#Mightycat: Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton was brought to Lawrence Humane as a stray kitten at approximately 6 weeks old, found by a man on his rural property. It appeared she had experienced some sort of traumatic incident as she could not bear weight on her right front leg. After our medical team examined Dolly, it was believed that whatever trauma she experienced impacted the nerves exiting her spine and connecting to her right front leg. She was kept at Lawrence Humane overnight so she could have surgery the next day to amputate her leg.

The next day, however, Dolly took a dramatic turn for the worse. She was unable to eat or drink, was lethargic, and unable to lift her head. She had persistent diarrhea, which she laid in, unable to move. Her temperature dropped dangerously low. After a full exam, our medical team determined that if Dolly was going to have any chance at surviving, she had to immediately get to the emergency veterinary hospital in Kansas City, where there was a specialist ready to see her. A member of our staff drove Dolly to the emergency hospital, where their team immediately set her up in an oxygen kennel and ran her an IV catheter. A full work-up revealed that Dolly had hypothermia, UTI, and toxoplasmosis – in addition to her injured leg. Dolly stayed at the emergency hospital for two days while they got her stabilized through oxygen and fluid therapy, syringe feeding and IV catheter, and round-the-clock care.

After her life-saving treatment at the emergency veterinary hospital, once she was stable, the hospital discharged Dolly back to our care and she was sent to foster care to recover – as she was still extremely weak and fragile – and to serve a 30-day quarantine while finishing her prescribed course of antibiotics. Despite technically being too old for an incubator, because she was so weak and struggled to keep her temperature up, Dolly spent two weeks in a large incubator, being syringe-fed and provided subcutaneous fluids. Eventually, she was able to eat and drink on her own, which was true cause for celebration! Once her temperature stabilized, Dolly was able to leave the incubator and began to play and groom herself.

Dolly completed her 30-day quarantine and course of medications while in foster care. Unfortunately, her injured leg never got any better and continued to drag on the floor as Dolly ran around and played. Dolly was spayed, had her vaccines boostered, was microchipped, and had her injured leg amputated. While shaving her shoulder for the amputation surgery, our clinic staff found two scars from two puncture wounds, which gave a bit more context to the traumatic injury that Dolly had sustained before coming to us. Dolly was adopted into a wonderful home with a mom and dad who are completely in love with her and an older cat brother who will show her the ropes. 

Dolly almost didn’t make it and at various points we wondered if she would, in the end, succumb to her illnesses. But Dolly Parton is a tough, tough girl and we are all so thrilled that she not only survived, but completely healed and has an incredible life ahead of her thanks to a Mightycat grant from the Orphan Kitten Club, who helped cover the cost of Dolly’s care. Thank you, OKC and Kitten Lady, for helping us continue to care for the most vulnerable kittens in Douglas County!  
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