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A Rescue Cat's Broken Jaw Was Repaired and Now Resembles a Permanent Smile

By Aly Semigran    May 23, 2016 at 10:24AM / (2) comments

Duchess, who has become something of an Internet celebrity and is known as the 'Miracle Kitty,' has plenty to smile about these days. Not only is the rescue cat—who was found very badly hurt—now living in a safe and loving forever home, but she's recovering wonderfully thanks to the dedicated staff of the Adobe Animal Hospital and Clinic in El Paso, Texas.    


Last October, the Siamese cat was brought into the facility clinging to life after a concerned citizen found her injured and suffering outside of an apartment complex. "The cause of her injuries was unknown," Bryan Meyer, DVM, of the Adode Animal Hospital and Clinic tells petMD. "Being hit by a car is likely, but abuse could not be ruled out as there were no other injuries or evidence of being hit by a car. The only trauma was to the face/head."    


Meyer explains that the cat's jaw was completely dislocated on the left side, but the major injury was "a comminuted fracture to the ramus [a portion of a bone] of her right mandible." Duchess was also very malnourished and covered in scars.


Euthanasia was initially considered for the cat (who is estimated to be around 3-years-old) because she was a stray with such extensive injuries. Duchess required multiple surgeries, with no guarantee of recovery.


Still, the staff at Adobe couldn't help but feel this feline was a fighter and wanted to give her a second chance at life. "Something about her instantly tugged on our heartstrings," Meyer says. "She would constantly purr, look at us with those crossed eyes, and rubbed up on everyone so lovingly; even with the pain she was in." 


With that—after she had been stabilized with pain medications, antibiotics, and IV fluid therapy—the vets decided to move on with her surgery. 


"We wired the front part of her mandible together to repair the fractured symphysis," Meyer tells us. "Then the real challenge began, attempting to repair her shattered ramus. Working with limited resources for this extensive repair, we were able to wire a small piece of bone of the ramus to the body of the mandible. This type of repair was not done to restore function of the jaw, but rather to stabilize the fractured area and allow it to heal." 


The kitty's prognosis was still not in the clear, but after giving her a feeding tube and maintaining post-op care, the hopes were still high for her. After spending a month in the hospital, Duchess learned to eat on her own by consuming a "soup" of food mixed with water created by the staff. Eventually, Duchess underwent a second procedure to remove some of her teeth because they were irritating her tongue and causing swelling. 


But even through all this, Meyer says that Duchess maintained a good attitude and was always striving to get stronger and better by the day.


Once she recovered from her procedures, Duchess—whose repaired jaw remains crooked—was able to be adopted, and was eventually taken into the care of a loving family who understands exactly what is needed to care for this remarkable and resilient cat. 


Meyer tells petMD that there are no long-term issues related to Duchess's injuries, and that follow-up procedures have been discussed, but may not be necessary. 


"At this point, we would need to perform a CT scan of the skull to fully analyze the area of fracture and healing. Once a CT scan has been performed, we can consult with a surgical specialist to see if any further surgeries could be done to correct the damage," he says. "Regardless of what happens, we know that she has a long, happy life ahead of her."


Image via Duchess the Miracle Kitty Facebook 

Comments  2

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  • 06/17/2016 01:37pm

    After all that suffering, I'm happy Duchess found her forever home with people who can give her the life she deserves.
    Who could say No to that adorable face !
    I'd take her in a NY minute

    07/14/2016 04:15pm

    I almost wept like a shaken kid while I was reading about the Triumph of Duchess over the Euthanasia Blind Machine. My sincere respects are paid here to the Medical Rescue Team in the Adobe Animal Hosp, because they unionly managed to demolish the drag-to-evil voices that barked into their heads and said : " Why exert any effort. Murder the silly feline thing and get rid of its burden. Nothing shall fall back upon you all. ". -- I consider the day of the rescue broken-jaw operation for Duchess is One Special Day on which the shortsighted shortcoming Euthanasia Addicts in America have met a resounding defeat. They are so uneducated and so unclever, that they shockingly fail to recognize what humans of millennia ago have discovered about the merits of preserving animals. They have unbelievably failed, through what they have committed against a killed creature after a killed creature of Tens of Millions of them, to understand the [b]old and simple and strong[/b] virtue of : " You [b]Preserve[/b] the Offsprings of the Surrounding Creatures-Tribes, You thereby [b]Preserve[/b] the Offsprings of Your Own Creatures-Tribe ". It is something like [i]" A Debt and a Repay Relationship "[/i], that they are much less intellectual and much less imaginative than to grasp it, and hence correct their [i]" Squander Lives Around Policy "[/i], which definitely shall bounce back into their faces soon, very soon. I hope some shall note that : The engrossing diabolical call of " [u]Kill Creatures Reasonlessly[/u] " is a highly self-infectious disease, and its initiative-pursuer must fall himself to its " [u]Kill Back the Aggression Killer[/u] " nature-deferred vaccine. Read ancient history and cognize fast-and-clear that all historical killers have perished by historical counter-killers, that no-difference have included non-humans as well.