Showing posts with label surgery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label surgery. Show all posts

Monday 13 September 2021

Leroy, a happy cat who had fragments of his spine in his abdomen and a fused spinal cord

Leroy is at Happy Tailz Cat Rescue Inc. (Tampa Bay area, Florida) . He is being cared for brilliantly. He was badly injured; I am not sure how. His spine was damaged. He was operated on but the infection wouldn't go away so they operated again. They found 3 fragments of his spinal column in his abdomen. They must have split off when he was injured. And nature had fused his spine. The rescue said:

"Dr Sabshin removed the pieces and took an X-Ray which revealed Leroy has a partial fusion of his spinal cord, more than likely from injury related to the formation of his original wound. This cat is a walking miracle. With his spine like this we should see issues walking, even paralysis, but he has no issues!"

Leroy. Photo: the cat rescue.

Nature healed this cat's spine which became partially fused
Nature healed this cat's spine which became partially fused. Image: the rescue.

Fragments of bone from Leroy's spine found in his abdomen
Fragments of bone from Leroy's spine found in his abdomen. Photo: the rescue.

A handsome, happy and resilient boy cat who is being loved and cared for. And he is a humble black moggy. That's the best thing about it. America's rescue organisations do some impressive work. And lots of them are volunteers doing it for love. They are the best of us.

P.S. I wonder if Leroy is genuinely not feeling pain. Cats purr when in pain and distressed. Although the photo of him shows a relaxed cat.

Monday 14 June 2021

Queensland tabby cat eats 61 hair ties!

A Queensland ginger tabby-and-white cheeky cat whose name is Riker was taken into surgery after they discovered a large lump in his stomach. He had eaten, over a period of time, 61 hair ties which had balled together to create a 7 cm lump. Riker had been taken to the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery in house down, Queensland for a checkup and Michael Burke, the veterinarian, felt a hard lump in his abdomen.

Tabby cat eats 61 hair ties and is not sick
Tabby cat eats 61 hair ties and is not sick. He ate them over time though. Credit: see image.

He rushed Riker into surgery fearing it could be a serious illness but discovered this rather odd ball of hair ties. It is a particularly remarkable case of what cat lovers call Pica Syndrome. This is the eating of non-nutritious objects. Riker has a history of it. A couple of years ago he ate a corncob and had to have that surgically removed as well.

It seems that veterinarians have to remove foreign objects from cats and dogs fairly frequently. Dr. Burke has removed large bones, nectar seeds, underwear and the occasional sock from the stomachs of both cats and dogs.

It makes sense to keep these objects out of reach if your cat is predisposed to eating them! And annual checkups can be useful as in this instance because they were able to spot this huge foreign object. Riker was never sick. He never vomited which is quite remarkable considering the size of the foreign object. He recovered very well.

You probably know about Pica Syndrome. As mentioned, it's the obsessive compulsion to consume non-edible "foods". It is not that uncommon. Remarkably, veterinarians are not sure as yet why cats like to eat non-foods. There may be several causes such as early weaning, dietary deficiencies, inherited predispositions due to their genetics, boredom, stress or as one symptom of a compulsive disorder. It is normally seen first at about three months of age and some cats grow out of it by around two years of age.

How do you treat Pica Syndrome? I think that it is difficult to deal with but clearly keeping an eye on your cat and removing objects that he or she might eat would be a good starting point. Toxic plants can also be removed from the home. You can play with your cat a lot more which I'm sure would help. Stress is often caused by a lack of stimulation so adding fresh stimulation to your cat's life would help which includes enriching the environment. For example, you might train your cat to walk on a lead and take him into the backyard if he is a full-time indoor cat or even further afield. That would be safe stimulation.

Another thing that you might do is to give your cat something to chew on which she can't swallow! That may help. And lastly you might make the sort of objects which she chews on unappealing although not sure how you do that! I'm sorry to be a bit flippant but this is quite a difficult problem to deal with. If, for example, a cat is doing it because of early weaning this kind of behaviour is quite deeply ingrained as all behavioural traits adopted at an early age i.e. in the first weeks of life, are.

Sunday 18 April 2021

Good and bad ear-tipping

Over the years of writing about cats, bad ear-tipping returns like a bad penny. It seems to pop up from time to time. It can only be due to negligence or a careless approach. And I will suggest that this carelessness comes about because ear-tipping is normally carried out on feral cats. Feral cats have a lower value in the eyes of humankind than domestic cats. This lower value engenders negligence.

There are two images on this page. One shows what I would regard as a good job on ear-tipping and some errors. The other shows an horrific job on ear-tipping. Ironically, the very poor surgery was carried out on a domestic cat by a vet tech under the supervision of a veterinarian at an animal rescue centre in Cabot, USA.

Good and bad ear tipping. Pics in public domain.
Horrific ear-tipping. Pic: Danyelle Freeman.

The veterinarian excused the error by saying that the vet tech thought the cat was feral. And he also said that they were very busy in providing a discount service. But there is no difference to the surgical process whether you are carrying it out on a feral or domestic cat. Indeed, there is no need to do the surgery on a domestic cat. The case concerned a domestic cat.

If a vet tech does this to a domestic cat you must call into question their attitude more than their ability. The surgery is absolutely minimal. Anybody can do it. It does not require skill. It requires the right attitude. And it seems to me that this vet tech has a poor attitude towards the welfare of animals. I would question whether they should be a vet tech.

Although, to be fair, they were carrying out a discount service and therefore must be praised for that aspect of their work. The veterinarian concerned apologised as did the mayor of the town. The veterinarian described it as an accident. I would describe it as negligence.

When ear-tipping goes wrong this is what happens: too much is taken off the ear. And sometimes the right ear is tipped rather than the left. It should be the left. There are alternatives to the surgery: tattooing the inside of the ear flap is one way.

There are advantages to ear-tipping. People know that the cat has been sterilised. This helps to protect them in urban environments where a lot of people don't like feral cats. Also a lot of people don't like domestic cats wandering around. Sometimes vigilante-types like to trap someone's pet and take them to the pound or an animal shelter. This is a crime but if the cat is ear-tipped they at least know that he or she is neutered.

This may help to protect them and it gives the impression that the cat's presence is authorised by the local authority. This is because sometimes local authorities become involved in TNR programs which includes ear-tipping.

The bottom line reason for poor ear-tipping is a poor attitude towards the value of cats particularly feral cats. It indicates a lack of respect for feral cats which is not a good look for a veterinary clinic. Veterinarians should respect all animals as it underpins all the work that they do.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts