Nala rushed to Vets Now following horror incident

A cat owner is warning about the dangers of scented burners after her pet was badly injured by molten wax.

Danielle Lavery, from Belfast, watched in horror as Nala tried to jump over a wax melt burner alight in her kitchen.

Some of the burning hot liquid spilt on Nala’s fur causing him to panic and tip the rest over his stomach.

Danielle, 30, rushed the four-year-old to the Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Belfast where he was treated for burns.

She said: “I had a small oil burner in the kitchen with a tealight candle under it so it was pure, melted wax at the top.

“I lit it to get rid of the smell of food after dinner, but I think Nala had already been attracted by the smell. He got in because the door hadn’t been shut properly and was quickly up on on the counter.

“Nala stepped over the oil burner and the hot wax went on to his fur which scared him and then as he leapt up the wax went all down his tummy and quickly started to harden, pulling off his skin.”

In pain and terrified, Nala hid under a table and it was only when Danielle’s partner, Robert, came home that they managed to coax him out.

Image of Nala, the cat burnt by candle wax for Vets Now article on cat burnt by hot wax
Four-year-old Nala was severely burned by a wax melt burner

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“He was very distressed,” added Danielle. “When we were finally able to get a look at him it was terrible. There was wax was all over his belly, some on his paws and you could see his skin because the fur was coming off.”

Emergency staff at Vets Now in Belfast quickly got to work, first sedating Nala and then applying medication to soothe his burns before giving him a protective collar and bandages. He has been making a good recovery since his ordeal.

“At the minute Nala is absolutely fine,” said Danielle, adding: “He’s got scabs which are starting to peel off so he’s getting back to his usual self, but it has definitely stopped me lighting anything like that ever again.

“I feel like it was my fault for not having the door closed properly. I thought it was closed, but Nala was able to push it open and he’s so quick there’s no stopping him once he’s in a room.”

image of a lit candle wax burner for Vets Now article on cat burnt by candle wax burner
Nala was burned by a candle wax burner like this one

Nala had to be kept away from his sister, Simba, while he recovered and she diligently sat outside the door for days waiting for him.

Disney fan Danielle named her cats after characters in the Lion King movie. She said she’s “Hakuna Matata” now Nala is on the road to recovery, but hopes other cat owners will learn from the incident and keep candles and wax burners well away from their pets.

Laura Playforth, head of veterinary standards at Vets Now, said: “Clearly this was a very distressing incident for Danielle and Nala, but it could have been a lot worse.

“Scented wax burners have become increasingly popular in recent years, but as attractive as they are we need to remember they pose a risk to pets in the home. In addition, new smells, particularly strong ones, can be unsettling for cats as their sense of smell is so strong.

“Cat owners should consider not having these burners at all, but if they do own one it should never be left unattended and always placed on a heat-resistant surface.”

The Vets Now clinic in Belfast — where Nala received treatment — was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It’s one of 58 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 premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.

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