When a member of the public got in touch to discuss a stray cat they had concerns about, we immediately knew we had to step in and help. Three year old Barry was a regular in her garden, where she fed and watched out for him – and so she quickly noticed when something didn’t seem quite right.
- The member of the public saw that Barry’s left eye was stuck shut every morning, and that the fur on his tail and back looked more than a little worse for wear.
- Our Animal Welfare Officer, Tania Mazzoni, discussed Barry’s general health and welfare with his feeder, and noted that he had clear discharge coming from his eye and was suffering from heavy matting.
- Although Barry was clearly domesticated, he didn’t have a microchip and no-one came forward for him. We therefore admitted him to our hospital ward for further examination, and settled him down in a warm cosy cabin.
Our vets soon found that both of Barry’s eyes required treatment, and tests revealed that he was also FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – positive, which explained his rather ragged appearance.
FIV is a virus that attacks the immune system of cats, and can be spread through biting, mating or feeding in the case of a mother cat and her kittens. Cats suffering with FIV are more prone to infection and illnesses than other animals, and so it is recommended that they stay indoors as much as possible to limit their exposure to bacteria and other viruses.
With proper care and regular vaccinations, FIV cats can lead normal healthy lives without the virus progressing to a terminal stage. Luckily for Barry, his feeder noticed he was under the weather before any of his issues could deteriorate, and our vets were able to schedule emergency surgery to fix his poorly eyes before he lost his sight.
The cause of Barry’s irritation was his lower eyelids, which had turned inwards and were rubbing against the eyeball. We tightened and repositioned the skin around to remove the friction, which successfully solved the problem and thankfully means that further surgery should not be necessary.
We also managed to clip the matting off Barry’s tail, and to our relief saw that there were no wounds or scratches around the matted area which would have indicated a secondary infection.
After a course of pain relief and plenty of rest and tender loving care, Barry was ready to have his vaccinations and be placed up for adoption. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before his sweet tabby face garnered lots of interest, and we are thrilled to say he has now found his forever home with a loving owner, and is currently living a life of indoor luxury!
We are so pleased that we were able to help Barry and give him the kind of life he deserves, especially in time for Christmas. This winter, we want to ensure that animals in need all over London are able to stay safe, healthy and happy in their homes and on the streets too.
Our Animal Welfare Officers (AWOs) are out and about on the frontline every single day, supporting as many cats and dogs and vulnerable owners as possible.
A donation to our Winter Care Package Appeal will help us deliver much-needed food, medical supplies and enrichment toys to the pets of people who may be struggling, and enable our AWOs to respond to calls and emails from concerned owners, feeders and members of the public.
Just £5 could provide a feral cat colony with enough food to survive the winter months, and £10 could microchip an elderly person’s animal whilst they are unable to leave the house.
£15 could provide a warm coat for the dog of someone experiencing homelessness, whilst £25 could cover the cost of a course of flea and worming treatment for a vulnerable dog or cat.
We are incredibly grateful for any donations that will help us to give as many animals as possible the kind of happy Christmas that Barry is lucky enough to experience. If you have a few pounds spare, please visit our website here to make a contribution: https://themayhew.org/wintercarepackage/.