A miracle moggy from Fife is up for a national award after surviving a horrific hit-and-run which left him fighting for his life.
Maximus, from Inverkeithing, was five-years-old when a suspected hit-and-run accident left him with extensive head injuries. His skull was fractured in several places, his jaw was completely split in two, and his right eye was missing. His life hung in the balance, but after extensive surgery and months of care, Maximus made an incredible recovery.
Maximus is now going whisker to whisker with three other plucky pets for the title of PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year 2018. The Great British public will now pick the winner by voting at www.pdsa.org.uk/petsurvivor2018.
The final four were selected from entries from all over the UK by a judging panel, which included James McVey from The Vamps, and PDSA senior vet Sean Wensley.
In June last year Maximus, known affectionately as Maxy by his family, was found slumped against the front door by a neighbour. It was clear he wasn’t well: his face was a mess, his jaw was hanging off and he was covered in blood.
He was immediately taken to Inglis Vet Centre, Dunfermline, where vets suspected he had been hit by a car, and he had somehow dragged himself home after it drove off. Once he was stabilised, the horrifically extensive nature of his injuries became apparent. His skull was fractured in several places and his jaw split right down the middle, his right eye was missing, and the skin on his lips had been partly torn off.
He was in such a bad way that euthanasia was discussed, but his owner Sharon asked the vets to do anything they could to save him. She knew that Maxy was a fighter – if anyone could recover it was him – plus she knew her son Cory would be devastated to lose him.
So vets devised a tailored treatment for Max: a metal pin to go across the front of his face, through his nose, to keep the two halves of his fractured upper jaw together while they healed. His lower jaw was also wired into place, but his right eye was lost.
As he was coming round from the operation, Max stopped breathing twice and required resuscitation. But he and the vet team fought through everything and he stayed at the vets until he was eventually stable enough to go home.
Maxy still required round-the-clock care and nursing, which his owners took on with support from the vets and nurses.
Sharon said: ‘He needed tube feeding every four hours, and his wounds had to be cleaned and redressed every day. This went on for over six weeks, but Maximus took it all in his stride. He always allowed us and our vet nurses to do everything we needed to, he had such a quiet resolve it was an inspiration.’
But unless he started to eat for himself, there were still no guarantees for Maxy’s future. Then, seven weeks after the incident, he managed to eat his first solid food – everyone was overjoyed. Maximus is now well on the road to recovery and has truly lived up to his gladiator name.
Vet Erin Logan said: ‘All of our patients are special individuals to us, but occasionally one comes along who is truly inspiring.
‘Maximus’ recovery left us in awe of the healing abilities of nature and just what is truly possible with resilience, character and the determination to survive – he could teach us all lessons about life in adversity.
‘I doubt in the rest of my career I will come across another personality like Maximus and it is a genuine privilege to have been involved with both him and Sharon. I feel he is truly deserving of the title PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year.’
The other three finalists are:
Brandy the Staffie – had an 11-inch (28cm) stick lodged through her throat and chest after a game of fetch went disastrously wrong.
Dexter the black cat – deliberately shot through the mouth with an airgun in a horrific attack.
Skittles the ginger cat – was found impaled on railings, but was miraculously alive and conscious.
Voting for the PDSA Pet Survivor Awards is open until Friday 30 November. The winner will be announced just before Christmas and will win a luxury pet hamper and a trophy.
PDSA senior vet Sean Wensley who also judged the competition said: ‘Reading these extraordinary cases makes me very proud to be part of such a skilled and dedicated profession. Veterinary teams save the lives of much-loved pets like these every day. The tragic and painful circumstances endured by these pets, along with the devotion shown by their owners, makes them all worthy contenders for the PDSA Pet Survivor title.’
The competition was open to pets treated for a life threatening illness or injury by a vet in the UK between 1 January 2017 and 31 August 2018. Only one vote per person is allowed.
The PDSA Pet Survivor Awards 2018 are supported by Animal PoisonLine, a 24-hour advice line for owners who are concerned that their pets have come into contact with something potentially poisonous.
It is run by the UK’s only animal poison centre and is a triage service which only directs owners to their vets if treatment is needed (charges apply). More information is available at www.animalpoisonline.co.uk.