Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Cat shot through nose with airgun in West Lothian

Cat x-ray Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption An x-ray showed the pellet lodged in the cat's skull

A cat has had an airgun fired up its nose in Blackridge in West Lothian.

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information into the what it has described as an "appalling" attack on the two-year-old pet, named Max, on Wednesday 7 September.

An x-ray showed the long-haired tabby with a pellet lodged between his eye socket and optic nerve.

The pellet is now permanently embedded in Max's skull as a vet would need to remove his eye to extract the lead.

The cat is currently on an intensive course of antibiotics to try and fight off any infections that might happen as a result of the injury.

Owner Andrew Murchison said: "He managed to make it home and when he came into the living room he lost control of his back legs, his balance seemed to go and he lost control of his bowels.

"We couldn't actually see anything wrong with him externally so we assumed he was having a seizure.

"We took him straight to the vets who carried out scans and blood tests. When we got Max home the next day blood started pouring from his nose.

"He was transferred to the vet school in Edinburgh where he was given an x-ray and that's when we saw the metal and the pellet."

Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Andrew Murchison's daughter, Ellie with her cat, Max

The cat was operated on for more than three hours and most of the shrapnel was removed.

However, the pellet was so deeply lodged in between his eye socket and optic nerve vets would have to remove his eye to get it out.

People who own or use an air weapon will need to have a licence when new rules, introduced in the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, come into effect from 31 December 2016.

An undercover Scottish SPCA inspector said: "It is appalling that animals such as Max are being targeted and caused such pain and suffering.

"Because the air rifle had been shot up Max's nose at close range there was no entry wound. This was a horrific crime and Max is very fortunate to still be alive.

"Disturbingly, some people seem to think it is fun to maim and kill defenceless animals with air weapons and this is completely unacceptable in a modern, civilised society."

Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Max is a two-year-old long-haired tabby

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