A lucky cat has used up one of her nine lives after walking around with an airgun pellet lodged in her head for TWO years.
Simon Melvin, 30, was horrified to see blood pouring from his pet Sypha’s head and rushed her to the vet in 2022.
The vet dismissed Sypha’s injury as a scratch and stitched her face up before sending the three-year-old moggy home.
In the months that followed, Simon noticed her health was deteriorating and had developed a cough, had started drooling and had less energy.
He took her to a different vet, Linnaeus-owned Warren House Veterinary Group in Kent, who carried out X-rays and a CT scan on Sypha.
They spotted an airgun pellet lodged in her skull just millimeters from her brain.
Sypha was referred to the renowned Southfields Veterinary Specialists in Basildon where she underwent surgery to have the pellet removed.
The lovable feline stayed in the animal hospital before returning home where she has made a remarkable recovery.
Simon, of Rochester, Kent, said: “When the vets at Warren House told me someone had shot her I was mortified, especially as I instantly knew when it had happened.
“I remembered her coming home with a wound on her nose almost two years previously, which my local vet and myself thought was just a scratch.
“So, it was really upsetting to think that horrible thing had been stuck in her head for nearly two years.
“I felt rather silly for not figuring it out at the time, though I imagine I’d have gone straight out looking for the cowardly wretch had I done so.”
Simon said Sypha’s health had been getting worse until a CT scan finally identified the shocking cause of her problems.
He added: “Sypha had suffered from an ongoing cough and a marked reduction in her energy while she was playing or following me around outside.
“Normally, she would have darted about like a maniac and run ahead, but suddenly she started to lag behind and meow as though something was causing her discomfort.
“There were several visits to our local vet and several attempts at treating her but the cough would come back every time so we were eventually referred for specialist care.
“I never expected such terrible news, though. I was fairly hopeful it was something minor but when the specialist called me in to look at the images I got a sinking feeling when I saw that white spot in her head.”
Vet Carlos Rubinos, a specialist in small animal surgery, oversaw her case.
He said: “Sypha had been showing increased respiratory noise and occasional episodes of drooling for two years.
“Our investigations, including a CT scan, discovered a pellet lodged in her nasopharynx, a small spot between Sypha’s brain and the nasal cavity.
“Pellet gun injuries are unfortunately common in cats, which should raise social concern about this very worrying issue, but Sypha’s case was far from common.
“A metal pellet lodged in the nasopharynx of a cat has never been reported before and we needed to devise a way to safely remove it.
“It was an intricate surgery where we split Sypha’s palate to access and remove the pellet and then reconstructed her palate, the first time this surgical approach is reported for management of this issue.”
Incredibly, Sypha was allowed home the day after surgery and has gone on to complete a remarkable recovery.
A grateful Simon added: “I think it’s safe to say it was one of the most stressful things I have experienced.
“My biggest worry was the operation being unsuccessful, as I really wanted to see Sypha back to her usual self.
“She’s now back to her old self, fully recovered and doing fantastically. It’s like nothing had ever happened.
“She’s back to running around like a maniac again which is really great to see.
“It’s amazing that it hasn’t deterred her at all from going out and about.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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