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Cat under sedation with metal rod impaled through it

Miaouch! Kitten impaled on rusty metal frame has miracle escape

A kitten was millimetres from death after impaling himself on a huge metal plant holder. 

One of the rusty legs went right into nine-month-old Biscuit but amazingly missed all his vital organs. 

Owner Catherine Allen, from Bristol, who rushed Biscuit to Zetland Vets, part of the My Family Vets network, says it’s a miracle the much-loved cat survived. 

And head veterinary surgeon vet Lexy Hughes, who says it’s a “once in a career case”, has hailed Catherine’s 16-year-old daughter Isabelle who cradled her pet in her arms as the team tried to remove the metal. 

Catherine was alerted by a crashing noise outside the family home and found Biscuit hiding under her car when she went to investigate. 

“The big plant holder was in front of him, and I thought he just couldn’t get out because of it,” said Catherine. “But when I looked, I saw one of the legs had gone through his body. 

“I think he’d maybe fallen on it in another garden somewhere and he’d dragged himself back home along with it. It was really horrible, just so graphic.  

cat laying with metal pole in him

“He somehow got himself out and under a bush and I thought I’d lost him. 

“I couldn’t get him and the plant holder out, so I shouted Isabelle to come and help me. Biscuit was obviously in shock and Isabelle took hold of both him and the plant holder, which was so big I could barely get it into the car. 

“The vets isn’t too far, but the journey seemed like the longest in the world. We were so worried for him as I thought it must have gone through some organ.” 

Vet emergency: steps to take 

1. Call your vet 

Every vet in the UK must provide a 24-hour emergency service for pet owners. That doesn’t mean they need to be on duty at your local practice every minute of the day, but they must ensure you’re able to access appropriate emergency treatment within an hour’s drive of your practice whenever it’s needed. It’s always best to call ahead so you know where to go and to give the emergency vet time to prepare. 

2. Act on advice 

Pet emergencies are always stressful but try to pay close attention to any instructions you’re given over the phone around what you can do to help your pet ahead of arriving at the practice. 

3. Gather any medication, paperwork or relevant labels

If your pet has swallowed something poisonous, if possible take a label containing the ingredients as this may help the vet. It's also worth picking up any medication they're on or paperwork you have handy relating to pre-existing conditions. 

4. Go to the vet 

The sooner you get your sick or injured pet to the emergency vet, the better.  

5. Explain your situation 

You will be asked to give an overview of what happened and a brief rundown of your pet’s clinical history. Your pet will then be prioritised, which is called triaging, based on the extent of their condition. Remember, the most seriously ill pets will be treated first. 

6. Don’t forget insurance 

Out-of-hours vet emergency appointments, in particular, can be more expensive than daytime appointments so have your insurance details and a payment card at the ready. 

Biscuit was taken straight into the Stoke Bishop branch of Zetland and the staff rushed to help, with Isabelle keeping hold and giving reassuring hugs. 

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 15 years as a vet,” said Ms Hughes. 

“My first thought was to cut the stand, but it was way too thick so I ran to nearby premises, including a dentist, to see if they had anything I could use. 

“They didn’t, so we had to try and sedate Biscuit to remove it as he’d panicked and twisted his skin around the metal three times. We got him on the table and Isabelle did a great job of helping.

“She was so calm, holding him so he didn’t do any more damage until we could get him anaesthetised and be ready to operate. 

“He was incredibly lucky. The metal was millimetres from his heart and lungs and if it had pierced them there would have been no way he’d have made it to us alive.” 

Out-of-hours vet emergency appointments, in particular, can be more expensive than daytime appointments so have your insurance details and a payment card at the ready. 

The surgical team managed to cut away the skin around the metal to remove it and cleaned the whole area to minimise the risk of any further problems. 

Remarkably, Catherine and Isabelle were able to collect Biscuit later the same day and take him home. 

“Isabelle adores Biscuit and she slept with him every night until he started to recover,” said Catherine. “She was amazingly calm all the way through, and I don’t know what I’d have done without her. Biscuit had stitches from the top to the bottom of his little body, but he started to be more like his happy old self in about a week. Everyone at the vets was so nice and reassuring and we really do feel it’s a miracle.” 

Zetland Vets is part of My Family Vets, a nationwide network of veterinary practices and referral hospitals. 

Owners who join its Pet Health Club plan receive discounts on selected veterinary care and medications — and are also covered for regular, routine treatments such as vaccinations, health checks and flea, worm and parasite treatments.

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