Kitten who overcame paralysis faces new challenge

Tiny Tim sick with virus

Posted 2/6/20

Tiny Tim just can't catch a break. The tough, crippled kitty who was saved by some Dixon kids last autumn and later used a little wheelchair designed by students in the town to get around, has a new challenge.

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Kitten who overcame paralysis faces new challenge

Tiny Tim sick with virus

Posted

Tiny Tim just can't catch a break. The tough, crippled kitty who was saved by some Dixon kids last autumn and later used a little wheelchair designed by students in the town to get around, has a new challenge.

"Tim contracted FIP [Feline Infectious Peritonitis]," according to Judy Pearson, founder of Dixon Animal Protection Society. "Ironically it is a mutation of the coronavirus."

A broken spine left Tiny Tim paralyzed for awhile, but with the help of the wheelchair designed by local STEM students, he recovered 99 percent of his mobility, Pearson said.

Then he got sick. "His belly has filled with fluid and he appears pregnant. As the virus progresses and the buildup continues he will not be able to breathe."

Pearson said this form of the virus is only contagious to cats "and most cats carry it but have no illness. Since Tim's immune system is compromised from his trauma, the virus mutated into FIP. It is 99.9 percent fatal."

There is no vaccine or cure, said Pearson in an email, but there is an experimental treatment that's proving successful at University of California-Davis and Cornell University in other cases of the virus. "We will start him on it as soon as the first round arrives. The treatment is very expensive so we have started a GoFundMe to cover the costs," said Pearson.

"If it was any other cat we would not go to the expense. But since it's Tim we have to try," Pearson said.

To read more about Tiny Tim and help, visit charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/tiny-tims-treatment-for-fip.

- Staci Matlock

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