It’s amazing how easily we fall in love with pets or animals in general. It’s also amazing how quickly pets get integrated in our lives once we own them. The human-animal relationship is a totally different experience when viewed from the animal side. They have different instincts than we do; they have different physiologies and different needs. We often strive to understand animal behavior and find that even with all the things we know now, there are still so much that we don’t know. When it comes to caring for animals that are hurt in any way, most of us would be at a total loss. It takes special knowledge, skill, and dedication in order to care for and restore animals whose bodies have been broken somehow.
That’s exactly what the extraordinary folks at Massapequa Pet Vet do on a daily basis. The Massapequa Pet Vet is located in Massapequa, New York on the southern part of Oyster Bay in Long Island. The Massapequa Pet Vet team is comprised of highly educated and highly skilled doctors of veterinary medicine. If you happen to be an animal in need of any kind of care, you’d be in good hands if you were in the Massapequa area.
Max is one example of a lucky animal that’s gotten the chance to be cared for by the vets at Massapequa. Max is but a tiny, tiny kitten. His mother abandoned him probably soon after she gave birth to the kitten. Max has problems using his legs, and from the looks of it, it seems it’s something that he was born with. Many mother cats have the natural instinct to abandon kittens that has a lower probability of surviving after birth.
Max managed to survive, but he was left all alone to fend for himself—at least until a Good Samaritan found him on the streets and brought him to the clinic. From there, the doctors knew right away that something is up with his legs, so they outfitted him with a quickly rigged wheelchair. As soon as Max got on this device, the joy in him could not be contained. He zoomed from one side of the room to the other and back. He explored as fast as any normal kitten without disability would. Max was clearly ecstatic at his newfound movement and newfound freedom. He kicked his two front legs like he never had before, which propelled him to all directions.
It was a great moment for the kitty, but the wheelchair was just a temporary part of the solution. The vets at the clinic knew that they had to create a therapy plan for the kitten in order to help him live a life that’s as close to normal as possible. That meant strength training like no other. Max trains in the kiddie pool a few times a week. This helps him soothe and relax his muscles. But at the same time, it allows him to move around freely without the friction of the ground. Water training also helps stimulate his nerves and muscles in his hind legs. One of the overall goals of Max’s training is to help him regain sensation in his back legs. Whether this is even possible or not is unclear at this point, but it’s a good reason to keep on training.
Aside from training his back legs, Max also needs to strengthen his front legs. This is especially important since these are the legs that will be his primary propeller whether he’s on the wheelchair or not. To strengthen his front leg muscles, Max has a climbing pole that he has to jump up to or climb up to and held on to for as long as his legs could hold. It isn’t as easy for a cat whose two back legs are essentially dead weight. He’s doing well with this training, and he’s actually graduated to being able to climb his cage with incredible ease.
Max isn’t immobile when he’s not on the wheelchair; he is able to get around with just his two front legs, but he is undeniably much slower. And dragging his back legs around just isn’t ideal at all. So the clinic had a special kitty wheelchair created and outfitted for Max. As soon as Max got on the better wheelchair, he was doing much of the same as before. He zoomed like no other and explored like no other. It was another fantastic experience to see.
Apart from training, Max also gets some free time and playtime. Playtime is crucial for a kitten’s development, and it’s also important for cats that stay mostly indoors. It’s important for Max to keep moving in order to keep stimulating his legs. So Max gets plenty of time to play on his own with a wide selection of toys. Like any other animal, Max has his preferences of course. But his favorite playtime is probably when he’s playing with other cats in the clinic. It’s a great therapeutic session for Max to be able to interact with other kittens close to his age that might have similar injuries—or not.
The future is looking bright for this paralyzed kitten due to the help and dedication of the staff at Massapequa Pet Vet. We can already see a little bit of movement develop in one of Max’s back legs. Whether this can continue into full-blown movements is something that we’ll just have to wait on to see. For now, Max is counting his blessings that he’s been found and he’s surrounded by a team of experts. The clinic vows to never stop trying until they’ve gotten Max to where he needs to be health-wise. We’re hoping that Max grows to be a fun-loving and playful cat the way he is now.