Snowy was drenched in oil

Snowy was drenched in oil

Snowy, like most Irish cats, is allowed to come and go from his own home as he pleases. A few weeks ago, Snowy was unlucky enough to encounter a danger that took everyone by surprise – she was attacked by human beings. Snowy is a friendly creature who likes attention. He likes to be petted behind her ears, and he purrs loudly. Nobody saw exactly what happened that day, but the consequences were very serious. One morning, Ciara’s mother heard a commotion of some kind, with the sound of raised voices. She went out into the street, and she saw a group of three youths running away from her, which immediately raised her suspicion that they might have been up to something. At the same time, Snowy rushed into the house from the same direction. He was obviously distressed, and he looked soaking wet. At first, the family thought that the youths had thrown a bucket of water at their cat. They coaxed Snowy out of the corner where he had hidden, and it was only then that they realised that something much more sinister had happened. Snowy had been drenched not in water, but in diesel fuel. It seemed that something horrific had almost happened that morning: the youths had thrown fuel onto him, then had tried to set him alight. Snowy had been very lucky. Diesel fuel is not as inflammable as many people believe, and he had not suffered the awful fate of being burnt alive. Instead, he had simply been terrified, and he was now coated with dark brown, greasy, foul-smelling diesel. The family tried...
Lily came home injured

Lily came home injured

Lily is a home loving cat, but she does enjoy spending time in the back garden and surrounding area. She doesn’t venture far, and if Lydia ever goes out to call her, she soon comes scampering back inside. She is very happy to spend her time within shouting distance of home. For Lily, the world does not need to be a bigger place. Lily has a habit of greeting everyone as they return home at the end of the day. A few weeks ago, Lydia saw her when she came back from work, at around six in the evening. A few minutes later, the cat slipped out into the garden through the cat flap. Half an hour later, there was a clatter at the back door as Lily crashed in through the cat flap before bolting to her favourite hideaway spot. It was immediately obvious that something had happened – Lily was normally a graceful creature, moving in and out through the cat flap slowly and silently. Lydia went over to check her, and she could see that she had been injured. There was a blood stain on Lily’s lower back, and she could make out the vague outline of a wound beneath the matted fur. Lydia phoned our vet practice at once, and fifteen minutes later, Lily was being examined on my consulting table. It is always difficult to make an immediate assessment of wounds in animals, because of their dense fur coats. Lydia held Lily still, and reassured her, while I used electric clippers to trim away the hair from the blood stained area. I was careful...
Sophie the 9 year old cat

Sophie the 9 year old cat

Sophie is a home-loving cat, and when there was no sign of her for three days, her family knew that there was something very wrong. They searched everywhere for her, and had almost given up hope. Then one morning, she appeared at the back door. She was very hungry, and she was delighted to be back, but she was unable to stand on her hind legs. She was brought in to see me at once. When I examined her, she seemed weakened and traumatised, but in good health generally, with no life threatening injuries. However, it was obvious that she had suffered a crushing-type injury to her pelvic area. I could feel that the bones of her pelvis were out of the normal alignment.  I admitted her for the day so that we could take x-ray pictures of her spine, pelvis and back legs. The x-rays revealed what had happened. There were multiple fractures of the bones of her pelvis, which is the large bone that links the spine to the back legs. The normal rectangular box shape of the pelvis had been squashed, and it was now shaped like a half-collapsed house of cards. Luckily, the most critical parts of the pelvis had not been damaged. The connection between the pelvis and the spine was unharmed, and both of her hip joints were intact. I knew from looking at the fractures that Sophie would be able to walk again, but there were some risks along the way, and her recovery was going to take several months. Sophie was sent home with pain relief and instructions for strict rest, and...
Geri was putting on too much weight

Geri was putting on too much weight

Lauren’s family originally thought that Geri was a tom cat, christened Jerry after the “Tom and Jerry” cartoons. When “he” went to the vet and the truth about “his” sex was discovered, she kept her name, but it was re-spelt as “Geri”, in the manner of the ex-Spice Girl. Geri has always been the only pet in the home, and as such, she has tended to be the centre of attention. She is a bit of a “scaredy cat”, with a nervous temperament, and she spends much of her time around the house, where she feels secure and safe. She has free access to the outdoors, but she has discovered that the Big Bad World can be a frightening place, and she prefers not to go outside. Geri gradually seems to be becoming an indoor cat by choice. Geri recently came in for her first annual health check and vaccination. We discussed everything about Geri’s lifestyle, and I gave her a careful physical examination. She was in excellent general health, but there was one issue that I had to mention to Lauren and her family. Geri was just over one year old, but she was already showing a tendency to become overweight. Obesity in cats is a problem that has become more common in recent years. More and more cats have become indoor pets, either by their own choice (like Geri) or on their owner’s insistence. Indoor cats tend to spend a lot of time just lying around, sleeping or eating, and so they are prone to developing a paunch. Obesity has many effects throughout the body, and in...
Louis the 2 year old came home battered and bruised

Louis the 2 year old came home battered and bruised

As a kitten, Louis used to stay around the family home all the time. He loved being in the house, and he enjoyed playing with humans. As he grew older, he gradually changed, becoming more of an outdoor animal. He had a cat flap, so he was able to come and go as he pleased. When he was around six months of age, Katrina noticed that he was beginning to mark his territory in the garden, piddling against fence posts and vegetation. She never saw other cats around, but she noticed that Louis behaved in a watchful, wary way sometimes, as if he sensed that there were other cats close by. When he reached the age of a year or so, Louis began to leave the garden. He would head off by himself, over the back fence, and would not come back for several hours. Katrina reckoned this was part of a cat’s enjoyment of life, and she left him to his adventures. When Louis started to come home with small cuts on his face, and tufts of fur missing from his body, she realised that he must be getting into fights with other cats somewhere. She hoped that the behaviour would settle down, but in fact, it gradually worsened. Louis began to stay out all night, and when he came home, he looked beat-up and exhausted. He would retire to his bed, licking his wounds, and he would sleep for hours. Last week, Louis stayed away for two full days. When he came home, he looked as if he had been through twelve rounds in a boxing ring....
Cheeky a 5 year old cat who had fleas

Cheeky a 5 year old cat who had fleas

When Cheeky was brought in to see me, the main thing that her owners had noticed was a skin rash along her back and on her underside. The skin on her belly was particularly badly affected, with a raised blotchy red patch of sore skin. Itchy animals are very common, especially in the summer months. In dogs, itchy skin causes scratching. Dogs tend to stand on three legs, and have a good scratch all over with one of their hind legs. Cats are more likely to lick and nibble itchy skin, and it look as if they are simply grooming themselves extra carefully. It is very common for owners to notice a rash in cats, rather than to be aware of them itching at themselves. There are many possible causes of itchiness. Ideally, it is best if the vet can discover the precise cause of the itch. If you remove the cause, you can then be sure that the itch will not recur. Unfortunately, it is not always simple to find the cause. Many animals suffer from vague, multiple allergies in the summer months. Typically, they might start to itch in late June, and then carry on itching through July, August and September. Then in October, the itch settles down. There is obvious cause. A general anti-inflammatory treatment is given, in the form of tablets or long-acting injections. The medication keeps the animal comfortable, the skin rash clears up, and by the time autumn comes along, the pet is better. The best guess is that the animal is allergic to some of the vegetation and pollen’s that are present in the summer. Many animals have the same problem every summer...