NC kitten rescue: This procedure was used to successfully ‘thaw out’ frostbitten stray kitty

This is the story of Nativity Grace, a kitten abandoned in a store parking lot in 10-degree Fahrenheit temperature. I realize this is a long article, but PLEASE take the time to read how Marleen Jenkins and Janelle Scere handled their first non-shelter rescue of 2018. Both are ‘cat champions’ at Cabarrus County Animal Shelter in Concord, North Carolina.

The cat advocacy community was notified and her first report by Marleen and Janelle stated

“Sadly she has frostbite on all four feet, her ears, and her nose. The good news is it hurts so the tissue in her feet must still be alive. Not sure about her nose and ears. Her ears are patchy white and her nose is swelling and skin peeling off. There is a little black around her nails on her toes but it does hurt so she has feeling! She is totally tame purring up a storm but sometimes cry’s out in pain!”

The procedure below is how Nativity Grace was “thawed out” as described on her YouCaring page.

“This is very important for us to know this not only for cats and dogs but for humans who may have had a dangerous overexposure to the extreme cold! You must do is warm up SLOW use warm dry towels, no hot water, DO NOT BATH you could push them into shock, do not rub the affected areas. (I just touched her nose and a piece came off)! Right after she started to warm up and blood was going to her feet, nose, and ears that when the swelling started and it is very painful!

And as far as feeding they must warm up some first, you have to raise their core body temperature. I gave her her small amounts of warm water and food a little at a time! She finally urinated after 24 hours so it looks like her kidneys are functioning. She pooped a lot of very dehydrated poop, I had given her some mineral oil because her tummy was distended and you could feel impaction. Her feet were very painful yesterday especially when the blood started to flow to the frostbit exterminates, but hopefully no permanent nerve damage. There is some black around her rear toes looking necrotic but so far not a lot! The vet will remove that Friday morning. Her little nose skin and fur is peeling off but the nose is not necrotic looks like no gangrene on the sweet little nose!”

On Friday morning Nativity Grace will return to the vet at 8:30 am to get her feet cleaned up, combo tests, etc. I will post an update when I know more.

NOTE: Please understand this procedure doesn’t replace veterinary care. It’s still very important to get your cat to the vet when frostbite or suspected frostbite occurs.

Additional source 1

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PoC related articles 1 and 2

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NC kitten rescue: This procedure was used to successfully ‘thaw out’ frostbitten stray kitty — 12 Comments

  1. Little Nativity is doing well but as it stands now there is some kind of permanent damage to her rear leg and feet. We will continue to update on her progress after her next vet check up!

  2. UPDATE! Nativity Grace is doing great. Her face is healing well, walking improving, Neg/neg fiv/felv slight fever and will continue antibiotics.

  3. Elisa,
    I think the picture is informative. It’ seems not graphic, it is informational. For those who have never seen frostbite, now they have an idea of what it looks like.

    I would have thought to use warm water too. That is what we were taught when I was a kid. Warm dry towels sounds good if you don’t rub, just place them there. Makes sense too, because if you use water to warm them up eventually you have a wet cat. And being wet will make him cold. When you are trying to raise core body temperature I think it makes sense not to use water at all on the injured areas, and just warm them with warm towels.

      • Happy New Year, Michael!

        Monty says, “Happy Mew Year and send some warmer temperatures please!” He thinks humans can control the weather and I am just being stubborn by not turning the heat up for him outside. He is getting so bored!

        He even went out today for ten minutes even though it was about -10 Celsius out there. I kept thinking about the poor frostbitten kitty in this story so I called him in (with his favorite word) after about ten minutes and gave him a little snack.

        Has Gabriel been going out or is it too cold for him?

  4. Elisa, you are a blessing to all. Sometimes the vet is not available at the moment an animal is in danger. Not just the remedy is important but the identification of what is happening to the poor animal. I’m not sure I would quickly discern what to do first for a human or a cat or dog. James is right that those that block this post have “serous issues”.

  5. I’ve already had one person block me on Facebook for posting the photo. Never mind that this article could help cats until they reach the vet. If you want to block me I totally understand.

      • It’s absurd that someone could be “offended” by this informative article, or even the pictures of a pink nose. Anyone who would block you over this has their own “serious issues” they should tend to.

        • James the crazy fake profile person who complained about Nativity’s photo has now said we were harassing them! OMG Get a life!

    • there is nothing wrong with the photo, it is not graphic but if it was graphic it definitely needed post also as people need to be aware and do something, not bitch about a photo and hide their head in the sand.

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