Cat narrowly avoids amputation after getting leg trapped in collar
- Credit: Cats Protection
A cat narrowly avoided having a leg amputated after getting it caught in her unsafe collar.
Several people in Wisbech had reported seeing a black and white cat limping around for several weeks during winter, but had been unable to coax her near enough to check her condition.
After someone eventually managed to get a closer look, they sought professional help from Cats Protection's Downham Market adoption centre.
Lindsay Tempest, manager at the centre, said: "Many people had shared photos on Facebook saying she was limping and badly injured.
"When nobody came forward after repeated posts, someone tagged Cats Protection and appealed for help.”
The hungry 18-month-old was humanely trapped having been attracted to the smell of sardines and tuna, and it was soon clear she needed urgent veterinary attention.
Named Louise by her new carers, the young cat's front leg had looped beneath her collar, causing deep wounds in her armpit which had become dangerously infected as skin grew over the collar.
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Vets acted fast to cut off Louise's collar and clean the open wounds, providing pain relief along the way.
She also had ear mites, a tick, muscle damage and swelling to her joints and limbs, denoting she had been in severe pain for several months.
“We thought we may have to amputate her leg," added Ms Tempest.
"The infection was so bad that we needed to get that under control before exploring the best option for her.
"She has had two operations and her wounds need regular flushing and dressing to aid healing, but it’s still touch and go.”
While the collar suggested Louise had been someone's pet at some point, she was not microchipped and repeated appeals have been unsuccessful.
Her vet bill has already topped £1,300 and, in a year which has seen fundraising badly hit, Cats Protection is appealing for donations to help with continued care.
Louise's ordeal has also prompted a warning against the use of dangerous collars, especially those which are elasticated or ill-fitting.
Instead, the charity suggests using 'quick release' or snap-opening collars, and advocates getting cats microchipped so owners can be identified should they become lost or injured.