Spike – Our Brave Patient

Spike Whitbread, 2yo British blue RTA cat

Spike’s year did not start the way he hoped! On the 1st January, he was found at the side of the road by a member of the public, following a suspected road traffic collision. He was rushed to VetsNow by these good samaritans and received stabilisation treatments for significant head trauma. Fortunately, Spike had a microchip and his owners had their contact details up to date so they could be traced. Unfortunately, he had a fractured jaw and damage to his left eye.  The swelling to his face was so bad it took some time before the full extent of his injuries could be established. 

When he came to Mayne vets, we continued the treatment and investigations. He had multiple jaw fractures and was unable to eat.  One of our vets managed to stabilise the fractures and a feeding tube was placed in the side of his neck.  This allowed us to feed him and give oral medication without him moving his jaw, giving it time to heal. The swelling to his eye was still very significant making it difficult to fully assess, although we were all very concerned at the extent of the damage. Spike was stabilised enough at this point to head home, and his owners did a fantastic job of nursing him! Our nurses taught them how to use his feeding tube, keep the surgical sites clean, monitor for infection, give medication, apply multiple eye drops – the list goes on! We saw him for regular check ups to assess how he was improving.

After a week, Spike decided he had had enough of his feeding tube and decided to remove it. He had been starting to vomit and the decision was made to refer him to Dick White Referrals. There he had further investigations which found he had inflammation of the stomach, intestines and oesophagus. More medications were needed to treat these problems and Spike managed to start eating/lapping up a liquid diet without the need for a feeding tube. Whilst at DWR an ophthalmologist confirmed our fears, that there was nothing that we could do for his damaged eye, and the best option was removal. Spike was sent home to his owners after a couple of days of treatment at DWR to continue healing and prepare for a major surgery. 

6 weeks after the initial accident, was the day of Spike’s enucleation (surgery to remove his damaged eye). This is often a difficult surgery for any owner to come to terms with.  Luckily our patients take it in their stride, and are often much happier once the eye needing removal has gone. They bounce back incredibly quickly and adapt amazingly well to having a decrease in vision. Spike’s surgery went very well.  While he was under anaesthetic we also removed a tooth which had been fractured in the accident, and had a thorough check of his jaw fractures, which were all healing perfectly. 

Throughout his time with us, VetsNow and DWR, Spike was a model patient, tolerating everything we asked of him. Cuddles, purrs and head rubs were in constant supply from Spike, in spite of everything he was going through. This was a story with a happy ending, unfortunately they do not all end this way. Spike’s owners had kept his microchip details up to date.  This meant they could be contacted when he was initially found and Vets Now had full permission to initiate treatment promptly. Spike’s owners also had good insurance for him.  As we are all aware, medical care does cost a lot of money, especially when it involves out of hours and specialist referral centres.  Luckily, Spike’s insurance meant the medical and surgical treatments needed were possible without having to worry about finances.

Since then, Spike has continued to heal well and we hope he manages to keep himself out of any further trouble.  It has been an honour to treat him and the team are so pleased to have been able to help him recover back to his normal self.