Rescue Cat Suffering from Stomatitis!
Mark rescued Etienne, and specifically searched for a black cat that needed rescue as he is aware of how this cats are often mistreated or left stray. Recently his best friend Etienne has developed a painful and serious condition called Stomatitis wherein the cat's immune system attacks the teeth and gums in the mouth. This is a painful disease that also leads to the cat not eating and drinking, suffering a slow and painful death.
Mark has spent considerable effort to care for Etienne and has had some success fundraising so far on YouCaring. But a series of personal financial issues and the expense of treatment have left him short of the amount needed to get Etienne treated. Below is a full explanation from Mark, can you help us SHARE this case and donate to Etienne's care? THANK YOU!
Etienne's story by Mark:
I have been a cat owner for well over twenty years and I love them dearly. When my last rescue cat, Jersey (cleverly named because I found her on the streets of Jersey City, New Jersey) passed after sharing my life for fifteen years, I began the process of looking for another cat to adopt. I set out to look for a black cat to rescue; I've always had a thing for black cats and I've rescued several.
I found and adopted Etienne through a local rescue when he was about six months old. He had been in a foster placement almost his entire life and had lingered long enough that the rescue offered me a discount on the adoption fee to sweeten the deal. It wasn't necessary, as I was smitten when he snuggled up to me and purred the first time that I held him.
About a year ago, Etienne became lethargic, stopped grooming himself and began losing weight. I took him to a couple of different vets who ran various tests and got diagnoses of oral and respiratory infections but didn't get the diagnosis of stomatitis until I took him to the FACE clinic in January.
Feline stomatitis is a condition in which the immune system overreacts to the bacteria present on the cat’s teeth making an afflicted cat functionally allergic to his or her own teeth. It causes lesions throughout the mouth, generally focusing on the gums around the teeth but also possibly affecting the tongue, the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat. Etienne's lesions are on his gums all around his teeth and at the back of his throat. Cats suffering from stomatitis stop grooming because their mouth is in too much pain to handle doing it. They struggle to eat for the same reason. Left unchecked, afflicted cats can die of starvation or dehydration.
Steroids and antibiotics can relieve the symptoms and allow the mouth to heal, but aren't good long-term solutions. Generally, the steroids lose effectiveness and prolonged use can damage the liver and kidneys. Etienne responded well to the first course of steroids and antibiotics and showed improvement for four weeks after. After his next shot, he showed improvement for about three weeks. The next shot after that, he showed no significant improvement. Etienne currently weighs about five pounds, half of his pre-stomatitis body weight. Even though he’s ravenously hungry, Etienne often barely touches his meals and almost never finishes them. He whimpers in pain with every bite that he takes, no matter how soft the food. After he finishes his meals, he frequently hobbles over to where I’m sitting and gingerly climbs to curl up on my chest for comfort. He’s so skinny and frail now that I barely notice the weight. I don’t know how much longer he will be able to keep going like this.
I consulted a veterinary dentist with excellent references and learned that the only treatment left that can help Etienne is the extraction of all his teeth. With his teeth removed, the bacteria Etienne’s immune system is reacting to would have nowhere to grow. With the bacteria gone, the inflammation and sores would be able to heal and Etienne would be able to eat and live without pain. Many people don’t know (I didn’t) that cats can live long, healthy lives without their teeth and cat eat just fine, even dry food. In most of the accounts that I’ve read from the owners of cats that have had stomatitis-related full-mouth extractions, they describe their cats as eating happily and bouncing around like kittens again after their recovery.
Feline teeth are difficult to extract and doing so requires expensive oral surgery. Cats’ teeth often break during extraction and the root tips are often fused together around the jaw. In stomatitis-related surgical extractions, it is absolutely critical to remove every tiny tooth fragment and root tip—otherwise the bacteria can continue to grow, even under the surface of the gums. For this reason, high-resolution radiographs must be used before, after and during the surgery. The veterinary dentist that I consulted has a great deal of experience in treating cats with stomatitis and regularly performs this surgery. He estimates that Etienne’s surgery will take five or six hours to complete. The cost estimate of the surgery is from $2420 to $2862. Once I am able to give the vet’s office the minimum estimate ($2420), they will put Etienne on the surgical calendar and he will be able to have the surgery within two to three weeks.
Unfortunately, I am entering into a divorce-related bankruptcy and am not in the financial position to be able to afford the procedure Etienne needs (nor do I qualify for Care Credit). I can't let Etienne continue to suffer and decline but I also can't bear to euthanize him when he's otherwise healthy and could make a full recovery and live a long and full life. He is a beloved friend and he has helped me through a rough time in my life. I owe him better than that.
So, I am doing what I can by telling people Etienne's story and asking for their help. I set up a YouCaring fundraiser for Etienne before I learned about Free Animal Doctor crowdfunding. Between the donations to YouCaring and direct donations to the vet, I have raised $800 to date. I like that Free Animal Doctor is non-profit (YouCaring/WePay takes a percentage of money donated) and that you donate directly to the veterinarian. I’m hoping you can help me raise the rest of the money for Etienne.
Anonymous08/18/2017For ETIENNE from ICL$11.00
08/10/2017Pulling for you, Etienne!$33.00