Mayhew rescues stray, abandoned and injured animals every single day. Whilst the majority of animals brought into their shelter quickly recover and go on to find their forever family, some are in need of a little extra TLC.
When Animal Welfare Officer Tania Mazzoni was called out to collect a tiny calico kitten that had been found abandoned in Wormwood Scrubs, she soon noticed that Brollita – as she later named the kitten – would require some additional support.
· Brollita was very shaky and unstable throughout her journey to Mayhew and during her intake examination; and she fell over more than once whilst having her initial health check.
· These regular tremors did not seem to be caused by nerves, fear or being too cold; so Mayhew vets took blood samples and settled Brollita down in their Hospital Ward to monitor her condition.
· The blood test results ruled out multiple possible causes for the tremors, leaving vets to conclude that Brollita’s symptoms were the result of cerebellar hypoplasia – a genetic neurological condition in which the cerebellum (the part of the brain responsible for motor movements, balance, spatial awareness and coordination) is small and underdeveloped.
This explained why Brollita’s head was shaking, and why she was extremely unsteady on her feet.
Cerebellar hypoplasia is a spectrum disorder, meaning that sufferers can present with mild or severe symptoms (or anywhere in-between). Luckily it is not degenerative, and so will not become worse over time.
Many animals with cerebellar hypoplasia can enjoy a relatively normal lifestyle and lifespan with the right support.
For Brollita, who has a moderate version of the condition, this means helping her to eat and drink, and keeping a close eye on her as she roams and plays to ensure she does not inadvertently hurt herself.
When Brollita first arrived at Mayhew, she had difficulty drinking as her head tremors would cause water to splash on her face, which scared her. Mayhew’s Cattery team patiently supported her until she got used to the movement, and vets gave her IV fluids until she could drink a sufficient amount of water independently.
They also mashed Brollita’s food up which made it easier for her to eat, and encouraged her to play and interact with staff to get her used to being on her feet.
Brollita is now incredibly affectionate and very fond of games and toys – she loves to play with her feather mouse, and is very slowly coming out of her shell and becoming more confident. Mayhew’s team take time every day to socialise with her and support her, and her mobility is coming on leaps and bounds.
Mayhew are confident that Brollita will live a long and happy life with the right owner, who she is very much looking forward to finding. Brollita has been neutered and vaccinated, and is searching for someone very special – just like her – who has extra time and affection to dedicate towards her care.
Ideally, Brollita will need an owner who will be around for most of the day, and who has a secure enclosed garden area for her to enjoy under supervision. We would also consider a large indoor-only home.
If you are interested in finding out more about Brollita, or think you could offer her the kind of home she needs, please visit Mayhew’s website here.