'Hero' vet praised by Kineton family for saving Erik the cat after he swallowed needle

Erik and Imogen. Photo supplied.
Erik and Imogen. Photo supplied.

The owners of a cat who swallowed a needle and thread have thanked the “hero” vet who once again saved their moggy’s life.

The owners of a curious cat who swallowed a needle and thread have thanked the “hero” vet who once again saved their moggy’s life.

Erik. Photo supplied.

Erik. Photo supplied.

Early one Saturday, Barbara McClelland-Welbourn.McClelland’s daughter Imogen spotted a piece of cotton hanging out of 18-month-old Erik’s mouth at their Kineton home.

Barbara’s instant reaction was to pull the cotton out but when she tried the cat made a pained noise.

Imogen said she was convinced there had been a needle attached to the thread so Barbara immediately called Avonvale Veterinary Centres’ out-of-hours service and took him to its Warwick hospital.

Simon Davies, Avonvale clinical director, said: “We got Erik straight in and took an x-ray.

Erik's x-ray.

Erik's x-ray.

“You could see where the needle was lodged with the naked eye but it had not made its way out.

“It had lodged sideways in his neck, which was actually a good outcome for him.

“The position it was stuck in meant we were able to cut a very small hole in Erik’s neck and simply pull it out that way, with the thread and needle still attached to each other.

“If it had not lodged and had instead travelled down to his stomach it could have been a far more serious situation.”

Barbara said: “We were desperately worried but when the door of the practice opened I immediately thought ‘Erik will be OK’ as it was Simon who opened the door and he had already saved his life once.

“The first was when Erik was a kitten. He was taken away from his mum far too early and got an awful infection.

“He spent three nights in intensive care but Simon helped him live. Just as he has done again. He is our hero man.”

Simon said owners need to be alert as cats and dogs swallowing needles and cotton is not uncommon and can have far more severe consequences than it did in Erik’s case.

He said needles can cause perforations and strands of cotton can cause a fold of the gut which can lead to serious intestinal problems and mean a major operation.

Advice to cat owners, particularly those with kittens, is to not leave anything lying around which could potentially hurt them if swallowed.

For more information on Avonvale Veterinary Centres click here