He is our Pet of the Month for July.
George is a very handsome 1 year old British cross cat who came to see vet Jessica early in July with a nasty injury to his tail. George had what is known as a "de-gloving" injury to his tail where a traumatic incident (often the friction of going under a vehicle wheel) removes all the skin from an appendage, whether that be a leg or tail, removing it like a glove.
Poor George had lost the skin of his tail, and we assume it was due to a road traffic accident although we will never know for sure. He appeared to have no other injuries due to the incident which is very lucky as tail injuries can often go hand-in-hand with nerve injuries due to traction on the tail. This can lead to either temporary (due to bruising) or permanent problems with bladder and/or bowel function. Phew!
Unfortunately there was no way to save George's tail after the complete loss of skin, so we put George under anesthetic the same day for tail amputation. Under the anesthetic a little blood came from George's lungs so vet Emma took x-rays of his chest. She identified some bruising on the lungs, again consistent with a traumatic incident, but nothing more. This would heal in time and George was coping well with the anesthetic, so Emma proceeded to amputate his tail.
George recovered very well from his anesthetic but suffered some complications a week later, when the wound opened and had a lot of fluid discharge. Some pockets of open space under the skin were not healing well and also some of his skin at the wound edge had died off. After ruling out a bacterial infection, vet Anna identified these lesions as likely avulsion injuries. These are very uncommon but are occasionally seen in cats following (presumptive) road traffic accidents, typically in conjunction with quite severe injuries such as pelvic fractures. They often don't show up initially, but become obvious a few weeks later with death of the skin and then healing over the next few weeks.
For George we managed these complications with time; time monitoring the wound, giving him complete cage rest, and ensuring all the dead tissue was identified; before proceeding to a second surgery to remove all the dead tissue, "refresh" the edges of the healthy tissue to return it to active healing, and creating a new healing wound over his stump.
Since then George has not looked back. He has been a lovely, friendly, cuddly patient to look after here and stole the hearts of the whole team! As you can see from his photographs he was pretty relaxed about coming to see us for his final appointment removing his stitches, showing us his aloof and handsome side! Once his hair grows back over the stump of his tail he will look very handsome again, and still has a little bit of tail to show us his emotions. Did you guess he was named after Peppa Pig's brother?