“Miracle Survivor” Cat Hades Heals From Chemical Burns

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 British animal care charity PDSA, whose motto is “Pets in need of vets” tells the story of Hades’ recovery from severe chemical burns of unknown origin, as an example of the work they do. Leading veterinary charity PDSA provides free veterinary care to the sick and injured pets of people in need and promotes responsible pet ownership.

‘Miracle survivor’ Hades pulls through after suffering severe chemical burns

The cat, named after the Greek god of the underworld, had his own brush with death after he went missing from his home in Boosebeck, Cleveland, UK in late October. The two-year-old, black-and-white cat was a present to Moira Watson-Pickering ’s eldest daughter, Sariah, and the friendly puss settled in quickly with the family who enjoyed his company on short walks to the local shop.


But one day he didn’t return from one of his trips and it was 48 hours before Hades finally came home. His owner, Mrs Moira Watson-Pickering, said, “The whole family was so relieved when he turned up, even though he was covered in mud and looked a bit scruffy. But we quickly became very concerned when we tried to clean him up; his fur started falling out in large clumps and we could see his skin was bright red underneath.”


Hades was taken to the PDSA PetAid hospital in Middlesbrough where vets examined him, and the true extent of his terrible injuries became clear. PDSA Head Vet Nurse, Steph Williams, said: “Large patches of his fur had fallen out, revealing red raw skin underneath that looked to be the result of a chemical burn. Hades also had visible sores on his nose and mouth, perhaps as a result of trying to clean himself and lick off whatever substance had caused the damage.”


Hades was immediately given pain relief, sedated and all the remaining surrounding fur was clipped away so that his injuries could be treated. The burns were spread along his back from his neck to his tail, progressing down the sides of his body including his shoulders, hind legs and parts of his tummy – an estimated 60% of his body was affected.


Moira continued: “I was horrified to hear just how bad Hades was, and the thought that somebody may have deliberately done this to him is terrible. We just don’t know how it happened though, and nobody in our village saw anything. All we could do was pray that Hades would pull through, as the vets said his condition was extremely serious. The kids were devastated to think we might lose him.”


Hades needed constant care, so he stayed at PDSA for several days. Steph explained: “At first his skin was red raw and will have been terribly painful for him. Without treatment it would have got infected, and the worst case scenario is that he could well have died. His wounds were dressed on a daily basis using a special gel and  gauze dressing to keep his skin moist, his whole body was covered in dressings leaving his head, legs and tail peeping out!  But despite this Hades remained calm and friendly and quickly became a real favourite with all the staff.”


Eventually Hades was strong enough to go home, but still had to return to PDSA every other day for his dressings to be changed. He also had to be kept in a recovery cage for much of the time to avoid excessive movement, which could have re-opened the wounds.  The burns damaged the top few layers of his skin, so the vets were hopeful that most of his fur would eventually grow back. Fortunately for Hades, just before Christmas his fur started to re-grow and he is now well on the way to getting back his beautiful thick coat..


Moira said: “He looks a little bit like a patchwork quilt at the moment, but he’s definitely on the mend. We thought his character might have changed as a result of his ordeal, but he’s still incredibly loving and friendly. The vets and nurses were amazing too, calling us every day with updates. We’re just so relieved that he survived and I don’t know what we would’ve done without PDSA; Hades wouldn’t have been with us for Christmas that’s for certain. I hope that anyone reading this story who is in a position to support PDSA will do so, so they can continue to give the gift of life to people’s beloved pets.”

PDSA provides free veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of eligible people in need and is funded entirely by the generous support of the public.


1 thought on ““Miracle Survivor” Cat Hades Heals From Chemical Burns”

  1. sounds like a cat we had a our shelter. She had been fending for herself at a chemical plant and had clearly ingested toxins. Her coat was partial and a mess, she was malnourished, and could not stop moving and twitching. She had a host of typical rescue medical issues, but they were at an acute point. Sweet and loving and a total mess. she has now been adopted!!! we miss her !

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