UPDATE on 10/31/2016: Our brave little Minerva triumphed from the stem cell treatment last Thursday and is now doing well and receiving intense rehabilitation!
She is a very lean cat and the good doctors at Viking Veterinary Care were initially concerned if they were able to harvest enough adipose (fat) tissue for the treatment. However, not only did they get enough to use during the treatment, they were also able to send a portion of the harvested stem cells for banking! The yield of stem cells is incredible: 319 million cells! This is definitely within the range for expected yield. On top of that, the viability (which measures how well the cells survived transport to the lab) is 99.6%!
During the treatment on Thursday, Dr.Brock administered a portion of the stem cells by epidural, a portion of the stem cells directly next to the affected area of her spine (paravertebral injections)and the remainder intravenously. Starting from today, Minerva will go through series of intense rehabilitation to help her harness the potentially regained mobility.
Minerva McGonagall's story started when she was about four weeks old, weighing less than a pound, abandoned and badly hurt. Two nice young men found her and brought her into Willamette Veterinary Hospital (Corvallis, OR). The vets quickly found that she suffered from injuries caused by human cruelty that prevented her from using her back legs. Little Minerva then spent months in the hospital. Through tireless efforts and loving care, she gradually regained partial movement in her back legs and some control of her bladder.
Despite the physical challenge Minerva is a healthy, happy, and loving kitten. However, the hospital lacked the expertise and experience in finding and screening potential adopters, especially for a special needs kitten. They started asking around and reached out through Core Paws (website for harder to place animals) and other pet adoption networks for assistance. Within a week, Minerva was accepted into Cat's Cradle Rescue (Hillsboro, OR), who helps special needs kitties, and a kitty foster mom took Minerva under her wing.
Jan, Minerva's loving foster mom, is dedicated to helping Minerva become as mobile as she can be. She takes Minerva twice a week to rehabilitation sessions with Dr Brock at Viking Veterinary Care (Beaverton, OR), a vet partner with Cat's Cradle. An MRI confirmed she had a spinal fracture which prevents her from walking. With Laser treatments and physical therapy Minerva has gained strength and developed her leg muscles enough where she tries to do, and usually succeeds, at almost everything the four cats she lives with do, including climbing a 5 ft scratching post. All the Veterinarians and staff who have helped Minerva along the way have fallen in love with her, and her strong spirit and determination; she is an inspiration to watch.
Our goal is to raise $2000 for the stem-cell treatment for Minerva. This would give her an excellent chance of finding a forever home. Minerva is an extraordinary kitty who deserves a loving home and we are doing everything we can to help her with that goal.
To donate to Minerva's GivingGrid, simply click on any one of the paw-print grid below and fill in information following the instruction (please click the title of this post to go to the full article if you can't see the grid inserted below). You can also use the "Donate" paw button on the left side of this page and leave a note to specify your contribution to go to Minerva. We are giving away several wonderful Thank You gifts, including quality kitty bedding made by our long-time friend and supporter Kathy.S, and a beautiful original painting donated by local artist Kassius. With your help, we will be able to help Minerva and "raise her up".
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