#Misfits4Ukraine

Friends, it is hard these days to not turn on the TV or go online and be faced with sad, devastating images of the atrocities going on in Ukraine so in all of this bleakness we wanted to share with you some shimmers of light.

First off we want to be very clear in saying that we misfits stand with our friends in Ukraine and continue to send them love, prayers, compassion and support in any way that we can. Our hearts continue to break over the utter chaos and devastation that our friends (both two and four legged) are suffering in Ukraine.

Since this disruption for our friends in Ukraine we have gotten requests for carrier tags from not only Ukraine but also neighboring countries – all with the intent of giving them out so animals have a chance of being identified if they have a special ability but also leaving owners the ability to put their name and number on it in the event they are separated.

We continue to receive brief messages of families that are grateful for these carrier tags in a war torn area and several that were reunited with their handipet thanks to our carrier tags.

We even received an email from one pet parent that did not stray away from talking about cerebellar hypoplasia despite bombs going off in the distance. Friends we are in this together! We continue to show our support for Ukraine and we hope that you will also!

Keep fighting the good fight misfits!

The 30 Something-Year-Old’s Constant Plight!

 

       As a 30 something year old married woman I often get the age-old irritating question that I am sure plague many of you,

“so, when are you having kids of your own?

      Which is cool and all for those that want them but for me? I enjoy not pushing something the size of a large wet St. Bernard through something the size of a keyhole only to have my tatas drag on the ground every morning (kudos to all y’all mamas out there though – y’all are such MVP’s!!!)

     But the statement that people should be echoing (because let’s be honest, I use that as a vehicle to talk about the adorable land of misfits) is, “you are a mom, just not in the traditional sense” which makes sense– we’re the land of misfits’ dudes!

       Nothing (and I mean absolutely nothing) we will say or do will ever be considered or filed away as “traditional”.

But a caregiver is a caregiver, right?

 

  Whether you are a “mom” to a child, an animal that you have forged a deep emotional bond with, a friend, the elderly – anyone that you provide loving, compassionate care for, you are a “parent” in one form or another.

       The next time someone approaches you in that sad sympathetic look with the tone of dismay over how they could never (cue the pearl clutching here) have an animal that is “special needs” and they simply do not know how we do it every day! Ask them why they feel that way and explain maybe you feel the same way about their situations. Do we not worry about our handicapable pets just like new parents fussing over their new baby?

 

        

Regardless of the situation, anytime you dedicate your heart to something as pure as an animal (handicapable or otherwise) or a baby or loved one, you are assuming the care, love, and responsibility for that helpless, defenseless being.

 

        

          So no, I am not a mother in the traditional sense but what fun would that be in the land of misfits where we are all just a little out of the ordinary here?

 

     

 Yet just like many of you I can say I am a nurturing caregiver (and a “parent”) here’s why:

  • I have and will continue to handle more amounts of fecal matter than I had originally anticipated as a child (in case you were wondering, child me had that number at a hard zero – boy was I wrong). I wipe more ass than toilet paper at this point and my regular purchase of non-scented baby wipes has the local store concerned and puzzled.
  • Everyone gets put to bed at nighttime – Maxwell is usually first to go: I help him use the facilities, we give him a little nighttime snack and then we brush his teeth, turn on his white noise machine (yes we play it and he loves the outdoor noises) and tuck him in his crib (a real baby crib) with his lamby he has had since a baby and has seen far better days.  Followed by Bifford and Bart who also both get a little snack of canned food before bedtime before putting them to put with their brother Max in the “boys’ room” (or our spare room that has been commandeered by the handipets).

 

  • On any given night you can hear crying, throwing up, fighting and more – just like kids can do (and yes there have been many a sleepless night up with a restless, crying or sick handipet)

So where is the disconnect?

 

        A mother who cares for a newborn up to their elbows in diapers and crying is a “mom”, but I am up to my eyeballs in poop many nights up all night crying because I was tired and frustrated, but felt guilty for being so upset because just like babies the handipets do not understand.

 

           One of the major differences is that with  “traditional” mothers eventually their children grow up, grow independent and off on their own but as we all know (especially here at the adorable land of misfits) is that our babies never “grow up”,  Maxwell will forever need assistance using the bathroom, he will always need me to wipe his booty, help in and out of his wheelchair and require constant attention.

