A late Friday afternoon vet emergency call is never a good thing. A young cat, transferred to Willamette Humane Society earlier in the day, was injured and required a tail amputation. His condition was stable and pain meds were helping but he needed surgery as soon as possible. Early Saturday morning, one very unhappy kitty sat on the exam table with a "look but don't touch" attitude. And no one could blame him.

The skin was torn open around the whole base of his tail except for a 3/4 inch area on top. He was a lesson in feline anatomy: all the bone, muscle, tendons and ligaments in the sacral-tail base area were visible. The vertebrae mid-tail were disarticulated - there was a three inch gap without bone. The major concern was if the injury had damaged any perianal structures, which, fortunately, still looked intact and functional.

Having done animal cruelty investigation cases in the past, this injury appeared to be caused by a person holding the cat mid-tail and swinging him in a circle. Why this torture stopped at this level of injury, we'll never know. Maybe some kids finally got scared or an adult wanted to hurt but not kill or maybe the cat just got lucky and escaped. Hurting animals is a sign of mental illness that can escalate to hurting people. Such acitvity should be recognized and reported whenever encountered.

But for the cat, actually a five month old, 4.8 pound, black and white kitten, help was on the way. Surgery prep required multiple flushes of all the open areas to remove hair and debris. The tail was removed and a good closure was achieved - a nice " booty". Continued pain meds and antibiotics should help resolve the wound and gentle care at WHS may allow him to trust people again.

Help animals and people by reporting cases of animal abuse.

A.H.Brooks DVM HVC Medical/Surgical Rescue
WHS 5641451 HVC 129/49-2008 Aug-2008

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