A shorter tail for Rafael

Meet Rafael, a confident 5 year old domestic short-haired cat. Rafael paid a recent visit to our clinic when his owners noticed an injury to his tail. Rafael had wandered off and returned with a degloving injury at the end of his tail. They are not sure how it happened but a degloving injury involves the layers of skin and tissue being removed from an area, usually a foot or tail, exposing the tissues beneath. These sorts of injuries can be complicated to treat as there is no skin to suture over the wound and often debris and foreign matter has contaminated the wound.

Dr Suzanne examined Rafael and decided that the best course of action would be to amputate part of his tail. His owners agreed so Rafael was given some pain medication and admitted into the hospital overnight. The next morning, Dr Suzanne and Nurse Bec prepared him for his surgery. He was placed on intravenous fluids to support his liver and kidneys during the procedure and was given some pain-relieving and tranquillising drugs. He was then placed under general anaesthetic and a tube was placed in his airway to deliver oxygen and anaesthetic gas to his systems. Throughout the surgery, Nurse Bec monitored his vital signs to ensure that all was well.

Dr Suzanne surgically removed the exposed piece of tail - this is a complicated procedure as a cat's vertebrae go all the way to the tip of the tail! Once the surgery was finished, Nurse Bec stayed with Rafael until he was awake and sitting up.

Rafael recovered from his surgery really well and was soon digging in to his lunch with gusto! He went home later that day with a light bandage on his tail and some pain relief and antibiotics. He is expected to make a full recovery and his owners hope he does not get up to any more adventures any time soon.

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