        Bifford will still cry when he falls (he is a bottle kitten after all) and need the “danglers” clipped from his long hair, Bart will still need me to help him wipe the half inch long dangling boogers from his nose.

          They are each adorable, affectionate, disgusting in their own individual ways and I often describe them to people as my “adorable dumpster fires” at home but I would not change a thing because the things that make them adorable and gross are the qualities that make them who they are, make them unique and keeps our lives here interesting and entertaining.

                Because the “misfits” are the patchwork to a vibrant and beautiful life, right? Or how about the age old saying “variety is the spice of life”, that definitely applies to being a handicapable pet parent.

            Regardless of if were parents to kids, animals (handicapable or otherwise!), friends or the elderly we are all “moms” and “dads” in our own uniquely misfit way and its worthy of commendation and respect!! 

ASA Status

Scoring System

This is where ASA classification can help. An ASA risk is a 1-to-5 score adapted for animals from human medicine’s American Society of Anesthesiologists. The system is based on the patient’s overall health, not the procedure being performed.

The ASA scoring system is NOT an assessment of total perianesthetic or perioperative risk, since many things, including the surgical procedure planned, the skill & training of the anesthetist and the surgeon, as well as the the resources at hand, contribute to the entirety of operative risk. If you EVER have any questions or concerns regarding your pet and any upcoming procedure they may be having talk to your veterinarian/veterinary support staff immediately!

The pre-anesthestic phase includes NOT only the choice of preanesthetic sedatives & analgesics but also a full preanesthetic evaluation & stabilization of the patient, if necessary. Categorization of patients using the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) provides a framework for evaluation of patient health & determination of stabilization requirements prior to anesthesia.

STATUSASA CLASSIFICATIONEXAMPLES
IHealthy Pet, No DiseaseElective Spay/Neuter
IIMild systemic disease or localized diseaseHealthy geriatric pet, mild anemia or obesity
III (Fair)Moderate systemic disease limiting activity but NOT life-threateningMitral valve insufficiency, collapsing trachea, poorly controlled diabetes
IV (Poor)Severe systemic disease, incapacitating; life-threatening; not expected to live without surgeryHemoabdomen from splenic rupture, severe traumatic pneumothorax, organ failure
V (Grave)Moribound; not expected to live >24 hours, with or without surgeryMulti-organ failure, severe shock, terminal malignancy

Meet “Bifford”

About “Bifford”

Bifford was born in Chicago, Illinois after his mother was rescued off the streets by a compassionate and patient animal shelter volunteer. Being one of four kittens he was categorized by animal shelter volunteers as “the worst” out of the litter in regards to his cerebellar hypoplasia. When Bifford was a mere 10 days old his mother rejected him thus withholding care and nutrition he so desperately needed when a devoted foster mother assumed responsibility for his around the clock care. When Bifford was transported to Youngstown, Ohio by a local cat shelter a note was enclosed with him:

“Born October 09, 2011, mother rejected at 10 days old. Tipsy [my brother] and I are the largest of the four kittens in our litter and most affected with CH. He will use a litter box 99% o f the time, will cry beside the litter box if he cannot get in or is having trouble. Sometimes falls/flips right out of the litter box and also sometimes lays on side to go [to the bathroom] and I will help hold him up until he finishes. Sometimes will take a nose dive in litter and will need cleaned off/bathed. Sometimes he will accidentally step in his own mess because he is unable to bury his potty. Will eat some from plate but will eat best when fed canned food by hand while holding him up under his belly with my other hand. Will cry for a bedtime bottle around 9-10 PM and gets canned food 3x/day.” 

Bifford was initially adopted in Fall 2012 but was returned after his family moved and could no longer take him with them. Upon being returned back to the shelter he was then adopted in Spring 2013 by a family who vowed to care for him but unfortunately bungled his care. When being returned (again) to the shelter in May 2014, Bifford’s former family admitted that they were unable to effectively care for Bifford and felt that he was “suffering” and wanted him to “die with dignity” to which they would contain him in an empty hot tub with the cover on it in order to “contain the mess”. Bifford was terrified and underweight but otherwise unscathed, though shelter life was no life for him. Living in such close proximity to other cats in a cage free shelter proved the theory of “survival of the fittest” in which Bifford was not as fast as the other cats and was often the subject of many bullies.

