Animal Magic: Caring for pets is a detective story - I am Sherlock!

Vet - Julia Mewes
Vet - Julia Mewes

Any pet owner will understand that a huge challenge about being a vet is that our patients cannot tell us where it hurts. I feel that when I am consulting I am being Sherlock Holmes - it’s a detective story.

Some problems crop up repeatedly, and one quickly acquires the skills to deal with them. But when something unexpected crops up, we also know what to do. This happened recently when I was caring for Blossom. She is a beautiful cat, who came to me because her owners realised she had been in a fight. There were a couple of bite wounds on the top of her back near her waist. She was in a lot of pain, and some infection was developing.

We tried a race between the antibiotics and the infection, but in 48 hours it was clear that the infection was winning; this is not unusual for wounds on the top of the back. We anaesthetised her and found 3 pockets of pus, which we drained so that Blossom could make a rapid recovery.

However, around a month later - to our utter surprise - the same wound opened up again. Now this was not reading the script and we recognised that this could not be a normal bite wound; something else must be going on.

We re-anaesthetised her and re-explored the pocket that was found. This time, we found a most extraordinary thing: another cat’s tooth! It must have been rotting in its owner’s mouth, and the final pressure of the bite into Blossom caused it to break off. It was only a tiny thing, but Blossom’s body recognised it shouldn’t be under her skin and worked at rejecting it. It probably wins the prize for this month’s most unusual foreign body.

If your feline is extra special too, why not enter our Fun Feline Photo Competition - send your best images to for a chance to win £100 of cat food! The deadline is April 30th, to be judged by our new Vet Mialee Blair, so get snapping!