30 September 2010

Bad news regarding Fight Cat's condition

We received some bad news regarding Fight Cat's condition when we went to pick him up on Tuesday afternoon.  The vet told us that too much time had past since his leg had been injured and the muscles surrounding the injury had begun to atrophy.  For those people who are unfamiliar with this word, the definition of atrophy is a pathological term which means a wasting or decrease in size of a body organ, tissue, or part owing to disease, injury, or lack of use.  The vet showed us digital photographs he had taken of the cat whilst it was under anaesthetic and we were able to see that one of Fight Cat's legs was slightly shorter than the other hence the reason for his limp and his unusual gait.

We were rather upset by this news and the vet said there was nothing he could do to remedy this situation and the cat would be disabled for the rest of its life and walk with a limp.  He added that the cat did not appear to be in any pain.  What I could not understand was how the first vet we went to had failed to grasp the situation?  I had first noticed the injury on 23 July and I had taken the cat to the vet on 27 July and then again on 2 August.  On both visits, the previous vet did not examine the cat but was happy to give the cat an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory injection through a pillow case and release the cat saying it was an abscess on its back leg and giving us an assurance that the cat would be alright in a couple of days.  We were only able to take the cat on a third trip to the vet on 27 September only to be told that the vet who initially treated him ought to have carried out a thorough examination and should have known that the injections which he gave had a better chance of working and being effective had they been injected straight into the actual joint/muscle which had been injured rather than just anywhere on the cat.  We were made to understand that it was because of the negligence of the first vet that the cat would not be able to walk normally again. 

I felt frustrated and angry with the first vet but I know that none of these feelings are going to make any difference to Fight Cat's leg, it is a waste of emotion for me to feel this way.  My husband reminded me that we did the best we could with the knowledge that we had at the time.  He said we cannot be blamed for the negligence of the first vet.  We took the cat to the vet whilst the injury was still new and trusted the vet to give the cat the necessary treatment. 

I suppose I feel frustrated and angry and upset because I have high expectations bordering on idealistic expectations.  In an ideal world, injured stray cats get better when they have been taken to the vet on three separate occasions.  Also, in an ideal world, vet's are not negligent and they do the right thing by the animals which come into their surgery.  Having said that, Fight Cat does not seem to be too bothered.  Here are a couple of photographs which I took of him on Wednesday afternoon.  I did a photo shoot for this blog post as he was cleaning himself after having a late lunch of three fresh sardines.  He then curled up and went to sleep in the warm afternoon sun.

Figure 1:

Figure 2:  Fight Cat is still able to clean himself despite his injured leg.

Figure 3:

Figure 4:  

Figure 5:  His head is resting on his injured leg.  It is possible to see where the 2nd vet scraped some of the fur away so he could get a better look at his leg.  The scar which is visible was where the abscess was.
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