Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Horrendous morning at clinic

These pictures are a bit dark, but do at least give some impression of how swollen and sore this poor stray cat's pads had got. The pic immediately on the left is actually the underside of one of his front feet, and you can just see the claws round the outside.

I have a horror of really bad injuries to cats' feet ever since the time I trapped a feral tom who was literally walking on bone because abscesses had rotted away all the flesh of his pads.

To my enormous relief, the vets think this cat's problem is an immune-related dermatitis which is causing horribly painful swelling and bleeding, but isn't destroying the tissue in the way an infection would do.

He's got to go on steroids and antibiotics for a week and be confined in a hygienically-clean cat pen while (hopefully) the open, bleeding wounds heal up. Unfortunately all this will mean he can't be released where he came from as he'll almost certainly need to take steroids for the rest of his life, so he's yet another kitty looking for a permanent home.

The clinic was just non-stop busy, with two difficult questions about clients from long distances which illustrate the enormously worrying vet treatment situation. First was a gentleman who takes in rescue dogs and had been in the habit of using our clinic. Ironically he lives just next to Block Fen animal home in Wimblington, but we just can't allow him to keep registering extra animals. Second, and much more troubling was a couple from just outside our catchment area who'd been quoted £500 (which they didn't have up front) by a private vet to operate on their cat's broken jaw. We can't let them register because the University simply wouldn't accept it if we did, but I'm afraid they will be another group of people who'll go away and tell all their friends that "the RSPCA doesn't care about animals". 

I do care; we all care, but we do not have unlimited funds, and, like the PDSA, will be able to help fewer and fewer animals every time someone withdraws support because we can't help with everything.

Three weeks on Taylor's feet look a lot better. The really bad one (shown in the photos) is still red and sore, but the swelling's gone down, and his other three feet look almost completely normal - would look normal if you didn't know what you were looking for.

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