Dakota

By Kara

Dakota in 2015

Dakota has been a big part of our family for over six years now. He has been my daily alarm clock. Every morning he wakes me up to let me know it’s time to be fed. Dakota always follows me around the house as I’m getting ready for work.

To my daughters, he was like their little brother they always wanted. We all liked to call him “The Little Man of the House.”

Dakota loved attention from everyone, but he and Lily (my youngest daughter) have a very special bond. Dakota was her best companion all through Distance Learning for school during the major wave of the pandemic.

Dakota has always been a true blessing for our family, so when our Little Man of the House was slowly declining with poor appetite, I took him in to see our family vet.

On June 24, 2021, Dakota’s vet said everything looks fine. We made a plan to feed Dakota separately from our other two cats, to ensure Dakota was getting enough nutrition.

Then on July 26, Dakota took a turn for the worst. That Monday afternoon he never came out of hiding for his dinner. Over the next few days, I tried everything to get Dakota to eat and drink. For three days, I did everything I could to try and help Dakota. I was finally able to take Dakota back to our vet’s office. Dakota had bloodwork done and was diagnosed with Pancreatitis. He was sent home after receiving SQ fluids and a long lasting antibiotic.

With no improvement in 24 hours, I rushed Dakota to an emergency vet hospital. There I was given the TERRIBLE diagnosis of wet FIP, but was giving HOPE for Dakota. Dr. Alex Rensing told me about the wonderful ladies at FieldHaven, and all the ways they are helping to find a cure for this fatal disease.

On July 31, I went to meet Joy Smith at FieldHaven and she gave me so much support and encouragement. Joy got me in touch with Joy C., who has been a huge help with everything. To this day, I’m still in disbelief from all the help Dakota has received. I would have never made it this far without everyone’s support. Dakota received his first injection of this miracle drug at 10:00 PM on July 31. Day 1 out of 84 days of treatment.

As of today, Dakota is on day 60/84 days. This process to cure FIP is not an easy one. We all have been very stressed, Dakota included. We have all cried many tears over the last few months, but as I see Dakota showing great improvements, fighting so hard to stay alive! I owe it to Dakota to fight just as hard to save our Little Man of the House.