Kittens burned, rushed to vet after fire in Port Alberni

Kittens burned, rushed to vet after fire in Port Alberni
One of the injured kittens is shown.

Five kittens were injured, including one with severe burns, following a fire in Port Alberni.

The fire broke out on the afternoon of June 20, just 245 metres (800 feet) away from the BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot animal centre.

Some 22 firefighters from the Port Alberni and Beaver Creek fire departments, as well as the Coastal Fire Centre, battled the fire, which grew to about half a hectare in size on steep, challenging terrain.

Watch the report below:

After the fire was held, firefighters performed sweeps of the area, and over the course of the next two days they found five burned kittens, according to the SPCA.

“The response from fire crews in Port Alberni was outstanding,” said Sam Sattar, manager of the BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot animal centre in a statement Wednesday.

“Because the fire happened so close to the animal centre, we were able to rush them to an emergency veterinary hospital and get them treatment quickly.”

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Three of the injured kittens are pictured after receiving vet care. (SPCA)

The kittens suffered a range of injuries.

One was only slightly singed, while the rest suffered burns “on their paws, tails, ears, and noses.”

One kitten in particular suffered serious injuries, including to his face, abdomen, mouth, eyelids, tail and rectum, according to the SPCA.

“Their paws are burned, and the skin is sloughing off.”

The kittens all received subcutaneous fluids, as well as pain medication and long-lasting antibiotics for their injuries.

They were also given cream for their burns, and four of the five kittens were prescribed eye medication. Both medications will have to be applied by ointment and eye drops three times a day, says the SPCA.

“With burns it will get a little bit worse before it starts to get better, but they seem to be on the right track to getting better,” Sattar told CHEK News.

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Medical cream is pictured on a kitten’s nose and paws where it was burned. (SPCA)

Still purring

Despite the pain, the SPCA says the kittens are still affectionate and have been “purring through their treatment.”

“It is unbelievable, even on the way to the veterinary hospital prior to any supportive care or pain management, the healthiest of the kittens were playing and acting like kittens,” said Sattar.

“The ones with the more serious injuries have just wanted to sleep, heal and cuddle with each other on a plush blanket that doesn’t cause their burns any discomfort.”

The SPCA notes that three of the kittens still step “very gingerly,” and that the most severely burned one does not like to walk at all because of the pain.

The kittens will be under veterinary care and in foster homes for several weeks as they heal.

Eventually, once they are healed, they will be spayed and neutered and put up for adoption, with the least injured kitten expected to be available shortly, while the rest are expected to be available in mid-July.

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“We have the kittens recovering at the home of one of our staff members so they can receive the specialized care they need to recover,” said Sattar. “They are all set up with special litter that won’t stick to their paws or cause them discomfort when they step on it.”

The SPCA is also fundraising for the care of the kittens.

Petsecure Pet Health Insurance has offered to match donations up to $3,500 to help pay for the kittens’ medical costs. Donations can be made through the SPCA website.

With files from CHEK’s Kendall Hanson 


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