Tag Archives: challenge

Hank the Really Lovely Cat

This is a sad story. I don’t really like telling sad stories, but Hank was an amazing cat and I want people to remember him. Hank was transferred to our Vet Hospital from another shelter with significant injuries to both front paws. It looked as though his paws had been trapped somewhere as the tips of both feet where severely wounded. Some of his toes were missing and you could see some pieces of bone protruding from the wound. But it was really hard to know exactly what had happened to him and perhaps we would never know.

Injured cat paws 3b

Dr Olivia examined Hank and gently cleaned his wounds. Hank loved the attention and sat contentedly allowing Dr Olivia do whatever she needed to do. Olivia carefully bandaged both of Hank’s front paws and gave him an antibiotic injection and some pain relief. The Nurse set Hank up in a comfortable, warm hospital pen with a bowl of delicious food. He was calm and relaxed, enjoying frequent pats from the Nurses and Volunteers. I kept checking of him too!

Injured cat paws 2

Olivia suspected that Hank would need part of his left paw amputated so the following day Hank’s front paws were x-rayed. The x-rays clearly identified the cause of Hank’s injuries; bullets.

The x-rays also identified the extent of Hank’s injuries. Hank had multiple fractures in both limbs. In some areas the bones were smashed and could not be repaired. If Hank’s injuries were limited to one limb we would have been able to amputate the leg and Hank would have recovered to live a happy life. But the damage to both limbs was beyond repair and Hank’s quality of life was our primary concern. It was with a very heavy heart that the decision was made to euthanise Hank on humane grounds.

Injured cat paws 4b

As I was preparing this blog entry, I re-read all of Hank’s hospital notes and I think the notes written by Olivia when she first assessed Hank say it all… she started her entry with “Lovely cat” and ended the same entry with “This is a really lovely cat”. He was indeed. Hank was a really lovely cat and it is such a shame.

Rohan Hughes
RSPCA Vet Nurse

An uphill battle to save Moonbeam

Always very hard when you lose a patient and that happened to me this week. One of our inspectors brought in a little goat that had been surrendered over- the owner had not sort treatment for the goat and he had been lying in a paddock for 2 days.

The little goat ( named Moonbeam by staff )was very weak and unable to stand and had obviously lying in his own faeces and urine for the past couple of days- he was as white as a ghost – which indicated anaemia. This was confirmed with blood tests and further tests revealed that the anaemia was due to worms…so frustrating as anyone who owns goats should know that this a problem and it is so easily preventable. Although we knew it was going to be an uphill battle Moonbeam was place on a drip and started on various medications in an attempt to try and correct  all his problems. We even collected blood from one of our other goats (below) and gave him a blood transfusion as he was so anaemic.

(The brave blood donor to save a friend)

I took him home and set him up in our hospital ( the spare bathroom) – my husband is also a veterinarian and so we often have patients in there – much to the disgust of the resident cat and fortunately visitors were not arriving until the following night . More medications  followed but unfortunately it was too late for Moonbeam and he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday am.

I take some comfort that he was at least warm and comfortable and had a full stomach and was no longer in pain. The owner has other goats and so the inspectors will be making sure that steps are put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen to them.

Anne Chester