I agreed to foster Bifford on Mother’s Day, 2014 in which the situation was only to be “temporary” in order to spring him from the shelter and hopefully nurture him physically and emotionally. The first few nights were proving to be exhausting ones for both Bifford and myself — roaming the house and crying all hours of the night I can only speculate he was terrified being in a strange, new environment (again) and even more terrified that he was going to fall in love with a new family and ultimately get returned back to the shelter. Couple this with the fact that at that time I had no idea how to properly care for a “CH” cat (nor did I know much about them) I feared that I would not be able to arise to the labor of love that was Bifford.

Years have passed since those first few days and I still joke with Bifford that he is a “foster” though I can say without reservation that he is a “foster fail” because he took over my heart in so many ways. Come October 09, 2018 Bifford will be turning 10 years old to which he has a happy, healthy and spoiled lifestyle (what cat do you know that has their own bedroom and TV?!) and ultimately planted the seed of special needs animals advocacy and education due to all of the misconceptions and ill-information circulating about special needs animals.

Please enjoy the website, Bifford’s photos and overall shenanigans and information 🙂

Common Veterinary Anesthetic Medications Chart

DISCLAIMER: These are COMMON medications/adverse reactions to veterinary anesthetic medications, just like humans, pets also can have a variety of symptoms/reactions that are not listed or documented.

If you have any questions or concerns always speak to your veterinarian about the kinds of medications utilized and the potential side effects that may occur.

Anesthetic/Analgesic DrugCommon Adverse Effects
Dexmedetomidine Medetomidine XylazineBradycardiaCardiac Output ReductionHypertension/HypotensionVasoconstriction
NSAIDs SteroidsBleeding DisorderDiarrhea/VomitingGastrointestinal UlcerationLethargyRenal/Liver Failure
Diazepam MidazolamMinimal Cardiorespiratory EffectsParadoxical Excitement of Patients
Halothane Isofurane SevofuraneDecreased Cardiac OutputDecreased Myocardial Contractility Hypothermia/HyperthermiaMay result in hypotensionVasodilation
Diazepam/Ketamine Propofol Tiletamine/ZolazepamCyanosisOccasional Muscle Twitches/SeizuresProfuse Salivation/Airway SecretionsRespiratory Depression Transient TachycardiaVasodilation
Bupivacaine Lidocaine MepivacaineBradycardiaHyperthermia in some animals; hypothermia more likelyCardiac ArrestHypotensionSeizure
Buprenorphine Butorphanol Fentanyl Hydromorphone MorphineBradycardiaMydriasis/MiosisRespiratory Depression (hypoventilation, apnea)Vomiting

We Want YOU!

Have a special needs animal you want to tell the world about? Have a blog/website/organization pertaining to special needs animals? We want to talk to you!

Each month we would like to interview/show case a special needs animal/organization/blog! We cannot fight this good fight alone and we need YOUR HELP!

Email us today at Suzi@presidentbifford.com

Meet Zif!

Meet Ziffel!

As a baby kitten he was hit by a car and suffered a broken pelvis and was dropped off at a local Veterinary Clinic to be euthanized 😢 until he fell in love with Linda (his mom)!

Ziff had suffered nerve damage in his one paw which caused him to chew at it! So for 13 years Linda religiously wrapped his paw to keep Zif from gnawing at it!

Zif had a normal, happy life all because Linda gave him the patience and empathy that he needed to thrive.

Special needs pets (and parents!) come in all special qualities but all require the same thing: love and patience!

Want to ask Linda a question about Zif and how she cared for him? Feel free to comment below or email us at PresidentBifford@gmail.com

#BiffordsBros

Questions for the Veterinarian

The ongoing concern for “CH” parents is that they are afraid to have their special needs pet go for any procedures as they are concerned about anesthesia.

