The BC SPCA is caring for Tilly, a 10-week-old kitten who was found by a Good Samaritan along the shore of Dragon Lake in Quesnel, fighting to stay alive.
“The finder was looking out of her bedroom window when she spotted what she thought was a kitten,” said Colby O’Flynn, BC SPCA’s senior manager for the North Cariboo. “Her husband went to check it out and Tilly crawled under their boat dock. They managed to coax her out onto the deck with some food – she desperately wanted to eat.”
When they got a better look at Tilly, they could see she was badly injured. Her eyes were glazed and she had insects all over her, especially on her chest and back where there was a visible wound. The finders wrapped her up in a blanket, put her in a pet carrier and immediately brought her to the BC SPCA in Quesnel.
“When Tilly arrived at the animal centre, the first thing we noticed, even before we brought her out of the carrier, was the smell of infection,” said O’Flynn. “She was cold, pale, dehydrated and barely able to lift her little head. It was hard to see the extent of the damage through her black fur, but we knew this kitten didn’t have much longer without emergency veterinary intervention.”
Tilly was driven one-and-a-half hours to the closest available emergency veterinarian for assessment.
For the first several days Tilly was hospitalized and received supportive care to keep her comfortable (pain control, antibiotics, wound care, and fluids). She was shaved to reveal a much larger wound which is believed to come from a predator.
In addition to her wound, Tilly’s tail was badly injured.
The wound was cleaned, and the insects and dead tissue removed. At first, there was too much inflammation and infection and not enough tissue to close the wound, but Tilly was soon stable enough for surgery. Her wound was almost fully closed, tubes were installed to allow drainage and to promote proper healing.
“Tilly’s doctor is impressed with her healing and was finally able to change her prognosis from day-by-day to a full recovery,” said O’Flynn. “We continue to manage her pain to help ensure she is comfortable and getting plenty of love and rest.
“Tilly was tiny, terrified and weak, yet she somehow managed to pick herself up and find help,” said O’Flynn. “Right now, she is on medication to make her comfortable, so we have not had the chance to see her fun and playful side yet, but we have all fallen in love with the affectionate little love-bug.”
Tilly is still recovering from her treatment. She will eventually be spayed and at that time her tail will be amputated. She is expected to be available for adoption sometime in early September.
“Our loyal friends at Petsecure Pet Health Insurance (supported by a grant from Definity Insurance Foundation) were so inspired by Tilly’s story that they’re matching up to $3,000 in donations towards her care and to other animals who need urgent medical help. Today your gift will help twice as much,” said O’Flynn
If you can help Tilly and other animals in need at the BC SPCA, please visit medical.spca.bc.ca.