Just over a month ago, a tiny kitten was handed over to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, with blunt force head trauma.
And this is just one of many pet neglect the clinic has to deal with on a daily basis in the area.
The clinic is an non profit organisation (NPO) animal hospital that treats up to 700 animals per month through consultations, hospitalisation, general and orthopaedic surgeries, continuous sterilisations, mobile clinics, an animal ambulance and stray pet rehoming project in Khayelitsha.
Dr Friedl le Roux, head veterinarian, believes the kitten had been hit on the head or dropped from a height.
“The kitten had seizures every 20 minutes and could barely get up.
When he (eventually) did, he would walk around in circles, unable to control the tremors in his body, and would fall over and over again.
Dr Friedl felt that his chance of survival was very slim. The kitten needed around the clock care and monitoring. A dedicated volunteer, Stefanie Bergmann, was asked to take the kitten home and monitor him.
Bergmann said: “Dr Friedl told me that he would need around the clock attention and I jumped at the opportunity.
Mdzananda’s theatre and hospital was full and, being a volunteer, I wanted to help. I took him home and had Dr Friedl on call for emergencies. I was given strict instructions. I was ready for the challenge.”
“Every hour and a half I fed him ... Gave him medication and made sure he was warm. I set my alarm to wake me through the night. I was exhausted, but the kitten was still alive and that was all that mattered.”
On day four the seizures stopped, and the following day he was able to walk in straight lines. At this point Dr Friedl realised that the trauma must have damaged his visual centre as he was almost entirely blind.
“Unlike humans, animals luckily cope quite well with sudden blindness. He adapted quickly and became stronger by the day,” says Dr Friedl.
“If it was not for Dr Friedl and the Mdzananda Animal Clinic I don’t know what would have happened to this poor little creature. I am grateful that I was there to offer my assistance. Every time I visit Mdzananda I astounded at how many patients they have. They cope with the most severe injuries and illnesses with the lowest of resources. I am grateful and proud to be a part of it,” says Ms Bergmann.
The little kitten was renamed “Lucky” as he was lucky to have survived. He will soon be joining three other blind cats in a loving home where he will have the best life a blind cat could hope for.
This festive season the Mdzananda Animal Clinic would like to ask the public to assist them to help more pets like Lucky.
“Christmas and the end of the year is a difficult time at Mdzananda. Many community members go to the Eastern Cape and leave their animals behind with friends. Often these friends do not know how to look after animals. Their homes are not always equipped - pets get out of the yard, end up in dog fights or get hit by vehicles,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.
The Clinic receives many animals that have fallen sick or have been injured during this time. The Clinic covers all their costs as owners are not around to donate a small amount towards their pet’s treatment. They rely completely on donations to be able to do this.
Usually these pets are not collected on return, no donations are made towards their stay and they become homeless. Even though the Clinic is not set up as a shelter, they converted their patient exercise runs into a stray unit so that they can look after homeless pets.
Support the Mdzananda Animal Clinic this festive season by making a donation. Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account: 075595710, Branch Code 025009, Reference: FestiveSeason + Your Name. For more information contact email@example.com / 021 367 6001 or visit their website on www.mdzananda.co.za