Emergency vets and vet nurses hailed for saving little Wolfy's life

A daredevil kitten has made an amazing recovery after she fell from the top of scaffolding and ruptured her diaphragm.

Poor Wolfy suffered terrible injuries in the 25ft fall, was barely able to breathe or stand and was left close to death.

But, thankfully, after painstaking surgery at our pet emergency clinic in Dundee, she has since made a full recovery.

And remarkably, Wolfy’s now back enjoying her favourite pastime – jumping on the trampoline in the back garden.

Image of Wolfy the kitten for Vets Now article on kitten falls from scaffolding
Eight-month-old Wolfy's life hung in the balance after he fell from scaffolding outside her owner Lorraine's house

Wolfy managed to scale the scaffolding outside her owner Lorraine Pattie’s home in Dundee while her back was turned.

The scaffolding was only there because work on repairing the building had been halted due to the coronavirus restrictions.

But eight-month-old Wolfy somehow managed to slip at the top before hurtling all the way to the ground.

Grandmother Lorraine realised what had happened when stricken Wolfy crawled back inside barely able to move and panting heavily.

She rushed Wolfy to our clinic where our team carried out a series of x-rays and diagnostic tests.

They diagnosed a diaphragmatic rupture in which the layer of muscle which separates the abdomen and the chest becomes torn.

Quite apart from being extremely painful, the condition is life-threatening because it can prevent the lungs from fully inflating, causing serious breathing difficulties.

Lorraine said: “The vets were very honest and open with me – they told me that without surgery to correct the tear Wolfy would die – and that even with surgery there was a good chance she wouldn’t recover.

“But Wolfy is part of our family and even if there was only a 1 in 1,000 chance of success, we would have still gone ahead with it.”

Image of scaffolding outside a row of houses for Vets Now article on kitten falls from scaffolding
The scaffolding which Wolfy fell from

The complicated surgical procedure Wolfy underwent is so rare that it’s only the third time in 12 years as a vet nurse that Leanne Walker, our principal nurse manager in Dundee, has experienced it.

Leanne said: “It was touch and go with Wolfy and it was important that we saw her when we did.

“Time really was of the essence. She is a tiny little thing – but happily she turned out to be very strong. We’re all so pleased she is doing so well.

“The coronavirus lockdown has created new hazards for our pets and new places for cats, in particular, to run into trouble, including unmanned building sites.

“But this is one accident that really couldn’t have been foreseen.”

Wolfy was operated on by vet surgeon Olivia Grice, with assistance from senior vet, Jane Anderson.

Leanne added: “We were all so pleased to see her pull through the operation and it was wonderful to be able to send her home the next day to recuperate.

“I kept in touch with Lorraine to see how Wolfy was doing and I really couldn’t believe it when she told me she was pretty much back to normal. It really is a triumph over adversity.”

Image of kitten Wolfy and her owner's grandson Andrew for Vets Now article on kitten falls from scaffolding
Lorraine's grandson Andrew couldn't be more pleased that Wolfy has recovered from her ordeal

Lorraine said there is no one more pleased about the happy ending for Wolfy than her eight-year-old grandson, Andrew, who lives with her.

She explained: “Wolfy is pretty much his cat. She was one of five kittens our cat Mittens had last year and it was Andrew who came up with the name because of Wolfy’s grey fur.

“Andrew’s just devoted to her – he would have been so distraught if she hadn’t made it.

“It’s amazing now to see her now. She’s totally back to normal. In fact, you wouldn’t believe it but she’s actually back to bouncing on Andrew’s trampoline.

“Wolfy and her brother Oscar, who lives next door with my neighbour Debbie, go running through the garden, leap up onto the trampoline and then go bounce, bounce. It’s really funny to watch.

“The scaffolding went up when the cavities in our walls were getting fixed – and it’s had to stay up for weeks because of the lockdown.

“Wolfy’s somehow managed to climb to the top of it, but as you can imagine, I’m now keeping a very close eye on her until the scaffolding goes!

“All the staff at Vets Now were so kind and thoughtful. I just can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for her.”

The Vets Now clinic in Dundee – where Wolfy received treatment – is one of a nationwide network of Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals 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, including during the current coronavirus pandemic.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.