Three-year-old cat Stovie from Essex narrowly avoided disaster after a shocking airgun attack, thanks to emergency treatment from PDSA vets.
Stovie’s owner, Eve Worthington (55) from Chelmsford, knew something was wrong when her feline friend was acting out of character and hiding under the kitchen table.
“Stovie didn’t come when I called him, which isn’t like him at all,” said Eve.
“When he did come out, he was really struggling to walk. I checked him over and noticed a small round wound on his back. When I saw it my heart dropped – I was so worried he might have been shot.”
Eve rushed Stovie to Basildon PDSA Pet Hospital where x-rays confirmed her worst fears: her beloved cat had been shot with an airgun and the pellet was lodged inside his tummy.
“I was so angry to think that someone had shot my poor Stovie,” said Eve. “I was terrified that he might not survive.”
The charity’s vets rushed Stovie into emergency surgery, where the airgun pellet was removed during an hour-long operation.
PDSA Vet Hannah Johnston said: “Stovie needed immediate treatment to surgically remove an airgun pellet lodged in his tummy. We flushed his abdomen and thoroughly checked to make sure that his intestines had not been damaged. It’s amazing that the pellet did not cause further damage – luckily Eve spotted the wound and brought him in when she did. He was incredibly lucky.”
Eve added: “I was absolutely terrified thinking about what could have happened. It really is a miracle that the pellet didn’t hit any of his major organs.”
After a day spent recovering at the pet hospital, Stovie was well enough to return home – under strict bed rest – with a head cone collar, antibiotics and painkillers to help him back to health.
Stovie returned for a check-up a few days later and has now made a full recovery.
Eve added: “I’m over the moon with everything PDSA has done for Stovie. It was marvellous to be given the all clear and know everything is ok.”
PDSA Vet Hannah added: “Unfortunately this isn’t the first injury we have seen caused by an airgun pellet. These types of wounds can be incredibly painful and in some cases prove fatal. Pellet wounds can be very difficult to spot as they are often tiny and cats are very good at hiding when they are in pain. We would recommend getting any unexplained marks or injuries, or changes in your cat’s behaviour, checked by a vet as soon as possible.”
Every year, the dedicated teams at PDSA’s 48 Pet Hospitals work tirelessly to provide 2.7 million veterinary treatments. This includes emergency operations like Stovie’s, as well as routine preventive care such as neutering and vaccinations.
If you are worried that your pet might be injured or unwell, you can find information, including signs and symptoms to look out for on PDSA Pet Health Hub: www.pdsa.org.uk/phh