Beloved Manchester Cat Receives Emergency Treatment at PDSA for Severe Tail Injury

A beloved cat from Manchester was left needing emergency treatment at PDSA after a suspected road traffic accident.

Two-year-old Charlie Shaw had a severe injury known as ‘de-gloving’ where the entire length of his tail had been completely torn off from the underlying soft tissue, muscle, and bone. His injuries were so severe, he had to have his tail amputated.

Thanks to PDSA, Charlie is now back home with his owner Carol (77) who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and shares a close bond with her feline friend.


Charlie’s story 

After returning home from a few days away, Carol Shaw, (77), became concerned about her cat Charlie.

She explained: “My daughter Hayley and I went away for a few days, so my son-in-law was visiting the house to care for Charlie. When we came home, I heard Charlie run into the house but dart straight back out again. I thought it was strange as I thought he would’ve wanted to see me for plenty of fuss, but I didn’t overthink it. I realise now that he was likely traumatised, in lots of pain, and didn’t know what to do.

“There was a knock on the door; it was a lady from the hairdressers down the road. She showed me a photo of a cat and asked if I had seen him. To my surprise, it was a photo of Charlie.

“We got talking, and she explained that Charlie visits the salon every day. I had no idea that’s where he went in between his naps, but she said the customers were also very fond of him – he’d sit on their laps and be fussed to no end.

“She then explained her worry because a neighbour saw Charlie had been involved in an accident. As she hadn’t seen Charlie for a while, she was visiting the local neighbours, hoping to find out if he was safe.”

When Charlie returned home later that day, Carol saw his tail had been seriously hurt. She rushed him to her nearest vet practice, where he received emergency treatment before he was transferred to Manchester PDSA Pet Hospital for ongoing care.

Kat Bailey, Vet Nurse Team Leader at Manchester PDSA Pet Hospital, said: “Charlie was transferred from a private vet for treatment after he came home with what’s known as a ‘de-gloving’ injury to the entire length of his tail, which is where a section of skin is completely torn off from the underlying soft tissue, muscle, and bone. He was admitted and given a general anaesthetic so we could fully assess his injuries.

“We carefully weighed up the options. We knew amputation of Charlie’s tail at this stage would be risky as the injury was so close to his bottom, and the skin was already badly infected. We needed to get the infection under control before operating, so we started a treatment plan of pain relief, antibiotics, Manuka honey medical ointment, and strict rest at home.”

At his recheck appointment, PDSA vets could see the infection was improving. However, the damage to the tail was so severe that the decision was made that it would have to be amputated. The surgery was tricky but successful, and Charlie returned home for two weeks of indoor rest, medication, and a cone collar to allow the area to heal.

Charlie came into Carol’s life at a challenging time and the two have developed a close bond.

Carol explained: “Hayley bought Charlie for me after I’d been diagnosed with cancer. She was living with me at the time, and Charlie quickly became very important to us both. Hayley’s since moved out, so it’s just me and Charlie. He keeps me company and will even walk to the corner shop with me. He’s a lovely cat – so affectionate, friendly, and loyal.”

Speaking about her experience with PDSA, Carol said: “It was the first time Charlie received care from PDSA, but I’m very familiar with them. My previous cat, Tigger, was treated by PDSA vets for many years. They do wonderful things to help families in need. It means so much that we had somewhere to turn when the cost of Charlie’s treatment at a private vets became a real worry.

“Luckily, Charlie’s made a full recovery. He’s back to his normal self, and the staff and customers at the hairdressers are all very happy to have him back visiting the salon again!”

The total cost of Charlie’s treatment came to £644.31. As a charity that receives no government funding, PDSA relies solely on generous donations from the public. As part of its Critical Care Appeal, the charity is appealing for donations to help more pets in need like Charlie when it matters most. Visit to help.

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