitten found by the OSPCA and brought to CKVH for veterinary care. As if being a 3-week old homeless kitten wasn’t challenging enough, Slug was unable to use his hind legs. When Slug wanted to move around, he had to crawl – essentially dragging his hind legs behind him. A thorough physical examination by the CK veterinary team revealed that Slug had a spinal problem, and X-rays confirmed that Slug had fractured two of the vertebrae in his lower back – most likely from trauma suffered during his first few weeks of life.
Despite his seemingly depressing situation, Slug was full of life! He was energetic, playful and had a fantastic appetite. Slug’s neurological exam revealed that he still had some sensation in his hind legs, and could even move them a tiny bit (though not in a coordinated way). The prognosis was guarded, but because he was otherwise healthy, CKVH took possession of Slug and started him down the long road of rehabilitation.
With pain medication, physical therapy, and lots of TLC from the staff at CKVH, Slug slowly began to show signs of improvement. After several weeks he could once again stand on all four legs, and a few weeks after that he started slowly walking. By early August, Slug was running full speed around the hospital chasing his toys and the staff’s feet! Although Slug still stumbles every now and again, and will probably always have a bit of a wobbly walk, he has regained about 95% of the function in his hind limbs allowing him to behave exactly like a normal kitten (with perhaps a few more tumbles).
In early September, Slug was lucky enough to find his forever home. The resilient, feisty little kitten that crawled his way into the hearts of the CKVH staff will now bring that same joy into another home where he will live a happy, healthy life.