Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Ellen Nicklassen with one of two kittens which had surgery by an ophthalmologist to create eyelids. (Submitted)

Okanagan kittens that were nearly crushed are almost ready for adoption

Two feral kittens are recovery following complicated eye surgery

Brother and sister feral kittens rescued from near death last October are on the mend following recent complicated eye surgery.

Spot and Marble were part of a litter of five kittens found at a Kelowna waste facility late last year, where they just barely avoided being crushed by a machine after an employee heard their cries.

Taken into care by AlleyCATS Alliance feline rescue group, they found the pair were suffering from a congenital eye defect, having almost no eyelids. That resulted in the fur coming in direct contact with the eyes, an incredibly irritating condition.

READ ALSO: Okanagan rescued kittens now in desperate need of eye surgery

Requiring surgery by an animal eye specialist, the organization was looking at a bill in the thousands of dollars. According to AlleyCATS president Sue Beagle, there was never a thought of not doing whatever could be done for the kittens and the group set out on a dedicated fundraising drive.

READ ALSO: Battling the feral feline problem in the South Okanagan

“When you have a little batch of kittens that were already rescued from somewhere like they were and then they end up having problems after you’ve gotten so attached to them, bottle feeding them, it’s pretty hard to say, ‘well, they’re not perfect they need to be euthanized,’” said Beagle. “But, we couldn’t let them live the way they were.”

During that time Dr. Ellen Nicklassen of the Kelowna Veterinary Hospital did whatever she could to alleviate the irritation as possible.

Surgically untreated the kittens faced the possibility of losing their sight.

READ ALSO: Okanagan feline foster families helping AlleyCATS

Enter Dr. Marnie Ford, a veterinary ophthalmologist and founder of the Pacific Eye Specialty Services Clinic a mobile ophthalmology practice working throughout the Lower Mainland, Okanagan and Vancouver Island.

Late last month she came to the Kelowna Veterinary Hospital where she performed the delicate surgery on the kittens over a two-day period.

“They (kittens) don’t have eyelids on the top. The top two-thirds is missing, so you basically have to rebuild it. They’re so tiny it’s hard to do,” said Dr. Ford, who estimates it takes about 90-minutes per cat “if all goes well.”

According to Beagle, coming up to their one-month check by Dr. Ford this Saturday, it is so far, so good.

“They’re doing very well, running around and playing. These cats are super affectionate and laid back,” she said about the felines who are still living with their original foster family. “After their final checkup Saturday we will start advertising them for adoption, they do have to go together though.”

It is possible they could require additional surgery and thanks to the kind donations by the public, including a Vancouver author, a contingency fund is now in place should further work be necessary.

And Dr. Ford had nothing but praise for the work of AlleyCATS, particularly in the case of these two very lucky felines.

“It’s incredible they (AlleyCATS) take the effort to do that. Even with the discounts it’s not the cheapest surgery in the world and let’s face it, it’s not like there’s a shortage of cats,” said Dr. Ford. “So the fact they’re willing to do this for these two little pumpkins is pretty awesome.”


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

Spot following the surgery to create eyelids he had been missing since birth. (Submitted)

Post surgery, Spot and Marble, relax in spite of their protective cones. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Pair of Rockets added to NHL team’s prospect showcase

Kelowna’s Kyle Topping and Lief Mattson were added to the Carolina Hurricanes prospect roster

B.C. Culture Days hits Kelowna next month

The event will offer a variety of free activities in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

Vernon man facing drug trafficking charges in Kelowna

The man was found with suspected cocaine, heroin and fentanyl and thousands of dollars in cash

Lawyers to hold pro bono ‘advice-a-thon’ in Kelowna’s City Park

Free legal advice will be given to low-income Kelowna residents from 10am-2pm on Sept. 10

Hell’s Angel prospect back in custody after being charged with assault

The 30-year-old man now faces several additional charges

Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

Highway 97 traffic slowed as firefighters snuff grass fire

Summerland relaunches net metering program

Event open house will be held Aug. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m in Arena Banquet Room

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Jaws of Life used to rescue driver in North Okanagan crash

Single-vehicle MVI causes traffic delays on Highway 6

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Preliminary inquiry set for accused Penticton killer

John Brittain, 68, will be back in Penticton court from Jan. 27 to 31

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Most Read