Crowdfunding

Help Kafka find a diagnosis

Kafka is suffering from chronic diarrhea most likely caused by a complex case of food allergies. The hypoallergenic diets no longer work, nor do rare mono protein diets. This means additional and extensive testing by gastrointestinal specialists at the Universiteitskliniek voor Gezelschapsdieren also known as UKG (Academic Clinic for Pets)  in Utrecht, The Netherlands is necessary. However, this is very costly. That is why I have decided to start a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe and a PayPal Pool to help with Kafka’s medical costs.

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What do we need your donation for?

[Please note that prizes are an estimation by the clinic at this point. I will provide you with verified proof in the form of billings as soon as I receive an invoice and estimate from the clinic.]

– Consultations at the gastrointestinal policlinic of UKG, the largest academic animal clinic in Europe. Each consultation starts at €100,00/$113.45

– A gastroscopy/endoscopy and biopsies. The prizes can range from €500,00 to €800,00 euros/$567.26 to $907.62 USD, depending on how much “ground” needs te be covered.

– Laparotomy to take cell samples for further testing. This is an invasive operation with lots of risks we won’t be willing to take at this point. Price: €1193,37/$1353.90

– Ultrasounds of the parts of the small and large intestines that are unable to reach with a gastro/endoscopy – €160+/$181.52+

– Consultations at a veterinary nutritionist specialised in feline food allergies: €110,00/$124.80 per visit.

– Additional testing like blood-, urine- and stool samples.

– Advanced blood testing: vitamins, organ function, blood cell count, protein level count…

– Travel expenses to the clinic in Utrecht. The distance from our home in Heerlen, NL to the clinic is 180 kilometers/111,85 miles. I don’t have a car nor a driving license. My father estimates gas money for a round trip will be about €60,00/$68.07. So that’ll be €60/$68 for each trip. I will publish gas station receipts as proof.

Important: We have pet/veterinary insurance at the Dutch insurance company OHRA . Unfortunately they won’t cover any treatments related to Kafka’s gastrointestinal issues, e.a. diarrhea and allergy related issues, because he already had these issues at the time I adopted him and during the first month, which is considered a waiting period. This is all in the fine print of the insurance and there’s no way around it. We will provide you with our communication on this matter.


Our story

In August 2017 I lost my rescue cat Lodewijk to kidney failure after a year of intensive care to give us some more time. I was devastated. Then, I found Kafka’s ad on the website Ik Zoek Baas (I’m looking for an owner) by the Dutch Animal Protection Services. A male, neutered British Longhair (born 2/27/2011) who ended up in the animal shelter (Dierenopvangcentrum Enschede ) after suffering from serious neglect.

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At the shelter

I called straight away to adopt him and went to visit him cross country the next day. It turned out he still needed dental surgery, so I wasn’t allowed to take him home straight away. They ended up pulling all his molars because his jaw, teeth and gums were so infected. They also had to partly shave him and cut his fur, because his coat was matted. They also mentioned that he ate very little, something they connected to his dental issues. I ask to have additional blood work done – because I wanted to make sure he was completely checked out, which I offered to pay for, but they refused. I decided to pick him up as soon as they allowed me to and bring him to my own vet.

Forever home

As soon as Kafka arrived at his forever home on September 20th 2017 it became apparent that something else was wrong. He would barely eat and had terrible diarrhea. The vet ran blood, urine and stool tests. They suspected he had giardia, a parasitic worm and he received treatment for it. But the diarrhea persisted. I decided to change vets, since the vet we went to, only did walk-ins and no appointments.

Our quest

Our new vet, Dierenkliniek Leuven in Heerlen, NL, seemed more hands-on to find out what was wrong with Kafka. Kafka kept losing weight, barely ate and when he ate, he immediately had to run to the litter box. We ran more tests and the vet suggested he might have food intolerance or allergies. (For the sake of clarity, I will call them food allergies from this point on.) This was a huge breakthrough and we went looking for hypoallergenic diets his body wouldn’t reject. Unfortunately the standard diets prescribed Hills Z/D, Royal Canin hypoallergenic) weren’t received well. He would vomit and the diarrhea didn’t get better either.

At this time I have tried over 30 different diets – I will upload my logbook in an update. So far 3 have been successful. (Please note that Kafka doesn’t receive any other food than his current diet to eliminate other influences.) The vets has always warned us that it seemed like Kafka’s body would eventually start forming antigens for every type of food. This has happened with the 3 only successful diets we have found so far.

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Now

Kafka’s diarrhea is back and it seems to be back to stay. We switched from Trovet Hypoallergenic quail to venison (made it worse) to horse. Horse is what he’s currently been on for the past 6-8 weeks. The vets and I hoped his body would respond well to a single rare protein source he had never had before. Unfortunately this was not the case. Kafka’s diarrhea has been getting worse and worse. On top of that he now regularly vomits.


Current cause

This is why the vet has referred us to an internist, a specialised veterinarian. Together we did some research and decided on the UKG clinic. This is a highly specialised academic animal hospital in Utrecht, The Netherlands. They have a food allergies policlinic, gastrointestinal specialists, an anaesthetist and the foremost medical equipment. They are connected to the University of Utrecht.

On Monday the 13th of August at 10.00 am GMT+1 we are meeting with the gastrointestinal internist. He will look at Kafka’s medical history, run some additional tests and decide when and if an endoscopy and/or a gastroscopy and a biopsy should take place. First we need to rule out any other conditions that may be causing the chronic diarrhea. When we are 100% confident it is food allergies, Kafka will be referred to see their nutritionist who will make a custom dietary plan with supplements for us to try.

Why we need your help

The clinic that will treat and test Kafka from now on is at a much higher pricepoint than a regular veterinary clinic. For good reason: it is much more similar to an academic hospital for humans. We need answers and this is the place to go to.

I am a full time Arts and Culture bachelor student at Maastricht University. I spend all my savings (thousands of euros) on the kidney failure treatments of my deceased cat Lodewijk.  All the money I had left went to Kafka’s tests, medication, vet consultations, treatments and veterinary diets during the past 10 months. I work part time at restaurant Lumière and I’m doing photography and writing commissions. Kafka’s pet insurance won’t cover anything related to his chronic diarrhea.

I need to ensure Kafka is getting the best help possible. He is everything to me. He is not just a pet. He’s my best friend, the person I come home to, who comforts me and makes me laugh. He’s my snuggle buddy and my companion. He helps me grief, he calms me down when I have anxiety attacks, he makes me want to get up in the mornings. Kafka is bright, calm, chatty, funny, beautiful and sweet. He changed my life and I want to do everything in my power to make him healthy and keep him happy for many years to come.

This is why I feel like I feel like I have no other choice than to ask for your help to make sure Kafka gets a proper diagnosis and a proper treatment.

Medical bills

The clinic lets me pay his medical bills in monthly instalments for a maximum period of 12 months. I will provide you with regular updates and every medical bill I receive. Every penny will go towards paying off the medical bills and Kafka’s treatment. The internist, surgeon and administration will send me an invoice of the first consultations and tests (probably about €400+) and a price estimate of future testing (an endoscopy for instance can be about €700 without any additional care). This will put us at at least €3000/$3500. This is why I’ve currently set the goal of this crowdfunding at that amount. This might change over time, considering treatments, testing, diets, supplements, medicine and gas money.


PayPal and bank transfer

You can also donate via PayPal. CLICK HERE FOR OUR PAYPAL FUND. For Dutch/EU citizens. It’s also possible to donate via bank transfer. If you send an email to kafka.the.kat@gmail.com I will gladly provide you of my bank account details.


Read the whole story and recent updates on our GoFundMe.

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