This is Neala's Mom, I figured I'd pop in and answer some questions people are having...
What is the condition Neala has?
Neala has Persistent Right Aortic Arch- it happens during embryonic development where archs attached to the heart are supposed to drop away. Instead, one of them encircled her esophagus and therefore, when she was weaned onto solid foods, it made it impossible for her to keep them down. Even very watered down wet food does not stay down- not even Science Diet A/D. So right now, she is on a diet of kitten glop... While it is giving her nutrition, it is not a long term solution and it is not giving her the calories she needs to play as hard as her siblings nor to fill out as much as her siblings. She also is at a very high risk of developing aspiration pneumonia because she still will vomit the glop from time to time and if she gets ahold of any kibble or wet food, she will vomit it back up (and yes, she will eat her vomit and then vomit it again and eat it again- basically, she will keep eating it until it stays down).
(My vet describes it thus, "A PRAA is a vestigal or embryonic vascular ring that if not reabsorbed, as in normal fetal development, constricts the esophagus and causes chronic regurgitation.")
Neala also has mega-esophagus, secondary to the PRAA. This basically means that her esophagus is blown up like a long balloon before the constriction and after the constriction. The concern here is that the longer it takes for her to have surgery to correct the PRAA, the greater the chance that she develops permanent nerve damage and her esophagus never returns to normal or semi-normal. If she has mega-esophagus permanently, then she will always be at a high risk for aspiration pneumonia.
Why Should I Help You?
If you don't want to help Neala out- you don't have to! That's the great thing about all of this- the people who have chosen to help in one way or another (through sharing Neala's story, giving donations, or simply supporting us in her struggles) are wonderful people who we truly appreciate. Our goal is to update this blog daily until we obtain the funds for her surgery, then update daily through her surgery and recovery and continue to update as she hopefully grows and begins to thrive.
How Do I Know This Isn't a Scam?
Well, if you know us- you know full well how much we care for our animals, but if you are like most of Neala's supporters- you don't know us and it can be scary to think you are sending your hard earned monies off into the interspaces. For that fact, we offer you our vet hospital's Facebook page- you may read about Neala there- as well as our vet hospital's web page- you can always email them and ask about Neala- they will be glad to get back to you when they have the time.
What is the Success Rate of this Surgery?
Unfortunately, almost everything published is based off of dogs- and usually very large dogs, not Chihuahuas or teacup pups. Published success rates, however, are at 90%. We have to assume since Neala is much smaller then a German Shepherd that the success rate is lower, but we are still very, very hopeful this will work.
Why Waste Money on a Kitten?
Honestly, and this may not be the best answer, but if you are asking this question- you really aren't the type who will ever 'get' this blog. The fact is- I knew this kitten before she was born, she was born into my hands... She is important to me for who she is- period. As long as she is happy and willing to fight, I am willing to fight for her. We have been pounding the pavement in every way possible since hearing about her diagnosis- not just asking for donations, but looking for surgeons who might be able or willing to do the surgery for less, calling vet hospitals and looking for other options, hosting this blog and Neala's website. Simply letting people know about this kitten and her story of PRAA...
I hope this has answered some of your questions and you understand now why this is so important to me and many other people. Neala is a unique, sweet soul that was put on this Earth for a purpose. If she survives this surgery, my hope is for her to be a therapy cat one day- to make children laugh who are undergoing painful procedures, as I'm sure her surgery will not be easy either.
Thank you for reading and keep watching for new posts... I'm sure Neala has a lot more to say!