When Oscar the bobcat was brought to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center in mid-June with a broken femur and pelvis – he’d been hit by a vehicle in the Albany area – his survival was severely threatened.
The bobcat quickly transferred to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, and with financial support from the Feline Health Center, the CUHA and the Janet L. Wildlife Health Center, the cat underwent orthopedic surgery June 19.
During the three-hour operation, surgeons Stuart Bliss and Heather Knapp-Hoch removed part of Oscar’s femur and stabilized the fractured portion of the pelvis with a steel plate and seven screws.
“Not only was the cat in pain, but his ability to survive as a functioning, highly athletic, predatory animal depends on a successful surgical outcome,” said Knapp-Hoch, a resident with the small animal surgery unit at the CUHA. “Removing the fractured head of the femur will prevent the development of painful and debilitating arthritis of the hip, and stabilization of the pelvis with the steel plate is intended to accelerate the cat’s recovery and enhance his long-term mobility.
“This was an excellent opportunity to focus on finding the best surgical method to preserve the animal’s ability to run and jump, while at the same time minimizing the chance of long-term complications,” she said. “His ability to live in the wild will depend upon both.”
Oscar is now recovering at the New York Wildlife Rescue Center in Middleburgh, N.Y. Surgeons expect his recovery time to be between six and eight weeks.
To monitor Oscar’s recovery, visit http://www.nywildliferescue.blogspot.com