Our Animal Supervisor, Deborah Beats tells us the strange story of Sausage the cat and why she needs your help….
”Whilst sedated I stroked her paw as I listened intently to the surgeon’s description of her health complaints and history. I was then led to the x-ray room to view images that showed evidence of great suffering. I had only gone in to drop off animals for neutering and come out with what can only be described as a mystery to solve.
X-ray showing extensive surgery which had taken place prior to Sausage’s rescue
Found seemingly homeless, wet through and limping, a member of the public called the National RSPCA to report that a small black cat was in need of rescue. From where she was collected in a nearby northern town, she was taken to the RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital in Salford. Immediately apparent was that this sweet little girl had a flaccid tail, a nasty skin infection around her backend and was limping. X-rays soon revealed, amongst other things, that she had most likely been in a road traffic collision (RTC). Her tail was broken from a ‘pulling’ injury and required amputation. Even more eyebrow raising was the x-ray that revealed she had undergone major surgery to repair a broken pelvis. There it was, plain to see, the image of a large plate screwed to one side of the pelvis.
The mystery of this little girl deepened. She had been through major surgery at the cost of hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, had been lovingly nursed back to health only to find herself in need of rescue again. There was no form of identification on her, not even a microchip. It was all so very puzzling.
The vets thought that she was likely around 2 months post op, the fur having all grown back and the fracture well healed. Perhaps she had escaped from the home after being under ‘house rest’ for so long and got lost. But the question still remained, why would someone pay so much money to save their beloved pet but not have them microchipped? Similarly, why had the tail been left, when it was definitely in need of removal? Perhaps further surgery was next on the agenda along with a chip implant and the owner had run out of funds? There was so many questions that needed to be answered.
Two days after first meeting her (and having been in the care of the hospital for a week) she was released into our care, here at the RSPCA Manchester & Salford Branch (we are a separately run charity to the hospital). No owner had come forward despite being listed online so I collected her and took to her foster mum, coincidentally my own mum, Janis. Upon meeting her we both declared what a “poor sausage” she was and the name ‘Sausage’ stuck.
Sausage was in a sorry state; her bottom so very sore, requiring twice daily attention and medication. This in itself is a big ask of anybody but made all the worse when Janis discovered that Sausage did not have complete control over her bowel movements and found herself also cleaning up poop to boot. Sausage was nonetheless litter trained but it appeared that the RTC had also affected a little of her sphincter control too.
Due to the risk of cross infection Sausage could not have her tail amputated until her skin was better. She had to wear a dreaded ‘cone of shame’ and over the coming days she became more and more withdrawn. She seemed depressed and maybe even in pain and it began us asking what was the right thing to do by her.
Sausage in first few days of being in her foster home
During this time we set about contacting all veterinary practices in the surrounding areas to see if any of the surgeons recognized their handiwork from the x-rays. Frustratingly what seemed like a good idea turned up more dead ends.
After completing the 5 days of pain relief and antibiotic cream it was time to take our little Sausage for a vet check up. To our relief we were told that her skin infection had cleared and the cone could come off and she could stop all medication. We were advised that her poo control could be improved by a high fibre diet, so the more dry food the better, and that the vet was now happy to amputate her tail if we thought it was necessary. After living with Sausage for 5 days Janis was sure that amputation was needed. Having a dead, drooped tail didn’t bother Sausage but it did make using the litter tray rather messy as she couldn’t lift it up to get it out of the way, so we booked her in for the operation.
As soon as Sausage returned from that vet trip we saw an instant change in her mood, being cone free and not having cream applied to your bottom twice a day would make anyone happy! She’s now spent 5 days relaxing and she’s like a different cat, she comes out for fusses, greets you with a soft, contended purr and likes to sit out on show and be admired. Sadly her poop control has not yet improved yet but it is early days; we can experiment with different high fibre foods once the tail is sorted. No doubt the cone will be put back on after the tail amputation but it won’t be for long.
Hopefully in a few weeks time she will be fully healed, we will have found a food that suits her, and together we can face the next hurdle of finding her a home!”
Sausage’s tail amputation will cost over £300 and we need your help!
If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of giving this girl a better quality of life please TEXT TAIL17 £1/2/3/4/5 or £10 to 70070Alternatively, you can donate online via