A volunteer from Candy's Cats received a call about a mama cat and her kittens that had moved into their backyard. They discovered that there were three kittens, Esmeralda and her brothers, Clopin and Phoebus. The kittens were immediately caught and taken in for evaluation.
The boys were normal feisty 4-week-old kittens, but Esmeralda had a few medical issues. When Esmeralda was about 7 weeks old, they noticed that her eyes were enlarging slightly. A trip to a veterinary ophthalmologist revealed she had Congenital Glaucoma, and the only treatment available was surgical removal of the eyes. She had also been positioned badly in the womb, creating what we affectionately call her "pretzel legs" and is technically known as Contracture- Flexor Tendon, Subluxation-Intertarsa. Early on, Candy's Cats realized that Esmeralda doesn't know she has any disabilities. She is a loving, energetic, happy kitten who knows no limitations.
X-rays revealed an optimistic prognosis. What was originally feared to be bone deformity, and would have required multiple invasive surgeries, was in actuality a shortened tendon and soft tissue problem. The leg bones she was walking on weren't designed for that type of wear and tear. Calluses had already started to form, because leg skin is thin and not supported for walking on either. However the window of opportunity for surgery was very small, since it needed to be performed before her growth plates closed completely and the bones formed in their final position. To prepare her for the leg surgery, she was spayed and was able to have her eyes removed.
After her surgery, Esmeralda was placed in leg wraps and casts that allowed her to stretch her muscles. The Friday after Hurricane Irma hit, her casts were being changed and she had some nasty sores on her feet, causing them to swell. The vet gave her a break from the casts and she started to heal very quickly. Saturday, Sept 23rd, Esmeralda began to walk for the first time!
The vets are very happy with her progress as she continues with walking, physical therapy and growing to strengthen her muscles. She has become Candy's Cats Ambassador until she's cleared to be adopted in December. Esmeralda was able to surpass her wish amount of $2,000, thanks to the help of poundWISHES. We couldn't be more happy to have been a part of this sweet kitty's incredible journey!