A WIGAN vet is calling for changes to the firearms regulations after a race to save the life of a wounded domestic cat.
Two year old Tom cat Dippy was bought to the Sunrise Surgery in Parbold by his distraught owner after being blasted by a heartless gunman with an air rifle.
Only prompt surgery from Dr Shams Mir meant that the much loved pet was eventually able to go home to continue his recuperation..
Dr Mir, who was a well known figure at Anrich Veterinary Hospital in Wallgate before leaving to found his own surgery at The Common, says he is “disgusted” at such startling examples of cruelty.
The shooting was particularly distressing for the owners because they had entrusted him to the safe keeping of a friend because they had to make an emergency mercy dash to South Africa to see an ailing relative.
Dippy was found only a few days later by a neighbour and because he was look so unwell with clear signs of a puncture injury.
They called in the carer who was horrified to discover he had been shot.
Vet Dr Mir said today : “A small wound on left side body was detected, which appeared to be an air gunshot wound.
“The X-ray examination confirmed two pallets lodged in the abdomen.
“The two pallets in Dippy’s tummy were positioned in different directions and located in two different areas – one close to the left kidney and the other under the neck of the bladder.
“Fortunately, the X-rays did not show any signs of internal bleeding.”
After obvious logistical problems getting in touch with the owners to discuss the necessary ‘interventions,’ it was then decided to proceed with surgery in stages, dependent on Dippy’s progress over a 24 hour period. Thankfully Dippy’s condition remained stable and he perked up overnight.
So surgery was performed the following day to close the wound on the body wall and skin.
Limited exploration through the entry wound showed that the left kidney had suffered some injury, but the blood tests revealed that overall it was functioning satisfactorily.
Shams said: “We examined Dippy five days after the operation and he seems to be doing well, although we may need to operate on him again to remove the pallets.
“Since there was only one entry wound on the body but two pallets positioned in opposing directions, it was difficult to understand how this could be the case.
“One plausible explanation could be that the two pallets were from two different attacks.
“On enquiring from the owners, they remember having seen some blood on Dippy’s hair coat once before but did not notice any wound.
“It is suspected that blood might have been from an airgun pellet injury which remained unexplored and healed spontaneously.
“It is heart-rending and outrageous to see innocent animals like Dippy suffer at the hands of thoughtless thugs out there, who can shoot at animals just for fun.”
Dr Mir said that his deeper concern was that those who turn their guns towards innocent animals today might turn them towards fellow citizens tomorrow.
He believes that, there is now a “dire need” for regulation of airgun licenses so that these potentially dangerous weapons don’t fall into irresponsible hands.