Emergency vets win battle to save Amy's sight

WARNING — GRAPHIC IMAGES

A six-week-old kitten nearly lost an eye when she became entangled with a bungee cord.

Little Amy was playing when the hook of the cable caught in her mouth. As she struggled to free it, the hook worked its way up through her mouth and out of the corner of her eye.

She was rushed to Vets Now in Lincoln where the hook was carefully removed. Cat charity worker Gwen Oxley described the horror incident as the “worst thing I’ve seen in my life”.

An image of kitten Amy with the bungee hook caught in her mouth and eye.
The hook plunged into the back of Amy's mouth and protruded through the bottom of her eye.

Gwen is welfare officer for Lincoln Cat Care and has fostered more than 400 cats and kittens in the 17 years she has been volunteering for the charity, but has never had to deal with anything as traumatic.

She said: “It’s difficult to know how it happened, but I have used these bungee cords for years to keep pens open and this one was just dangling near the kitten who must have been playing with it.

“I found Amy struggling with the cord but by that time it had worked its way up through the back of her mouth and was protruding through the bottom of her eye — it was absolutely horrific.”

As it was 10pm Gwen knew she’d need to rush Amy to Vets Now — which provides emergency pet care out of hours and has a clinic in nearby Hykeham Green.

She added: “I wrapped Amy in a towel and my husband drove me straight to Vets Now. They were absolutely brilliant, I can’t stress how brilliant they were.

An image of the kitten's mouth after a hook went through it.
According to Vets Now's principal nurse manager in Lincoln, Amy is very lucky to still have her eye

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“Once the vet had sedated Amy she discovered the hook had gone up through the back of her mouth and out of her eye but had missed her gums and palate. She feared Amy would lose her eye, but miraculously it wasn’t damaged.”

Emma Panter, principal nurse manager at Vets Now in Lincoln, said she’d never seen a case like Amy’s before.

“We couldn’t believe it when we saw this bungee hook,” Emma added. “The fosterer explained she uses these cords to hold open doors and one must have pinged off somehow and gone through the ventral aspect of the jaw and out of the left eye socket.

“We sedated Amy, took an x-ray, and managed to cut the hook and then remove it. She’s one lucky kitten to still have her eye.”

Thankfully Amy has recovered from her ordeal — her vision is fine and she’ll soon be ready for homing.

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Gwen added: “Although her eye looked terrible it hadn’t actually been damaged and once the swelling had gone you wouldn’t know there had been anything wrong with her. It’s not affected her vision at all.

“I’ve since put all the bungee cords in the dustbin though.”

Gwen looks after several cats for Lincoln Cat Care and added: “The charity must be looking after around 110 cats and kittens at the moment. I think we’ve got a particular problem in Lincoln as we have got so many unwanted cats. We offer free neutering every year and even the amount we do doesn’t seem to make any impression.”

The Vets Now clinic in Lincoln — where Amy received treatment — is one of 55 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.