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Posted By: Ellen - Vet

Trigger gets attacked by a dog and needs a lot of TLC

Our pets provide us with a lot of love and enjoyment but they can also be a massive source of worry. Trigger is a lovely, big ginger cat. He has only just turned 4 years old and is a very playful soul capable of standing up for himself and providing both the love and the worry!

His owners came home to find him curled up in the laundry basket, not an unusual place for him and they didn’t really think much about it. However he seemed to stay there longer than normal and after a while they decided to investigate. They found poor Trigger had some nasty wounds around his backend which had obviously been bleeding. They contacted our out of hours emergency service and we arranged to see him at the surgery straight away.

When he came in he was in so much pain it was difficult to get near him. We managed to give him an injection of strong pain relief and had to let it take effect before we examined him. We established that no obvious internal damage had occurred and both his breathing and heart rate were strong. However, he had one hugely swollen hind leg and a number of puncture wounds around his backend and the insides of his legs. For the first 12 hours we made him as comfortable as possible to allow us to investigate his wounds further. The next morning we sedated him and clipped all the fur away around the wounds. His stomach, both back legs and backend were purple with severe bruising and one leg was swollen to twice its normal size. Amazingly his x rays showed nothing was broken and all his internal organs were undamaged. His injuries, we surmised, were caused by a dog attack as there were teeth puncture marks and strong jaws would have been required to cause that much damage. 

For the first 2-3 days Trigger was very sleepy from the pain relief, and his bruising and swelling did not seem to be improving despite antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. We then hit another problem in that Trigger had not been eating very well during his stay and had developed a condition called hepatic lipidosis. This is where fat is deposited in the liver and can cause animals to become very ill. We inserted a feeding tube to enable us to give him liquid food straight into his stomach. The next 24 hours were touch and go. Trigger was very quiet and his swelling got worse. There were points when we worried he might not pull through. We gradually increased his food over the next 2 days back up to normal levels and fortunately this regular feeding (with our nursing team giving him feeds every hour or two) worked wonders.

Over the next few days things really started to improve. The skin under his tummy returned to a normal pink colour and the swellings in his leg and under his tummy started to go down. He began eating small amounts when we hand fed him. At this point, in discussion with his owners, we all agreed that he would be happier at home despite the fact he still needed a lot of individual care.

His owner’s dedication was amazing. Trigger had his own room padded out with puppy training pads as he was so sore going to the toilet he couldn’t use a litter tray. He had also developed diarrhoea so got a very sore bottom which was another battle to resolve. Thankfully with the help of some sudocrem and some excellent nursing skills it was sorted out. He continued to require his food hand fed to him – preferring ‘Dreamies’ over anything else! He came into the practice every day for injections of his medications (as he wouldn’t take a them by mouth).  At the end of a lot of very exhausting sleepless nights, Trigger’s owners brought him back in for a check. An abscess had formed under one leg and this became obvious when it burst on arrival! A large amount of pus came out leaving a hole the size of a 2p piece. In fact Trigger felt much better after this episode and his eating and drinking started gradually improving.

It has taken over a month of painstaking care from Trigger’s owners to get him fully fit. His wound was left open so that it could carry on draining and this has been gradually healing. His appetite has improved and he has now regained the 1Kg he lost over the course of his illness. He is now back out and about, sunning himself on the patio and giving kisses to anyone who’ll give him ‘Dreamies’. Unbelievably he has no lameness and no scars and to look at now you would never believe the trauma he has been through. Trigger is very lucky to have such dedicated owners and everyone here is over the moon to see him make such a fantastic recovery. 

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