O’Malley’s Rehabilitation and How You Can Help

You are reading the fourth chapter of O’Malley’s story.
Read the First Chapter
Read the Second Chapter
Read the Third Chapter
Read the Fifth Chapter
Read the Sixth Chapter
To Be Continued…

Hello animal-loving world! I can’t apologize enough for the way we have completely disappeared from the internet. We have been having a rough time lately, from just plain exhaustion, trying to manage O’Malley’s rehab in what little free time we have and a death in Nikki’s family which has been incredibly hard on her. We are trying our best to get back into the swing of things but please bear with us at being slow with this blog and our twitter account. Any loving thoughts for Nikki are greatly appreciated. I’d also like to give a HUGE thank you to Chelsea for keeping ILRA alive with her weekly #ShelterSketches! Now on to the more fun stuff!

The Recovery Process

O’Malley has been doing great, not that any of us expected any less from this boy. His wounds healed up great (he just had his stitches removed today) and he’s on the road to recovery. As I wrote last time, he needs rehabilitation to strengthen his muscles and make sure everything moves well and his scar tissue forms right. I’ll be straight up honest and say that we have not been able to devote as much time to his rehabilitation as we would have liked but he is still progressing and I know he’s going to come out on the other end a very healthy, fit cat. I’ve seriously been worrying about him and agonizing over the fact that everything we do now will affect O’Malley for the rest of his life and I know that we’re not doing perfect. But then I think about the alternative, of what would have happened to him had I not stopped to help him, and I know that he would prefer our imperfection to being left there alone. He’s such a loving, forgiving cat. I just love him, as does everyone else who meets him.

Now on to the cool stuff: As promised, here is an image of one of O’Malley’s X-rays. You can see his left femur completely out of the socket and the big break in his pelvis on the right.

Next up, O’Malley’s rehabilitation! I was able to get in contact with Sandra Hudson, the woman we met at that dog event, and she accepted O’Malley as a patient. The best part is that she’s giving me the rescue discount since she was moved by his story. Isn’t that great? O’Malley has been twice so far. It would have been best for him to be able to go twice a week but with my new full time schedule, it just isn’t possible. So we are going to be using his visits there as a sort of check-in and we’re going to be responsible for most of his physical therapy. The different things he does at his rehab sessions are really interesting. He starts by getting cold laser therapy. Basically she applies low-power light to his hip and it helps him heal faster! How cool is that?

Then he’s on to balancing on a balance board and a ball. The board makes him learn to shift his balance and improve his stability. The ball helps stretch his leg out and put weight on his foot. I looked into buying a balance board to use at home but the cheapest was $80 so we’re going to have to attempt to make one ourselves… wish us luck!

Then he does Cavaletti poles which for our purposes is two swimming noodles with bits of plastic piping laid over them to create a ladder rung type deal (it’s hard to explain). Anyway, we coax him to walk through it, over the pipes, so he has to lift his feet over them. This helps with his gait training and also re-teaches him where his back feet are. Sandra says that many cats who undergo trauma and/or surgery of his type have their connections between their brain and hind limbs damaged. Basically he has to re-learn where his feet are without him having to look. So he has to figure out how to lift his back legs over the poles. Kinda neat when you think about it. Anyway, we make it harder by spreading the poles out and by crisscrossing them. This works best by tempting him with treats!

The last thing we do at his sessions is also the coolest! Well, according to me, anyway. I’m sure he would tell you otherwise! Anyway, O’Malley does aquatic therapy! Yes, we actually stick that poor kitty on a partially submerged treadmill and make him walk for several minutes. He complains about it, of course, but as always he does what is asked of him. Aquatic therapy is so good because it transfers heat to his hip, supports a good amount of his weight so he can slowly add more weight to that hip, it improves his gait by making his stride longer and it forces him to continue walking which increases his endurance. It really is very cool how much it helps him. I’m sure you’ll love the video!

How You Can Help O’Malley

Now here’s the part where you can help. While we have been helped by some AMAZING people who have cut our costs by at least half by donating their time and offering discounts, we have still spent close to $500 on his recovery thus far. This is only for his vet visits, surgery, medications, vaccinations, food (since he’s on a special diet) and rehabilitation. This does not cover what we bought to do his rehab at home, litter (we don’t use clay litter in our house so it really does add up), lost wages from taking off work to take him places, etc. We are trying to be very reasonable in what we are asking help with. You can view the gallery to see proof of most of his bills (we misplaced the latest rehab bill) so you know you can trust that we’re not making this up. Also, you can see some of the bills have costs for animals other than O’Malley but we have not included this in our calculations. For instance, there is a bill of $50 for two combo tests, one for O’Malley and one for another foster cat, Jacob. We only counted $25 towards our total. O’Malley will also need to go in about a month from now to be neutered, get his FVRCP booster, and get new X-rays taken. Our wonderful vet, Dr. Jill, quoted us at $120 for everything which is an awesome deal! We would also like to take him in to rehab at least a few more times, which will cost $28.75 for each visit from now on.

So the breakdown of our costs is this: So far we have spent $485. Adding in his vet bill of $120 next month brings us to $605. We would like to take him in for rehab at least 3 more times (he has an appointment scheduled for next week Tuesday already) which would come to $86.25 for a grand total of $691.25. So for all of this, we have set a goal of raising $700 to help us with O’Malley’s recovery. I think this is awesome considering his surgery alone was quoted at $750 to $1500 by other veterinarians! Can you believe how little it cost to CHANGE this boy’s life, to SAVE it? it gives me goosebumps thinking of how so many people are coming together to help him. O’Malley thanks each and every one of you!

Donate by clicking on the widget, or go straight to O’Malley’s ChipIn page.

Need an Incentive?

So as if changing this amazing, handsome’s cat’s life for the better isn’t enough, we have some fun incentives for donating as well. When we reach half of our goal, $350, we will release a funny home video of the crazy things pet parents sometimes have to do at 1:00 in the morning. If we reach our full goal of $700 then we will release an embarrassing video of me singing to and dancing at the kids. Sound fun? Good! Thank you for all of your continued support!

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4 Responses to “O’Malley’s Rehabilitation and How You Can Help”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rescue Animals, Recycled K-9 Rescue. Recycled K-9 Rescue said: RT @RescueAnimals: O'Malley Update regarding his rehabilitation. Really interesting stuff! http://bit.ly/aYlMmC VIDEO & Pics! Also a way … […]

  2. […] that involved cutting the head off of his femur and has recovered amazingly. He even survived the dreaded water treadmill as he underwent physical therapy to help him rebuild his muscles. He has been neutered and received all of his vaccines. Altogether […]

  3. […] Thanks to 11 incredible people, we have raised $145 towards our goal of $700! As mentioned in the last post about O’Malley, we have a couple silly incentives. Unfortunately, one of the videos I wanted to upload when we […]

  4. […] Vote for ILRA!Help O’Malley and You Could Win a Pet Portrait!O’Malley’s Chip-InO’Malley’s Rehabilitation and How You Can Help Post Written By: Ashley on July 6, 2011 | Filed in: Animals in […]

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