Indy is a polydactyl kitten, a genetic mutation that causes her to have 6 toes instead of 5. As a result, she appears to have large bear paws, which make her very cute. But this anomaly caused walking difficulties after birth.
One of Indy’s legs deformed during pregnancy
Because of his supernumerary toes, Indy has very large legs. The problem is that the space for the kittens in the mother’s belly is very limited, and one of the paws ofIndy was twisted.
“She was born with her front leg bent. The paws of polydactyl cats are too large in utero and can cause the arm to flex abnormally when there is not enough room“, has explained Jacqueline DeAmorthe founder of the shelter Friends for Life Rescue Networkat lovemeow.
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Unfortunately, Indy was part of a very large litter. “So there was not enough room to accommodate the size of his paw. This caused the tendons to lock.”
Massages and stretches to straighten the paw
The problem ofIndy was taken seriously as soon as he arrived at the shelter, at the age of 4 weeks. This early management made it possible to correct the deformity by physical therapy, without going through an operation.
“This can be corrected with massage and stretching as a newborn during the first weeks of life […] Four weeks was the ideal age to stretch and correct the leg before its bones calcified and the tendons became too short to stretch.“, has explained Jacqueline.
The joy of finally being able to run free
For about a week, Indy had a bandage around the paw, and massages for 10 minutes after each meal. The treatment worked very well, and the bandage could be removed.
Now the little cat can run around and have fun like all her friends, and she’s having a field day. She is full of energy, and “loves to jump, chase things and fight with toys.”
The intrepid feline with bear paws must continue the massages, but she can now live full of adventures!