Burnie's Story

Burnie, a striped cat with white paws, sitting on top of a present that is being wrapped.On October 24, 2008, our cat Burnie had a series of seizures. We immediately brought him to his regular veterinary office and they said that we needed to bring him to VMC, which we did. He was put into an oxygen cage as he was not doing well and they were having trouble stopping his seizures. Over the next 24 hours he gradually got better and he was run through a series of tests to determine what was suddenly causing these seizures. A brain scan showed he had a large tumor in the upper right lobe of his brain and that was causing his seizures. They recommended against surgery due to his age (at the time, Burnie was 12 years old). If they did not perform the surgery there was a good chance the seizures would continue and his quality of life would not be good. 
On Tuesday October 28th, we met with Dr. McVey to discuss surgical options and potential outcomes. For example, could he get to the tumor without causing too much brain damage? Could he remove the whole tumor so chances of it growing back would be minimal? What would his quality of life after the surgery look like? 

Based on the type of tumor, its size, and location, Dr. McVey was very confident that he could effectively remove the tumor without causing much (if any) brain damage. We decided to go through with the surgery which occurred two days later on October 30th. After surgery, Burnie was blind and it was unknown at that time if his vision would come back. Within 24 hours he had his vision back. Also, due to the lack of data on recovery times from this type of surgery on a cat, they estimated that he would live approximately 12 to 18 months. 

I am very happy to say that Burnie turned 18 in June of this year (2014)! In October, it will have been 6 years since his brain surgery. Other than glaucoma in his right eye, he is doing great and continues to be the chatty, lovable cat he has always been. 

I cannot thank Dr. McVey and his staff enough. They were excellent and I would highly recommend Dr. McVey and VMC!

Leah & Kellie

Share your story

Have we helped your pet? We'd love to hear from you. Share your VMC story by emailing vmccomm@umn.edu. Don't forget to include a photo of your pet!