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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30398
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat may have been shot with gh-powered pellet gun almost

Customer Question

My cat may have been shot with high-powered pellet gun almost center spine about 2 inches up from tail about 20 hours ago. I did not know until a couple of hours ago.
Blood trail. Small perfectly round hole. I pulled a thick strand of hair out of it.
Charlie is my precious lap cat 2 years old. Stayed 12 hours all night one spot. Won't eat or drink. Screams howls hisses when approached and was almost impossible to find and clean his wound.
His eyes keep rolling back in head with cross-eyed look and white membrane in corners showing heavily. Gums somewhat light . Continually moaning and growling. Terrified of being moved. In anguish.
No emergency vet for 75 miles and $500.00 minimum. I am a senior citizen on $891.00 a month.
Do you think my cat has a chance for survival? Do you think if I can find an affordable vet tomorrow it is too late?
Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. You deserve the courtesy of a response even though it's likely to be unsatisfactory. I believe that you're correct. Low-velocity BBs and pellets (air-powered) create small entry wounds. Because of their low mass and comparatively low velocity many of these projectiles will be retained (no exit wounds). In most cases there's no reason to remove these pellets. Pain medication is initiated promptly but it mustn't mask or compromise my patient's status. A partial agonist (buprenorphine) is acceptable for minor gunshot wounds. Charlie's vet can send home this drug at minimal expense to you. An X-ray may be recommended to determine where the pellet has lodged. While usually unnecessary, wound exploration is best performed under general anesthesia for detailed wound examination, debridement, and definitive wound repair.

I understand your financial constraints. Many vets offer CareCredit - a revolving charge card that can only be used for veterinary expenses. Some vets will "carry" you and some offer help through good Samaritans ("Fluffy funds"). Let your fingers do the walking and call vets in your area. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin