Bite Left Cat Needing Emergency Brain Operation

February 3, 2021

A cat bitten on the head by a fox was left needing emergency surgery after the attack caused a double skull fracture and two abscesses in the brain.

The 17-year-old rescue cat, called Kisha, was referred to Southfields Veterinary Specialists in Laindon, Essex, for urgent treatment and has now made a full recovery.

Southfields’ Head of Neurology Ane Uriarte oversaw Kisha’s treatment and carried out the delicate operation alongside anaesthesia clinician Fabio Cilli.

Ane said the damage was extensive but that, thankfully, the treatment has proved a great success. She explained: “Kisha is a rescue cat, who’s now 17 and, with age, she has lost her hearing but she still loves to go out to explore.

She recently came home appearing very timid and frightened, nothing like her usual self.

Over the following week, she started showing signs of neurological problems. She was circling around, displaying abnormal behaviour and her eyesight had deteriorated alarmingly.

She was sent to us as an emergency case and we immediately carried out an MRI scan of the brain which showed she had been bitten in the head, almost certainly by a fox, and she had a double skull fracture on both sides of her head.

Kisha also had two abscesses growing inside her brain, so she needed to undergo emergency brain surgery.

The first thing to do was to remove the pus and then we repaired the skull fractures by inserting titanium plates.

Kisha did really well and the next morning she appeared back to normal and went home just two days later, having completely recovered her sight and with all the neurological effects having disappeared.”

Delighted owner Gary Rasmussen was full of praise for the expert treatment Kisha received from Southfields, although he admits he was very concerned when he was told the severity of the damage she had suffered.

Gary said: “We were very worried but after consultation with Ane, we decided to go ahead with the operation.

Surgery involved removal of the damaged fracture, draining the abscess due to infection and reconstruction of her skull with a titanium plate.

Ane was excellent; explaining what was done throughout and very empathetic of our concerns.

We were very impressed with the whole Southfields team who were very polite, professional and we would not hesitate to recommend them to other troubled pet owners.

Kisha continues to improve and is now playing happily again so we’re very thankful.”

Southfields Veterinary Specialists is dedicated to providing the highest standards of veterinary care for pets and providing a seamless service to owners and referring vets.

The referral centre offers specialist services such as anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, exotics, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, radiation and soft tissue surgery.

For more information see Southfields Specialist Neurology Service page, or Ane Uriarte, Head of Neurology’s profile page.