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Friday, May 15, 2015

The Full Story In Black And White: Mr Cow from Pasir Ris

Mr Cow is one of the stray cats from Pasir Ris Park area. Because he is one of the remaining cats in that colony yet to be neutered, he gets into scuffles with the other cats, and roams a wider distance than his "frenemies" do, often slinking into nearby construction work and the roads.

One day, he was discovered to be missing. His feeders searched for him. He was found days later hiding in a drain. His mouth was bleeding, his forepaws were caked in blood. He hadn't eaten for days, and was dehydrated.

A not-so-graphic photo of his swollen mouth
Despite the pain he must have been feeling, he consented to getting rescued, and we were called in for help; Mr Cow came to us to stay. We then brought him to the vet the next day.

At the vet
At first we thought the bleeding from his mouth was due to the usual problem many stray cats have, gum disease. Upon closer inspection, it turned out his gums were not inflamed. It looked to us he actually lost some teeth, so it could be an injury instead.

Upon examination by our vet, we learned that Mr Cow had a fracture in his jaw. It was likely due to an accident. We had to further investigate if Mr Cow would need surgery for his jaw or if it could heal on its own while we managed the pain and made sure he started eating again.

(In the meantime we gave him a bath to get all the caked blood away.)


Mr Cow after getting cleaned up
We gave Mr Cow some liquid food via a syringe through the side of his mouth. But it turned out, he could lap up the liquid food on his own! At first it wasn't much, and it had to be watered down. But as he started to feel less pain, his appetite increased. 

He then got an orthopedic consultation by another of our clinic's vets. He inspected Mr Cow's jaw more closely. Mr Cow was so obedient he allowed the vet to touch his mouth, inspect his teeth and gums, manipulate his lower jaw to see the extent and area of the fracture.

The fracture of his jaw had caused his mouth to be unable to close properly - the alignment was off. One of his lower canines was digging into his upper gum, causing him discomfort. The surgery proposal was to insert a wire in his jaw area to get the bones to fuse such that the alignment would be corrected. Then the wire would be surgically removed. Based on the clinical signs that Mr Cow's pain level was low, and that he was eating well, we opted not to have the surgery. If Mr Cow's pain was much more severe and the alignment of his mouth was causing him to be unable to eat, then the surgery would be justified. As it is, he is doing fine and in fact better every day.

Fracture is along the centre of his lower jaw
He doesn't seem to mind it though...
The timeline we were given to see how well the jaw had healed was 3 weeks. By then, the fracture should have fused. We could then get him neutered and return him to Pasir Ris Park.

How has he been coping?

He can now eat food without it being watered down, and we have seen his appetite improve. We are giving him supplements to manage pain and inflammation and to encourage his body to heal. Due to his few days not eating and drinking while he was hiding in the drain, he did have some constipation. We gave him some pumpkin, an enema and subcutaneous fluids, and he got better and pooped. He is also getting livelier every day. He is super affectionate and enjoys getting our attention with his constant meowing.

Follow Mr Cow's healing journey with us on social media! He is an absolute charm to Instagram!



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