A couple in Michigan called The Wildcat Sanctuary needing to place their F1 Bengal. Though they owned Mark for 9 years, they said they were rarely able to pet him. He was kept on a tether in the backyard.
The owners wanted to have a family and were concerned Mark was not the appropriate pet for small children. We were called and a place was made for Mark here at the sanctuary. Mark was born in 1995 and came to The Wildcat Sanctuary in 2004 to stay.
Mark is doing very well at the sanctuary. He loves to get chicken from the caretakers when they come to clean his habitat and will follow them around looking for more chicken.
Mark’s large eyes are very distinctive. Late in 2012, we noticed Mark wasn’t opening his left eye all the way and it was very runny. We monitored it very closely and it seemed to resolve itself.
A month later, the same eye was not opening all the way and it appeared there might be a scratch on that eye. Our veterinarian sutured Mark’s third eyelid, the nictitating membrane, closed to help heal the scratch.
Once the stitches came out, it looked better but the scratch then reappeared. We took Mark to an eye specialist, Dr. Connie Sillerud of The Companion Animal Eye Center, and she determined that the ulcer was very deep and would require surgery.
Though drops four times a day might have been an option, since Mark was unable to be handled, it would have caused him undue stress and, most likely, wouldn’t have healed properly.
The surgery involved using microscopic instruments for a pedicle graft in which the healthy cornea next to the ulcer is slid across to aid repair. The conjunctiva, or the pale pink tissue that covers the white of the eye, is slid across since the cornea is attached to it. Had we not treated the eye, a bacterial infection might have developed, resulting in Mark losing his eye.
We’re happy to report that the surgery went very well and Mark is back to his old self, enjoying life in Hybrid Haven with his bungalow buddies.
Though the cats may be small, their healthcare expenses can still be monumental, too.