A WIGAN vet has saved a small bat which was facing death after it broke its wing during a savage attack by a cat.
Richard Weston, practice principal at Anrich Vets, in Wigan, skilfully managed to insert a small pin into the pipistrelle’s wing which enabled it to heal.
The small mammal is now in the care of the West Yorkshire Bat Conservation Society who will release it into the wild once it has fully recovered.
It was brought to Richard by a member of the public.
Mr Weston said: “The bat had been attacked by a cat and had a puncture wound on its back, and two or three on its wing that could have proved lethal.
“I was in discussion with the Bat Conservation Society to decide whether it would be best to put it down, but I decided to try to fix the wing.
“I really didn’t expect it to last the night, so it is lucky to be alive.
“It was brought to me by a member of the public at my Huddersfield practice and I started to treat the bat there, but as the bone had a diameter of 1.5mm, I did not have a needle small enough and so I transferred it to my Wigan surgery in Caroline Street.
“I anaesthetised the bat and found a small needle long enough to go into the bone and place a pin there.
“The wound on its back is getting better and I have given it some antibiotics. The bone will heal in four to five weeks’ time.
“I am unsure whether to keep the pin there or take it out. Although the pin is lightweight, for a bat it will feel heavy so we may need to take it out when we release it with the West Yorkshire Bat Conservation Society.
“We have been giving the bat liquidised dog food and it is healing well.”
This was the first time Mr Weston had treated a bat,
He added: “As it was such a small animal to operate on, it was a slight challenge, but it was not beyond the realms of treatment.
“I have repaired broken bones of similarly small creatures but, having said that, it was a very delicate procedure.”