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Willows’ Alberto Palella Gomez with Oberon

Willows’ Alberto Palella Gomez with Oberon

Cat's Sight Saved In Emergency Operation At Solihull Animal Hospital After Eye Pierced By 2cm Thorn

1 month ago

14th June, 2024 11h02

Linnaeus Group

An emergency operation at one of the UK’s leading animal hospitals has saved the sight of a cat whose left eye had been pierced by a 2cm thorn. 

Oberon, a two-year-old domestic shorthair cat, was in dire danger of losing his vision and was rushed to the renowned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull, West Midlands. 

The dramatic out-of-hours case saw Oberon quickly taken for surgery by Willows’ Alberto Palella Gomez, a veterinary specialist in ophthalmology, who said it was an urgent race against time to repair the damage. 

Alberto, an EBVS European specialist in veterinary ophthalmology, said: “An ophthalmic examination confirmed a penetrating injury by a 2cm stick which had perforated Oberon’s cornea and was inserted deep into his left eye. 

“The injury had caused severe inflammation and increased pressure in the eye and without prompt surgery Oberon would have lost the injured eye as a result of this ocular hypertension. 

“He was very lucky, though. An ultrasound scan showed the stick had stopped just before his lens, which was a lucky escape. 

“This meant we needed to perform corneal surgery to repair the damage. If the foreign body had perforated the lens, cataract surgery would have been necessary, too. 

“Oberon was taken to theatre to remove the foreign body and repair the injury with a corneal graft.  

“He recovered well from the anaesthetic, and the pressure inside the eye normalised straight away after surgery and in the weeks following the operation, the corneal graft integrated well into the cornea. 

“The happy result was that Oberon not only kept his left eye but also maintained excellent vision and we were delighted to sign him off two months after surgery none the worse for his accident.” 

Oberon’s owner Rachel Wilkes, from Hockley Heath, West Midlands, is extremely grateful but admits she initially feared her precious pet would lose his eye. 

Rachel relived the traumatic moment when she realised something was seriously wrong, saying: “Oberon came in with one of his eyes closed and what looked like a piece of wood sticking out of his head, just above his eye. 

“When I attempted to pull the stick, I realised it was lodged in Oberon’s eye, so knew he needed to see the emergency vet. It was a Sunday night, so I was glad to have Willows practically on my doorstep. 

“I was still shocked when the vet said the thorn was deeply embedded in Oberon’s eye and was left wondering how it had happened and concerned there was a possibility he would lose his eye. 

“The vet was very reassuring, though, and gave me the option of trying to save Oberon’s eye, albeit with no guarantees because it was impossible to gauge the impact of the damage until he was under anaesthetic.

“I wanted to give them every chance to save his sight and keep his eye and the results have been just amazing. 

“Everyone at Willows was so lovely and caring to us and to Oberon. The ophthalmology team worked late into the Sunday night to ensure he was operated on straight away and I felt 100 per cent confident they would do their best for him. 

“They really did. He’s now fully recovered, has been outside climbing trees again and is back to his old energetic self. 

“I would definitely recommend Willows, in fact, I already have done! They even gave me the thorn in a pot afterwards as a keepsake as they were so surprised at the size of it!” 

Willows also offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.  

To find out more about Willows’ wide range of specialist services, visit or search for Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service on Facebook. 

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