Currently there is NO studies that confirm nor deny the use (or avoidance) or certain anesthetic medications but there are certain medications to be cautious about as their side effects could affect even a non-CH pet! Here is a list of questions below to ask your veterinarian/veterinary staff prior to your pet’s “big day” (feel free to customize this template as you see appropriate!):

[   ] Are you aware of and/or ever cared for a cerebellar hypoplasia patient?

[   ] Do you have any reservations in caring for a CH pet?

[   ] Are pre-anesthetic physical examinations & pre-surgical bloodwork required/completed?

[   ] Can I request that pre-anesthetic bloodwork be completed on my pet PRIOR to surgery/procedure?

[   ] Premedication(s) – What type(s) are utilized?

[   ] Do you intubate anesthetized patients (this ensures that their airways stay open & they receive enough oxygen)?

[   ] Are IV catheters utilized? May I request that an IV catheter is utilized for my pet?

[   ] Do you monitor body functions under anesthesia (HR/RR/BP/ETCO2, SPO2, Temp)?

[   ] Documentation of patient parameters during anesthesia/recovery (anesthesia record)

[   ] Continued patient support & monitoring in recovery (post-anesthesia)?

Pet Safety Crusaders Blog Feature!

Check out Bifford’s article in the Pet Safety Crusaders Blog! Huge thank you to Denise for publishing his story and helping spread the word on specially-abled pets!

If you want to learn more about “less adoptable pets” and more about Denise and her fantastic site please click the link below!

https://www.petfirst.com/pet-care/less-adoptable-pets-are-more/

Handicapable Foundation

Handicapable Foundation has proudly partnered up with “Bifford for President” to better serve the pet special needs community! Check out their website for more information or check out their brief description below!

https://www.handicapablefoundation.org/

Handicapable Foundation provides support for disabled animals, service animals, therapy animals, comfort animals, law enforcement animals, military animals or animals in need of care.


ALL OF THESE ANIMALS WE REFER TO AS HANDICAPABLE ANIMALS.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

HandiCapable has a program called the “Lynn McCoy Medical Funds Assistance Program” to provide financial and medical assistance to families, businesses and organizations caring for HandiCapable Animals.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR NONPROFITS

HandiCapable has a goal to provide financial distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations and has a purpose that aligns with the purposes of HandiCapable Foundation.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR RESEARCH

HandiCapable has a goal to provide financial support for the research and study of rare or common genetic conditions and disabilities in animals.

EDUCATION

HandiCapable has a goal to provide educational information and materials to the general public regarding HandiCapable Animals.

TESTING

HandiCapable has a goal to provide support, either tangible or financial, for the scientific testing and/or research of disabled animals or animals thought to be disabled. This includes gene testing for disorders.

ADOPTION / REHOMING ASSISTANCE

HandiCapable has a goal to help provide financial support, facilities, supplies, equipment and human resources to aid in the care, adoption or rehoming of animals.

GRANTS

HandiCapable has a goal to provide financial grants to Supporting Entities for purposes that align with the purposes of HandiCapable Foundation.

SUPPLIES

HandiCapable has a goal to help provide financial or tangible assistance with equipment or supplies to the care provider(s) of HandiCapable Animals. One of these programs is called the “Chyna Assistance Program”.

GIFT BOXES

HandiCapable has a goal to send welcome boxes full of great fun and tasty gifts to new animals that join the HandiCapable family.

EVENTS

HandiCapable has a goal to sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that gain exposure for HandiCapable Animals or which may align with the purposes or objectives of HandiCapable Foundation.

PARTNERSHIPS

HandiCapable has a goal to help participate in partnerships with individuals, businesses or organizations which may assist HandiCapable Foundation in the achievement of its objectives.

TECH OUTREACH

HandiCapable has a goal to provide software, websites, apps or other mediums as a means of connecting adoptable or rehome-able animals with individuals, businesses or organizations.

**DISCLAIMER**

Bifford for President supports the ongoing efforts and ideals of Handicapable Foundation but does not and will not accept donations of any kind on the behalf of the Handicapable Foundation, nor will the Handicapable Foundation accept donations of any kind on behalf of Bifford for President. Both organizations are simply “partnered” for the ideas and purposes of educational and advocacy strictly.