As you read last week in The Cat’s Meow, Mango the Cat, a victim of animal cruelty, was taken in by Best Friend Animal Sanctuary so that she could receive state-of-the-art care from a team who specializes in caring for cruelty victims.
Best Friends has set up a mini-website that features Mango’s progress journal.
Here’s the overall progress report from Liz Finch, Best Friends’ Community Animal Assistance Manager::
I hate cases like Mangos here in Community Animal Assistance. The only redeeming factor is that, when they (thankfully rarely) cross my desk, Im confident that Best Friends will be able to help in some way – particularly if we have space to accommodate a special needs cat at the time.
Such was the case for Mango, a sweet little calico who recently ended up in the wrong place at the very worst time.
Mangos family had become homeless and was moving into a relatives place in Merced, California, when this indoor kitty darted out the door to go exploring. Unfortunately, she ended up running into someone who decided it would be entertaining to pour lighter fluid onto her and set her on fire.
Luckily, Mango was caught shortly thereafter by three little boys who used a hose to put out the flames and then tracked down her family. The cat was quickly rushed to a local veterinary clinic, which worked immediately to address the burns that covered more than 70 percent of her body.
Mangos family didnt have the means to continue her care, so they signed her over to a local rescue group, New Beginnings for Animals Merced, which in turn contacted Best Friends for help.
Dr. Mike reviewed the notes and photos and agreed that, although Mango might require extensive care, Best Friends did currently have the resources available to help her. Within days, this dainty girl had arrived at the sanctuary and was already charming everyone.
I had the chance to meet Mango her first day here. The sight of her injuries made me furious and sad, but I was also deeply impressed by her stoicism in the face of what surely must be extreme pain. She sat rather stiffly (I think she hated her plastic E collar!) but responded immediately to a chin scratch by stretching out her neck and purring. Once again, I marvel at how the loving nature of animals remains intact even after humans have done horrible things to them.
Mangos injuries are gruesome and an infection has already set in, further complicating things. I know shell get the best of care here, and she certainly seems to have a strong spirit two factors that we know are critical to recovery from our experience with former Guardian Angel kitty Finch.
Meanwhile, the Merced Police Department is investigating the case as cruelty and has identified a person of interest. While Best Friends sincerely hopes that the grave seriousness of this situation is addressed swiftly within that community, for now our attention must turn to helping Mango heal so she can go on to be part of another family someday soon.
Here’s Mango’s medical update::
Mango is a very sweet cat, especially considering all that she has been through. Mango had received treatment initially at another vet that included bandage changes, antibiotics, and keeping her comfortable with pain meds. When Mango came to us, the back 1/3 of her body was covered in raw subcutaneous tissue (the tissue found right under the skin) and dying, crusty skin. There were areas of potential infection so we took a culture. We also did this to ensure that the antibiotics she was still on were still appropriate.
She had lost the skin on various parts of her body and one of our biggest concerns was if she would eat enough to promote the healing of her skin. That has not been a problem as she eats very well. We are lucky that she was cared for so well before she came to Best Friends.
Currently we have to sedate her daily to replace the bandages that cover that damaged skin. At first we used what is called a wet to dry bandage to help remove a lot of the dead tissue and to keep the underlying structures moist. Now we are using a covering called Ioban 3 in the hopes of providing further antimicrobial action as well as keeping the exposed tissue moist. She will likely need these changes done every 1-3 days for several weeks. Once all the tissue is healthy, we will have to find ways to put healthy skin over the exposed subcutaneous tissue. It is still a guarded prognosis, but she is progressing nicely.
We were also concerned that she might have incontinence issues, but with the smaller bandages, she has been able to go much easier. She will be staying at the clinic and Happy Landings while she heals. Eventually, she will be able to go to a foster home. She is a very sweet and endearing cat. She purrs constantly.
[PHOTOS & CONTENT provided by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary]