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A 13-year-old cat needed emergency surgery to remove an airgun pellet which stuck in its bladder and acted as a plug - preventing it from urinating.
Unknown to owner Sue Fuller, the cat, Smudge, had been shot sometime earlier and the pellet slowly worked its way to the bladder opening, acting as a valve.
Sue Fuller, said: “Smudge was acting a bit scatty around the house and would repeatedly get into her litter tray but then get out again without doing her business. I took her to the Croydon PDSA PetAid hospital and an x-ray showed an airgun pellet in her bladder. I was so shocked, I thought she had cystitis!”
The circumstances of Smudge’s airgun attack are a mystery, said Sue: “All I can think of is that about 18 months ago she came in with wounds and collapsed. I thought she’d either been in a cat fight or run over and took her to a private vet but he couldn’t find anything wrong. She had no other symptoms, though she has been noticeably more scared of loud bangs since that time.”
PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Croydon PetAid hospital, Keith Rooks, said: “We examined Smudge to identify the cause of her unusual behaviour. Our x-ray clearly showed the airgun pellet which would have got into the bladder through the abdominal wall. It had probably been floating around in the bladder until it settled and then acted as a valve.
“Smudge must have been in considerable discomfort and we operated straight away. We were able to locate and remove the pellet, which did the trick as she was able to urinate normally within hours. The following day she was able to go home.”
Despite her traumatic ordeal, Smudge has fully recovered but owner Sue said that she tends to stay indoors more now.