Chilliwack cat injured by unnoticed elastic band

SPCA and vet office release reminder to the public to be extra vigilant with furry friends

A local veterinary hospital is urging pet owners to pay close attention to their furry friends, after an emergency surgery on a kitten over the weekend.

A young cat had been found bleeding at the neck and in distress, and was taken to Cheam View Veterinary Hospital. To the staff there, it initially looked as though someone had tried to severe its head.

Upon closer examination, the it was discovered that a thin, clear elastic band was embedded in the cat’s flesh, hidden under its long hair. The elastic was removed and the veterinarian stitched her back up. The cat is now on the mend, and the SPCA was called in to investigate how this could have happened.

Ivanna Ferris, spokesperson for the SPCA, explained that while injuries from unseen elastic aren’t common, they do happen.

“We have no idea how (the elastic) got around the cat’s neck,” Ferris said. “But we feel confident that it’s a situation where it was an unfortunate thing that happened, and that they (the owners) missed seeing it.

“There have been animals with elastic bands around their tails,” she added.

In this case, the cat had been exhibiting some discomfort and the owners were planning to take her into the vet. In the meantime, the cat ran away and was found by a neighbour. The cat had scratched at the embedded elastic, and it came loose and began to bleed.

“The pressure on its throat must have been uncomfortable,” Ferris said. No charges are being considered, and Ferris said they are confident the situation was accidental, and not a result of cruelty or criminal negligence.

Staff at Cheam View Veterinary Hospital said the elastic was deeply embedded in the muscle, and the elastic must have been there undetected for several months.

They said this is an important safety concern for owners of pets with longer hair.

“We just want people to be wary of what’s going on, to check them over and be aware,” said Randi Wice, receptionist at Cheam View.

jpeters@theprogress.com