Gather around boys and girls. I’d like to tell you the tale (tail?) of Sipowitz.

Not long ago SPCR was contacted asking for us to take in a male 10 month old chocolate Persian. The surrender form said he had small umbilical hernia. Spoiler alert – it wasn’t. The foster picked him up and it was discovered that this guy had zero socialization, was matted terribly, reeked of unaltered male, and of course, had a small hernia.

At the time of surrender, we were told that this young lad was only allowed to be touched by one person – “because they wanted him to love them most”. * sigh* It took him 3 days to eat and allow for a finger touch to the head. Foster Mom was able to catch him the next week and do a quick evaluation. She was stunned to feel a very large, very firm lump protruding from his abdomen – think grapefruit size. At first she thought it was maybe a mat because BOY was he matted! After more investigating it was confirmed, this was the small hernia.

The previous owners purchased him from a backyard breeder and got a discount because of this defect. While this story is about Sip, SPCR can’t help but reiterate…you get what you pay for! This small hernia was never corrected, and continued to grow as he did. Of course, we think rescue should be considered, but if you do need to purchase – do your homework!

Sip’s first stop was to the clinic to have his kibbles and bits sorted as we formulated a game plan for the hairy grapefruit. That first vet declined to do the neuter surgery once they saw him, suspecting that he had a diaphragmatic hernia. We were referred out to a full service hospital. The first full service vet declined to do the surgery also, saying they weren’t equipped to handle the necessary procedure. The radiographs for him were sent all over the Twin Cities and finally landed at the University of MN veterinary school. *Note the intestine that had migrated into that hernia pouch – all that had to go back in and get closed up.* The school wouldn’t know if a mesh covering would be needed, but they were confident they could help and an appointment was set.

Yesterday morning, Sipowitz spent over 2 hours in surgery as they fed his small intestine back through the 5 cm hole in his abdomen. It was unclear whether it would all fit back inside since some organs may have shifted when the intestine moved. The vets worked their magic and were able to get everything back inside, without removing anything, and without the mesh covering. Also while under they got the bits removed from his kibble.

He spent the night on oxygen and under close observation, and came home this morning. Here is a photo of him with Doctor Lyndsey this morning. He’s grumpy, tired, out of sorts, and wearing the dreaded cone of shame. BUT – he’s on the mend. He will be waited on hand and foot for the next two weeks as the surgical site heals and he gets weaned off his pain meds.

Sipowitz’s surgical costs were not insignificant and we could use your help in offsetting the fees. Your donations help make these lifesaving surgeries possible for kitties like this handsome chap. Anything helps – and thank you for being an incredible group of advocates.

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