Thursday, December 29, 2011

Little tabby cat

We've just taken in a tabby kitten with head injuries. He's about 6 months old and has no chip or collar—he's young enough that the lack of a chip may simply mean someone was intending to get it done when he was neutered.

Sadly, he's another perfect illustration of the added complications caused by the unreasonable antipathy some people have towards the RSPCA and the way this makes sensible decision-making more difficult for us.

He may not survive, whatever we do. Head injuries are unpredictable and there's little that can be done to treat them except provide supportive care and medication to keep the patient pain-free and to reduce swelling and inflammation. 

He has a broken jaw and will need to be tube-fed, which means inserting a feeding tube under a general anaesthetic. To avoid subjecting him to two anaesthetics it makes sense to wire his jaw at the same time, although this will be wasted money if the head injuries kill him in the end. Anaesthesia always involves some risk, so it's possible that he may not survive the treatment intended to help him, but there's no way to avoid this as he can't be left without food.

Because he's so young we want to give him a chance, and if he does survive he should be easy to place in a home, even if his current owner doesn't make contact with us. However, his chances are probably not much better than 50/50 and arguably the funds needed for his treatment might be better used to help other animals. It's possible that an owner may turn up, but choose not to continue his treatment or request to sign him over to us.

Basil was not much more of a hopeful prospect when he first came in, so let us hope giving little tabby his chance was the right thing to do.

If we had opted for euthanasia and his owner then turned up, there are people out there who would have made use of the situation as propaganda to discourage donations to the RSPCA and knowing that doesn't make decision making any easier.

Sad update
Unfortunately little tabby didn't make it. He deteriorated during the night despite being given iv fluids and the vets advised that it would be wrong to attempt to put him through surgery the following day.

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