SF SPCA Alumni: Special Needs Kitten Brighton Graduates with Honors

When Brighton arrived at our shelter, he was emaciated and starving. He wasn’t able to keep food down; most things he ate he would regurgitate. We had to find out what was wrong with him, and luckily we had a team of vets who could rally behind this special little boy.

Brighton’s initial diagnosis was persistent right aortic arch (PRAA), which typically compresses the esophagus and can cause regurgitation. Our Shelter Medicine team sprang into action to coordinate a surgery. Meanwhile, Brighton was quickly becoming a fan favorite of everyone at the SF SPCA! His adorable personality and fighting spirit gave everyone hope he’d go through surgery like a champ.

Surgery day arrived, but there was a hiccup. It turned out Brighton didn’t have PRAA, but a stricture in his esophagus. Although he couldn’t be fixed that day, at least we knew exactly why he couldn’t keep his food down. With a new game plan in hand to medically manage the stricture, he went to live with a volunteer foster parent while he recovered.

And recover he did! Brighton excelled in his foster home, looking and feeling better every day. Part of his plan required his incredibly dedicated foster parents feed him small amounts using a syringe up to 30 times per day! Soon he stopped regurgitating and started eating his full calorie requirement. He gained weight and his body condition rapidly improved.

Healthy, happy, and finally able to have a full belly, Brighton found his forever home! His adopter sent us this update:


“Brighton is settling in super well and is very excited about exploring his new home! He has become fast friends with his big feline sister — tons of chasing, wrestling, and batting at each other through chair backs and around doors.

I’m working on a design for a wooden food station that will adjust to be higher as he grows. I’m excited to build him a permanent solution for safe and comfortable meals. He’s eating and drinking well, no regurgitation or signs of distress.

Thank you so much for taking such wonderful care of this little guy till he was ready for his forever home.”

Brighton is just one of the non-routine medical cases we see every day at the shelter. More than 4,500 animals find homes through the SF SPCA each year, and of those animals more than 80% require non-routine medical or behavioral care before adoption. Special cases like Brighton’s require a lot of resources, but we know every animal is worth it. Please make a donation today so we can continue treating animals, like Brighton, who need a little extra help: Donate Today!

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