A cat left with horrific head injuries after a car accident has made a remarkable recovery following extensive surgery at North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR) in Surrey.
The cat, named Vicar after he was found in a church yard, was taken to NDSR blinded in one eye, and with multiple fractures to his jaw and face.
Rachel Perry, an RCVS and European specialist in veterinary dentistry, said: “Vicar had a prolapsed eye, degloved jaw (skinned to the bone) and multiple maxillofacial fractures. The most significant of the fractures being the rostral left mandibular body fracture, plus right parasymphyseal fracture.
“Vicar also had pulmonary contusions (bruising to the lung) and mild pneumothorax.”
His grotesquely damaged eye had already been removed and a feeding tube placed as Dr. Perry prepared to lead the surgery to repair the fractures.
She said her first task was to clean up the numerous wounds and injuries, which were infected and heavily contaminated.
Dr. Perry said: “The fracture site was debrided, and then we worked to apply an acrylic and wire splint to stabilize the mandibular fractures.
“The surgery was unique as we stabilized his jaw in a non-invasive manner, without compromising any teeth, or placing metal or screws into already fragile bones.”
This technique allowed Vicar to eat by himself while his jaw was healing postoperatively, with the added benefit of reducing his stress levels as he recovered.
He needed intense postoperative nursing care, antibiotics, a multitude of analgesia medications and a lot of TLC during his rehabilitation.
Dr Perry added: “His fabulous recovery is in large part due to the dedicated nursing care that Vicar received at this crucial time, with our nurses and nursing assistants making a massive difference to the outcome.
“Vicar gave back, though. He was so popular, and was a patient that everyone would go to cuddle if they were feeling stressed or down.”
Vicar still needed some additional surgical work to complete his recovery, however.
Dr. Perry added: “We performed revision surgery for the degloved area, which was to be expected due to the high level of contamination.
“Then, six weeks after the acrylic splint was placed, it was removed under anesthesia, along with teeth that had fractured during the initial accident.
“These subsequent procedures all went very well, allowing Vicar to go on to lead a very comfortable life with his new owner in his new home.”
Surrey-based The New Moon Rescue charity found Vicar and funded the cost of all his treatment.
Dr. Perry said: “In my mind, it’s a miracle that a charity would be prepared to take on a stray with such a poor prognosis and commit to funding his treatment.
“That really touched me about this case, and [The] New Moon Rescue should be recognized and applauded for their vital role in saving Vicar’s life.”