July 3, 2009 Oscar the bobcat is healing by leaps and bounds after a team of surgeons at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals at the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine repaired injuries he sustained after being hit by a car. He is currently recovering in the New York Wildlife Rescue Center in Middleburgh, N.Y.
The accident, in the Albany area, caused multiple injuries, including a fractured pelvis and a broken femur. Such injuries would have made it virtually impossible for Oscar to survive in the wild.
After being hit, the bobcat was brought to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, which transported him to the Cornell animal hospital. The animal underwent three hours of orthopedic surgery on June 19. Cornell surgeons Dr. Stuart Bliss and Dr. Heather Knapp-Hoch removed the head and neck of the femur, and stabilized the broken 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, who is a resident in small animal surgery at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. “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; indeed, his ability to live in the wild will depend on both.”
Surgeons expect Oscar – named when he was found after the accident – to recuperate over the next six to eight weeks.
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