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Pancake: Veterinary Advice & Rescues

You may remember the heartbreaking story of little Pancake back in May Bradford Cat Watch Rescue & Sanctuary. Pancake came to us from a back yard breeder in Bradford.

The story was that she was trapped in a patio door, went to the PDSA for emergency advice, that the breeder declined treatment offered. 2 weeks later they came knocking on our door with a poorly Pancake, unable to pee or poop without help.

When we x-rayed her there was a mysterious foreign body in her stomach however she was too tiny and fragile to remove it AT THAT TIME and we planned to remove it when she was a little stronger.

2 days later we felt Pancake had declined and needed this further investigating.
We were shocked that a feeding tube was found inside her. This has ruptured her stomach and liver causing internal bleeding.

We contacted the breeder to ask if she had ever used a feeding tube. She replied “yes a few times because she wasn’t eating but on the last time she wouldn’t keep still so left her.”
The direct action of the breeder using the feeding tube – unqualified to do so – has killed beautiful Pancake.

We are all so angry and devastated. Another needless death as a result of a back street breeders actions.

This information was passed onto the Authorities and this was the feedback we received:

“Veterinary surgery” is defined by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 as “the art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine and….shall be taken to include –
• the diagnosis of diseases in, and injuries to, animals including tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes;
• the giving of advice based upon such diagnosis;
• the medical or surgical treatment of animals; and
• the performance of surgical operations on animals.”
There are a number of exemptions in Schedule 3 to the VSA. These include:
• registered or listed veterinary nurses may carry out medical treatment and minor surgery (not including entry into a body cavity) under the direction of a veterinary surgeon;”

Placing a feeding tube
“This procedure has been considered by the RCVS in previous cases and our position is that it would constitute entry into a body cavity and would therefore not be permissible to be undertaken by a layperson.”

The breeder has subsequently been dealt with appropriately.

****This in short means that the breeder should never have placed a feeding tube as it enters a cavity.
The only safe way to use a feeding tube is Nasogastriclly, when it has been placed by a veterinary surgeon and xrayed to ensure it is in the correct position.
A feeding tube should never be placed through the mouth.
It is so easy to kill patients if it is not secured and xrayed as the feed has a 50% chance of ending up in the lungs.

**** this also means that rescues are not qualified (or allowed)to give veterinary advice, medications or treat animals to pet owners.

It’s not that we are being awkward – it’s simply not allowed, and the reason for this is to protect the animals welfare. When an owner rings us and asks for veterinary advice we will always direct them to a vet.