A severely injured cat called Vicar was left in need of a miracle after suffering horrific head injuries in a road traffic accident.
Graphic photographs show the gruesome extent of the damage which left the two-year-old cat blinded in one eye and with multiple fractures to his jaw and face.
Incredibly, Vicar’s prayers have been answered and he has made a remarkable recovery after Specialist care at NDSR.
Rachel Perry, an RCVS and European Specialist in Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery at NDSR, explained: “Vicar obtained his name as he’d been found hiding in a churchyard having sustained serious injuries which were consistent with being hit by a car.
He 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 (collapsed lung).”
X-ray before surgery showing multiple fractures to the jaw
X-ray post surgery showing the application of an acrylic and wire splint to stabilise the mandibular fractures
His grotesquely damaged eye had already been removed and a feeding tube placed as Rachel 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.
Rachel added: “The fracture site was debrided and then we worked to apply an acrylic and wire splint to stabilise the mandibular fractures.
Surgery was very challenging. There are only seven veterinary dental specialists in the UK to deal with multi-facial and jaw fractures such as these.
The surgery was unique, too, as we stabilised 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 post-operatively with the added benefit of reducing his stress levels as he recovered.
He needed intense post-operative nursing care, antibiotics and a multitude of analgesia medications and a lot of TLC during his rehabilitation.
His fabulous recovery is in a 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.”
Rachel revealed that Vicar still needed some supplementary surgical work to complete his recovery, saying: “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 anaesthesia, 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.”
Gerry Polton, clinical director at NDSR, was full of praise for Vicar’s treatment and hailed the North Downs dentistry and oral surgery team, saying: “The remarkable success of this, and other similar cases, is a testament to the diligence and expertise of Rachel and her team.”
Rachel also praised the Surrey-based New Moon Rescue charity which first found Vicar and funded the cost of all his treatment.
Rachel 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 New Moon Rescue should be recognised and applauded for their vital role in saving Vicar’s life.
I like the charity’s motto ‘saving cats by working together’, which seems so appropriate in Vicar’s case.”
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