Fostering Rodney: Healing at Home

Rodney was first brought to Dakin by a person who found him in the underside of a car. He was scared, in pain, and showing signs of shock. It was clear through early diagnostics that Rodney’s pelvis was fractured, most likely from a car strike.

With no microchip or identification tags, the staff at Dakin had very little to go on. His treatment to stabilize him and reduce his pain began immediately. Due to the nature of his injuries, Dakin’s veterinarian, Dr. Elizabeth Helton took Rodney into her care as his foster. Recovering in the comfort of a foster home is much better for any animal than in a kennel environment. Dr. Helton shifted her busy schedule to accommodate this special new houseguest for more than two months.

It wasn’t long before Dr. Helton discovered that Rodney had an additional fracture in his right hind leg. The location of the injury warranted a femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery, which she performed. FHO is an advanced procedure that can help relieve cats of pain and mobility issues that come with hip problems. The surgery is complex, but an alternative to limb amputation.

During the procedure, the head of the femur bone, located in the hip joint, is removed. With the appropriate aftercare including a few weeks of restricted movement and rest, the joint heals on its own without the presence of the femoral head. Physical therapy is a common follow-up treatment after surgery to ensure the cat is comfortable and has regained strength and range of motion.

The FHO procedure isn’t the answer for every injury or illness that could end in amputation, but it was an option for Rodney’s unique case.

After the surgery, Rodney continued to recover with Dr. Helton in foster care. After a long road to recovery, Dr. Helton was able to clear Rodney for adoption and it didn’t take long for him to find a loving home.

Both Rodney and Dakin are thankful for Dr. Helton’s expertise and dedication not only to Rodney, but the thousands of animals who came before him and the many who we’ve yet to meet.

Rodney’s journey to recovery was smoother and more comfortable because he had a foster home. The calm environment helped Rodney feel safe and relaxed, allowing his body to focus on healing. There are many animals who would benefit greatly from foster care until it’s time for their adoption day. If you’re able to open your home to an animal in need, please take action now.

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