On a winter evening in early February, the GSPCA wardens picked up a little tortoiseshell cat, after she had been hit by a car. She was cold, wet and unable to stand, and yet as she was warmed up and was being assessed, she was trying to lick the mud off her front legs.
Catrina, as she was named, had no microchip to identify her, and despite advertising, her owner has not come forward. On that first evening, she was treated for shock, given pain relief, and settled into a kennel at the surgery. Even in her shocked state, she was still very keen to eat the food offered to her! The following morning, she was given a general anaesthetic and x-rayed – this showed that her pelvis was broken in several places, which explained why she was unable to stand up. She had also lost all the skin on her tail, so it had to be amputated, and there was extensive bruising over her back.
Over the next few days, Catrina was cared for by the Isabelle Vets nurses and veterinary surgeons, and they soon fell for this courageous and adorable little cat. It was incredible that she had survived the impact from the car; she was heavily bruised and battered, and yet she proved to be a determined fighter, and nothing could put her off her food! However, there were concerns that she might have damaged the nerves to her bladder, which would mean that she did not know when she needed to pass urine; but because she was unable to stand and get into the litter tray, this was difficult to assess. She was moving her right hind leg quite well but did little with the left leg. So, ten days after she was injured, she had surgery to stabilise the left side of her pelvis, which involved the delicate operation of putting a screw through the pelvic wing into the spine.
After that operation, Catrina needed physiotherapy to encourage her to use her legs again properly, and we quickly realised that we could motivate her to walk by tempting her with food treats. Her mobility did improve slowly, and although she still does not have full use of her left leg, she can walk quite well and has complete control of her bladder.
But another problem was also now apparent – because of the extensive bruising over her back, the blood supply to the skin had been destroyed, and the skin had effectively died, forming a vast, dead, scab over Catrina’s back. With many weeks of gentle care and nursing, this scab has now slowly lifted off, and underneath, healthy, new skin is slowly returning.
Catrina faces many more weeks of nursing care before her body fully heals, and it is likely that she will always have problems with her back legs. It is hoped that the skin on her back will heal, but if there are on-going problems, she will eventually receive a skin graft.
After over a month at Isabelle Vets, she is now being cared for by the GSPCA and regular check-ups by Isabelle Vets staff.
She is a brave little cat with a delightful personality, and to all the staff at Isabelle Vets, she is a real hero!
‘Pet Hero’ is a monthly competition where Isabelle Vets will nominate a pet who they believe has overcome, with stoicism and bravery, an exceptional medical condition, injury or surgery. This could be your pet and with the love and care of his owner and the help of Isabelle Vets they have battled through to become happy and healthy pets, again. At the end of 2017, we will ask all readers to vote for the ‘Pet Hero of the Year’ who will receive a prize in keeping with their position of being a very special animal.
You can follow the competition at www.facebook.com/isabellevets
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