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Paragon vet Graham Lewis with Basil, now fit and healthy
A stray cat has been given a second chance in life thanks to a Cumbrian veterinarian Graham Lewis and a good Samaritan.
They came to the rescue when the cat had a severe fracture in its thigh that would have cost thousands of pounds to repair for a specialist.
Basil had been living on the street when he showed up badly injured in a Carlisle garden.
Mother and healthcare worker Emma said, “My daughter was playing in the garden and he came out of the greenhouse and pulled his leg. The whole leg was slack and he was obviously in great pain. “
Although the clinic was finished for the day at the Paragon Veterinary Group in Dalston, Basil was seen immediately.
“Graham got him through and they drugged him to examine him,” said Emma.
The news wasn’t good. The homeless cat required complicated surgery, usually performed by orthopedic surgeons, and weeks of follow-up care.
Graham and Emma discussed the options and decided to give Basil a chance at life.
Graham would do the operation – the first time he had the procedure – at a reduced fee and Emma would pay the bill and nurse Basil back to health.
“I said yes, I was ready to pay the bill and keep him for recovery,” said Emma.
“I had to think about it, but the thing is, he’s a kitten and otherwise he’s fine and it was only fair to give him a chance. I couldn’t have put him to sleep. “
Graham added, “If he were a pet we would have sent him to an orthopedic surgeon, but it would surely cost a few thousand pounds.
“But we managed to get a fee only for what we used with a fair discount.”
Graham sought advice from a specialist and then tackled the process himself.
The surgery involved inserting a metal pin into the bone to connect the fracture and a metal frame called an external fixator to hold everything in place while it healed.
“This procedure has never been done in my time at Paragon. We normally wouldn’t,” said Graham, pleased when the procedure went according to plan.
“This was the best option for this cat, and pretty much his only option.
“It’s not the only time we’ve had to push our boundaries a bit lately.”
Basil’s X-ray after the operation
Basil then stood in front of a box in Emma’s house for eight weeks.
Emma’s health training meant she knew how to care for him and keep the wounds clean where the metal frame went into his skin.
“He was a good boy and took it really well,” said Emma.
Two months later, Graham removed the external fixator and Basil was able to move freely.
“I didn’t know if I let him out he would just run away, but he didn’t, he stayed with us,” said Emma.
Basil now has a permanent home with Emma and her daughter.
“He’s really playful. He hunts pen tops and my daughter’s toys, ”said Emma.
“He’s a very lucky cat. He would have been put to sleep in the face of another person who found him, or another veterinarian who wasn’t too keen on tracking him. “