Willows vets save kitten after microchip horror

Specialist staff at a world-leading animal hospital in Solihull have been hailed as “phenomenal” after saving the life of a stricken kitten suffering from a catastrophic bleed on the brain.

Norris, a seven-week-old Ragdoll kitten was rushed to Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in Highlands Road, Shirley, after being left “lifeless” and “unresponsive” when a routine microchip procedure at a high street pet store had gone severely wrong.

There seemed little hope that tiny Norris would survive the trauma, but specialist clinicians at Willows battled for five days to stem the bleed and nurse him back from the brink.

Relieved owner Steven Stringer said: “I can’t thank the staff at Willows enough. They were phenomenal.

“I’d taken Norris to a local pet store to be microchipped and it all went disastrously wrong. He was left lifeless with a bleed on the brain.

“They advised me to take him straight to be examined by a Specialist and the next thing I knew I was driving from Tamworth to Willows, in Solihull, with an unresponsive cat beside me wondering whether he would survive the journey.

“When I arrived at Willows, I knew it was a bad situation and he might have to be put to sleep but I said: ‘Please can you try? Do whatever you need to do to save him’.

“It was the most stressful time, absolutely horrible. I was in tears for two days wondering whether he could make it through but the Willows team were brilliant.

“They kept me fully informed throughout and allowed me to visit every day.

“In all, Norris was in intensive care for five days, but after three days they said he was starting to come around, so there was suddenly light at the end of the tunnel.

“Finally I got to take him home and he’s now 95 per cent back to his normal self, which is incredible.

“It’s all down to the brilliant treatment from Willows, especially Cristina Toni who was amazing, so caring, so on the ball and always keeping us in the loop.

“Everybody went above and beyond which is why Norris managed to defy the odds and is still here. I’m so very grateful.

“Now he’s growing up so fast, it’s fantastic – he’s been given a second chance and it’s all down to Willows.”

Toby Gemmill, Clinical Director at Willows, said: “When he first arrived he was lifeless and disorientated and it was clear the first 24-48 hours were critical in determining his recovery.

“The first thing we needed to do was to remove the microchip so that an MRI scan could be performed.

“The scan showed inflammation of the brain as a result of possible trauma so Norris was admitted to Willows’ ICU for round the clock supportive care and pain management under very close monitoring.

“Norris responded well, showing positive signs of healing and improvement on a daily basis, first lifting his head and showing responsiveness before later regaining his strength and slowly the ability to walk again.

“He was discharged after five days and he was able to walk unaided for few steps and eat and drink on his own. He was re-examined at Willows two weeks later and he was still mildly wobbly on the back legs but he showed a marked improvement!

“Willows’ multi-disciplinary team devised a physiotherapy programme for Norris, which included exercises to correct his slightly wobbly back legs, and we’re all so pleased to hear he’s now made such a fine recovery.”

For more information: www.willows.uk.net