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Tiny Kitten Fights For His Life at CARES

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Dedicated Pet Parents, CARES doctors and nurses team up to save “Simba”

“He was less than half a pound when we found him,” recalls Suzie Zabicki. “We were in the backyard watering plants and my husband Bryan told me there was a kitten in the shed. Sure enough, it was this itty bitty thing,” she adds. The kitten, abandoned by its mother, was infested with fleas and in need of immediate help. So, Suzie and Bryan took him to CARES in Langhorne. Blood work revealed the kitty, named Simba, was severely anemic (low red blood cells) from his flea infestation. His abdomen was also pot bellied from roundworm parasites and he was dehydrated. The Zabicki’s, who have always had dogs at home, bonded instantly with Simba and were happy to do whatever it took to help him. “The kitty came right to my husband in the shed. He was just so enigmatic and had so much personality,” says Suzie.

Simba only had 10% of his red blood cells, so CARES emergency veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Wintergrass gave him what Suzie calls the “world’s tiniest blood transfusion.” A series of tests and other medication were needed to help stabilize him. “I love CARES,” says Suzie. “I’ve used CARES throughout the years with my other pets, in emergency situations. The CARES name is so typical of the quality of care you get. They really do care and it’s just been exceptional service when I’m there.”

Simba at Home

The at-home care for Simba would also prove to be very important for his survival. The Zabicki’s were dedicated pet parents. “It was very intensive,” adds Suzie. “I’d get up every two hours to feed and give him formula,” she says. She also had to keep Simba warm by using a towel wrapped in a bottle of warmed water. He was too tiny to regulate his own temperature. “We didn’t know if he would make it,” says Suzie. “Then I couldn’t get him to poop and had to return to CARES to receive an enema. It was touch and go,” she adds.

Today, Suzie says Simba is doing much better and beginning to thrive at a little over a pound in weight. He also loves his home with their 4-pound Chihuahua, Eva. Suzie is thankful to have the CARES team in her corner. “It’s a great place in terms of services and people,” she says. “Dr. Wintergrass called me several times to check on Simba. That’s going above and beyond. We’ve all done everything in our power to boost him to health.”

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