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Poppy’s Braveheart

27/08/2018

Poppy is a 3 year old domestic short haired cat, she had been going about her normal daily activities of exploring the countryside around her home when she encountered a nasty accident…

Poppy’s photos

Poppy failed to return home on the night of the accident and her owners were concerned of her whereabouts but being a young inquisitive cat it was not unusual for her to stay out late exploring. By the next morning poppy was still no where to be seen, her owners were beginning to get concerned. Whilst out looking for her their son heard a noise and on further investigation poppy was found stuck in a garden pond, they rescued her from the pond and took her back to the house, she was very weak, cold and collapsed.

On arrival at the surgery poppy was in a bad way, she was collapsed and her core body temperature was dangerously low. She was unable to bear any weight on her hindquarters, the pulses which are normally easily palpable in her hind legs were missing and she had several lacerations and road burn areas to both her hind legs, with exposure of tendons in some areas. Her owners were warned she was critically ill and they had to make the decision of trying intensive care with a very high chance she would not survive or to put her to sleep there and then. Poppy was a much loved pet and the owners decided to try everything they could, so she was admitted to the surgery for intravenous fluids, pain relief, x-rays and treatment of her wounds. Initially treatment involved intravenous fluids for the shock and pain relief, before any invasive procedures such as x-rays or wound dressing were carried out we had to try to warm poppy up and increase her core temperature, to stabilise her enough to undergo the other procedures.

Later that day poppy had become a little more responsive and her temperature although still low was closer to its normal level, we performed radiographs of her chest, pelvis and hind limbs. Unfortunately for poppy the x-rays revealed she had chipped off a small piece of bone from the end of her pelvis, but even worse she had displaced both wings of her pelvis from there attachment to her pelvis. Although these are painful serious injuries, they are relatively common in cats involved in road traffic accidents and although they take a long time to heal they are not normally life limiting. Next was the assessment of her leg wounds, all the wounds were flushed clean with saline and dressed with mannuka honey and a hydrocolloid gel. The wounds were left to granulate to heal as we could not suture them due to the level of contamination from the road and the pond water.

Poppy stayed with us in the hospital for 9 days, for the first 4 days she was so sore and weak she wouldn’t really eat and couldn’t move around her kennel to even use her litter tray. Each day the following routine was undertaken for poppy:

– Her wounds were all flushed with saline, and covered with mannuka honey and hydrocolloid dressing, this was done twice daily.

– Intravenous fluids were maintained for 5 days whilst she wasn’t eating properly.

– Painkillers were being given every 6 hours.

– Antibiotics were given twice daily.

The nursing team spent time each day tempting her to eat, she started picking at food when hand fed and then by day 5 she was eating normally by herself, at this point the intravenous fluids were removed. She was now generally happier in self and was managing to move around her cage a little and use her litter tray to toilet. The wounds to her limbs were granulating nicely and needed no further treatments. By day 9 she was strong enough to be sent home, unfortunately the pelvic fracture will take a while to heal and she was sent home on strict cage rest. The owners were given antibiotics and painkillers to give at home.

Poppy is doing well and is allowed out of the cage for small periods of time, she has made a fantastic recovery from a grave prognosis.