Gerda the cat recovering after being found frozen in cold Ottawa winter
OTTAWA -- A two-year-old cat lost its leg and tail after being found frozen on a porch in Ottawa earlier this month.
The Ottawa Humane Society says Gerda is recovering after being rushed to the clinic three weeks ago near death.
"Gerda's body temperature and blood sugar were too low to be measured. She was emaciated and dehydrated," said the humane society in a statement.
"Her tail hung limp and one of her hind legs was broken. OHS veterinarians estimated that if Gerda had spent minutes longer exposed to the cold, she may not have survived."
The humane society says Gerda's tail was severely wounded and her fractured leg bone had broken through the skin.
Once Gerda was stable enough to receive surgery, Dr. Shelley Hutchings and Dr. Mary Thompson performed an operation to remove the tail and leg.
"Gerda likely has a long road ahead of her," said Dr. Hutchings, Chief Veterinarian at the Ottawa Humane Society. "But we're optimistic that she will make a complete recovery."
In an interview with CTV News Ottawa on Thursday, Dr. Hutchings said if Gerda had stayed out any longer, she probably wouldn't have made it.
"I know the next morning, when I heard she made it through the night at the emerg clinic, it’s just incredible joy," said Hutchings.
Hutchings says the Ottawa Humane Society believes Gerda suffered some type of traumatic event while outside, possibly being struck by a vehicle.
"When she first came in she was really afraid. We had to give her medication for pain management, so she was certainly uncomfortable to begin with. She was really unsure about everything but she’s getting used to us. She’s getting used to the environment," said Hutchings.
"She’s now moved up into a bigger room out of our critical care unit and so she’s really coming around and learning to trust us. It seems like she knows we’re trying to help at this point."
The chief veterinarian at the Ottawa Humane Society said Gerda should adapt to having three legs.
"Cats are amazing creatures, they tend to do very well on three legs so she’s recovered very well, she’s getting around nicely on three legs. As well, without the tail, she’s getting used to that. There’s certainly no way to repair it after the trauma. So she’s adapting really, really well."
The Ottawa Humane Society says it has seen an increase in the number of animals coming into the clinic for critical urgent care.
"It’s been amazing how our community has actually been there to help the animals and has really stepped up to support them during this time," said Lori Marcantonio, Director of Outreach and Development at the humane society.
The Ottawa Humane Society is collecting donations to help cover the cost of Gerda's care.
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Colton Praill