"Jess" - Cat caught in illegal trap
|It is often the case that when a feline patient is presented to our surgery with traumatic injuries that we are required to guess at how these injuries were sustained. Given their often clandestine and nocturnal activities the list of options is usually considerable. A fall, a fight, a wild animal, a road traffic accident and gun shot are amongst the possible explanations.|
"Jess" however managed to remove any doubt concerning the cause of his severe injuries by dragging the evidence home with him. His owners were obviously shocked when he arrived home with his leg caught in a "gin trap". This is an illegal device designed to trap animals by the leg using steel jaws. Despite his miserable plight "Jess" had managed to drag the entire trap home in a desperate attempt to stay alive.
His owners quickly released him from his pain and brought him to Fairfield. On examination it became clear that whilst his soft tissue injuries were recoverable the damage to his nerves was harder to predict. During his epic struggle he had stretched his brachial plexus or main nerve centre to his front limb. The damage caused had rendered his leg currently useless and unable to function. The clinical dilemma becomes whether to amputate or not. It is not difficult under these circumstances to give a patient like "Jess" the benefit of the doubt for when it comes to neurological damage predicting the outcome is never straightforward.
Remarkably over the last 2 months, with his owners help "Jess's" recovery is all but complete and he still has all of his 4 legs! Yet another classic story of felines with 9 lives and their remarkable powers of recuperation and resilience.
Should anyone have any information regarding the use of these traps then they should contact the RSPCA immediately.
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS