Cat with a gun pellet in his head saved by Davies Neurology team
Davies Veterinary Specialists
Anaesthesia, Neurology, Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Professionals
14th November 2022
A young cat with a gunshot injury in the back of his head and depression fracture of the parietal bone, successfully underwent a craniectomy at Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) in Hertfordshire to remove the pellet and repair the damage.
Marco, a two-year-old domestic shorthair cat was found collapsed and unresponsive in his owner’s driveway, with a gun wound to his head. His owner rushed him to her local vet where he was hospitalised for pain relief, antibiotics and supportive care. Once stabilised he was referred to the Neurology & Neurosurgery Service at Davies (part of veterinary group Linnaeus) for further assessment and treatment.
“We performed a CT scan to help identify the location of the pellet more precisely before we operated,” said Davies neurologist/neurosurgeon Victoria Argent. “The CT also revealed a depression fracture in the parietal bone and there was concern of migration of the pellet within the brain.”
Victoria, together with Alex Forward (Davies neurosurgeon), and the full support of the highly skilled anaesthesia team, carried out a craniectomy to remove the pellet from Marco’s skull. The wound was flushed out and the pellet released from the skull through careful drilling of the parietal bone. Care was taken to avoid large vessels in the area, and there was no significant bleeding. The depressed skull fracture was also removed, taking extra care of the underlying brain tissues. The surgical site was flushed copiously, before closing the wound in multiple layers.
Marco recovered very well from surgery and was discharged five days later. His oesophageal feeding tube was removed at the end of the following week once he had finished his medication.
“Given the location of the bullet avoiding important vessels, as well as delicate manipulation of the fragment to avoid injury to the underlying brain parenchyma was key for the success of this procedure,” said Victoria. “Marco was a perfect patient and recovered remarkably well, much to our delight – it’s not every day you have the challenge of removing a pellet from such a precarious place.”
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