When Darryl the cat came into Alachua County Animal Services in Florida, he had a huge hole in his palate. No one knew what caused it, but it made eating painful, and led to constant nasal infections.
Fortunately, Operation Catnip and Alachua County Humane Society got involved, and plucked him from the euthanasia list and into the waiting arms of foster mom and shelter veterinarian extraordinaire, Dr. Julie Levy, Director of the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida.
Dr. Levy looked into every possible option. Darryl got a feeding tube, so he could be fed without causing him pain. They tried a procedure that invovlved a mesh implant, but it failed.
Finally, Dr. Levy reached out to the human medical experts at the University's Craniofacial Center. In a first-ever procedure, Dr. Fong Wong, a faculty dentist who specializes in maxillofacial prosthodontics, worked with veterinarian Dr. Amy Stone, chief of the veterinary primary care and dentistry service, to place a custom-made, metal prosthesis inside his mouth.
How did it go? Well, Darryl's eating now, out of pain, and thriving! He's even become a TV star!
What's next for Darryl? He'll continue living the good life with Dr. Levy, who loves him too much to let him go!