Miracle 'escape' for Houdini thanks to PDSA
18-month-old cat, Houdini, is lucky to be alive after becoming the latest pet victim of an airgun attack. Sadly, Houdini lost an eye in her ordeal, but is still walking around on all four paws thanks to the vets and nurses at PDSA.
Houdini the cat, from Hartcliffe, Bristol, is down to just eight lives after being shot in the face with an airgun. Her horrific injuries could have proved fatal without the emergency treatment provided by Bristol PDSA PetAid hospital.
Following her attack, Houdini was found by her owner’s neighbour, Sue Ackerman. Sue came home after work to find Houdini in her garden, crying in pain and covered in blood. She noticed the cat’s eye was injured and thought she’d been hit by a car or attacked by another animal, so she rushed her to the local out-of-hours vet.
The following morning, Houdini was transferred to PDSA’s Bristol PetAid hospital, on Bath Road, where Veterinary Surgeon, Manolo Hervada, examined her. He said: “We weren’t sure what had happened to Houdini, but her eye was damaged beyond repair so we had to operate to remove it.”
While operating, the veterinary team noticed a puncture wound in Houdini’s mouth; further examination and x-rays revealed she’d been shot with an airgun. The pellet had travelled through her eye and was lodged in her neck.
Manolo continued: “X-rays showed the metal pellet was embedded close to the vertebral bones in Houdini’s spine. We considered removing it during surgery, but there was a danger it could cause paralysis so we decided it was safer to leave it in.”
Houdini’s owner, Lisa Harvey, rushed straight to PDSA when she heard about her beloved cat’s injuries. She said: “I was distraught when I heard Houdini had been hurt and just assumed there’d been an accident. I couldn’t believe it when PDSA discovered she’d been shot.”
Following surgery, Houdini spent a day recovering at PDSA before being allowed home to recover with Lisa. She said: “It’s taken her a while to get used to losing her eye; at first she kept bumping into things when running or jumping. But she’s made an amazing recovery and is back to her normal self now.”
“I’m so grateful to PDSA, and Sue, for helping her. The operation and treatment would have cost hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
Sadly, many pets are injured and killed every year as a result of airgun attacks. PDSA is urging owners to be vigilant and report any incidents to the RSPCA or local police.
Vet Manolo added: “An airgun wound will have a small circular hole with a reddened or burnt edge. It will be small and may be hidden by the pet’s fur, making it difficult to see, so check your pets over thoroughly on a regular basis. If you find a wound, or if your pet is showing signs of pain, you should contact your vet straight away.”
Houdini’s amazing survival story has made her the star of a PDSA fundraising appeal. Over the next two years, PDSA expects to see a 20% increase in pet patients and needs to raise £36,000 to care for these local pets for the next few months. If you would like to donate to the PDSA Bristol Appeal please log onto www.pdsa.org.uk/bristol.
Bristol PDSA PetAid hospital provides free veterinary treatment to the sick and injured pets of owners in need. To be eligible for PDSA veterinary care, pet owners must be in receipt of either Housing Benefit or Council tax Benefit and live within postcode areas BS1 to BS11, BS13 to BS16, BS20 to BS21, BS25, BS30 to BS32, BS34 to BS37, BS39 to BS41 and BS48 to BS49.
For more information about PDSA please call freephone 0800 731 2502 or visit www.pdsa.org.uk.