Meet Choo Choo the Cat

Author: Lora Schuldt, DVM

April 24, 2017

Choo Choo

We love Choo Choo! This amazing kitty disappeared from her home four weeks ago, in the middle of the unrelenting rainy weather we were having. Her owners had almost given up hope of seeing her again when she re-appeared five days later on their doorstep. Although she limped inside on her own power, she had sustained severe injuries to her left front foot. Her toes were unrecognizable due to the swelling, blood, and myiasis. Tendons and ligaments were shredded beyond repair, and portions of her two middle toes (the weight-bearing and most important) were gone.

Though it was the middle of the night, Choo Choo's owners immediately took her to the emergency clinic, where the veterinarian was concerned that she was going to face amputation of her leg due to the severity of her wounds and tissue damage. Choo Choo went home, her foot bandaged and on treatment with antibiotics and pain relievers. When Dr. Schuldt examined her two days later to discuss a possible amputation, she evaluated the injury and believed there might be a way to save the foot and even make it functional again. If it worked, this would also be a much more affordable approach.

Over three weeks and five visits, Dr. Schuldt used a variety of wound dressings to stimulate healing, and performed surgery to remove the remainder of the damaged bones in Choo Choo's middle two toes. Her second and fifth toes were brought closer together using the surgical technique, resulting in a more stable foot platform. Fortunately, her footpad was not significantly damaged, which allowed for cushioning of the healing foot. All of this Choo Choo sailed through without issues, continuing to be a bright, interactive, and hungry kitty!

On April 17th, Choo Choo ("Choopie" to her family), had her sutures removed and her final foot bandage taken off. She was able to walk around comfortably and appears to be on the road to a complete recovery. If her fur grows back, it will be hard to even see the difference, even though her left foot is more like a bird's foot now. Choo Choo, you've been an incredible patient!