Help Dexter recover from being shot

£8,745 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 523 people in 8 months
Yesterday our darling Dexter dragged himself home after a monster broke his jaw, forced a gun into his mouth and shot him. 

He has a hole through the roof of his palette, a severed tongue and an exit wound. It’s a miracle that he’s still alive.

The excellent veterinary team that are now caring for Dexter have pulled out shrapnel from his head and are currently operating on him trying to save his life. 

Dexter has already proved he’s a fighter by getting himself home and now we want to be able to give him the best chance at recovery by providing him with the necessary treatment, raising awareness of this act of cruelty and hopefully getting him justice. 

Your money will go directly towards Dexter’s medical bill and if we’re lucky enough to have any extra funds the remaining money will be donated to the NAWT (National Animal Welfare Trust) to help them continue to rescue animals, this is where we adopted Dexter from.

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This is a moment that none of us thought would ever come but we wanted to let you all know that at the end of last week Dexter was signed off from any further follow up at the vets.

Finally, our little miracle warrior is fully recovered, no more operations and back to normal. He will always sound a little snuffly, because a lot of his nasal tissue is missing, but the skin graft to cover the hole in the roof of his mouth has been a complete success and the place where they took the graft from is now fully recovered.

This is the best start to 2019 for us and obviously for Dexter. He is full of mischief and often creating havoc racing around the house and chasing the other cats, but that’s just how a 2-year old cat should be. We will be closing this page soon, once everyone has had time to read the update, but before we do, we wanted to once again thank everyone for their kindness and generosity. We can never thank you all enough for the help, the love, the support you’ve all shown and the lovely messages you’ve sent – there are so many more lovely people in the world than monsters like the one who harmed Dexter. We will be eternally grateful and you have helped us to heal emotionally.

The donations have helped so much towards Dexter’s veterinary costs and you will never know how humble we feel at your kindness and generosity - thank you again to everyone who donated. It means we have been able to clear a high percentage of his total bill. It was always going to be a massively expensive undertaking with all the major operations he’s had at specialist units, but he is totally worth it and if he could head-butt you all in thanks he would.

It will take us a little while longer to relax I’m sure because it’s been so full on looking after him for so long it doesn’t seem quite real that he’s all better now.

I must also mention the tremendous support we’ve received from the National Animal Welfare Trust, the rescue that Dexter came from. They have been totally amazing – sharing Dexter’s story on social media, featuring him in their magazine and highlighting his fundraising page for us on numerous occasions. Not only have they been supporting Dexter throughout his ordeal but they have supported me too, keeping in touch week by week checking on Dexter and checking on me and how I was coping. I hope to do a fundraiser for them in the near future to show our gratitude (unfortunately there isn’t an excess from Dexter’s fundraising page) but if anyone would like to support them please do donate – they do such fantastic work. If you copy and paste this link it will take you to their donation page https://www.nawt.org.uk/support-us/donate

So, this is it, goodbye and THANK YOU from Dexter, Ruth and John – with our love xxx
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Well it’s lovely to update everyone with some really positive and hopeful news.

Firstly, Dexter has today been crowned PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year 2018 for surviving against the odds. We are so proud of him and delighted that the public vote made him the winner. Thank you to everyone who voted for him – he’s always been our winner but it’s nice for him to be recognised like this and he really has survived against all the odds.

Secondly, the graft in his mouth is doing incredibly well. He’s been checked weekly up until now but we have just moved to monthly checks because it’s doing so well. The graft is healthy and holding well and the harvest site where they took the skin flap from is healing well and the skin is growing back with the wound reducing in size week by week.

He is full of mischief and has put on weight because he’s eating so well – maybe a little too much weight, so we will keep an eye on him to make sure his appetite doesn’t run away with him. He’s so cute though and loves his food, we will have to be very disciplined and not fall under his cute spell every time he wants something to eat!!

He’s been ‘’helping’’ me with the Christmas present wrapping – he’s having great fun but I’m not getting much done and we seem to have thrown quite a lot of paper away because it’s ripped before anything’s wrapped. He’s a little rascal and gets away with so much but when you’re as cute as he is and have been through as much as he’s been through, how can we not indulge him?!

We would like to wish each and every one of Dexter’s supporters and followers a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. 2018 has had its challenges for us and we will be glad to move into 2019. We have everything crossed that Dexter has had his final operation and that he will continue to go from strength to strength. Thank you to everyone for their donations and the messages of love and support which really have meant the world to us.

Purrs and miaows from Dexter to you all xx
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I’m sorry it’s been a while since I updated you all about Dexter but it’s been another busy period looking after him following yet another operation. The hole in the roof of his mouth has caused him ongoing issues for a long time now and he kept getting infections in his nose and mouth. Our local vet referred him to an amazing specialist in a hospital some 2 hours away from us. The trip was completely worth it though and he had an amazing surgeon. She’s operated on Dexter’s mouth to cover the hole and we are hopeful that this might be the last operation for him.

If you’re squeamish – maybe skip to the next paragraph – they’ve separated the skin in the roof of his mouth away from the bone and then turned a flap of it 90 degrees and stitched it in place over the hole. The major problem is that there is more than a quarter of his hard palate missing (the bone was clearly destroyed when he was shot) and so the surgeon had nothing to support the stitches. (This link shows the exact procedure he’s had but it’s seriously not for the squeamish!! https://www.veterinarydentistry.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Split-Palatal-U-Flap.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3ul22babCRytA__rj--iyjYQO9rQPTdDYBJE1maIKVzZMEkY5_4QbOT1Y )

Dexter had a feeding tube inserted into his neck because he wasn’t allowed to eat anything through his mouth for two weeks. He was on six tube feeds a day which stretched from 6/7 am in the morning to midnight/1am. It’s been a really labour-intensive period for me looking after him but totally worth it. He was so patient and calm whilst I fed him, which is a slow old process. I loved climbing into his cage with him and spending so much time with him, although I think I’m too old for the night feeds now!!!

He had to be kept confined which he wasn’t a fan of, obviously, and he was even less of a fan of his protective collars! He had a neck collar to keep his feeding tube in place but the first two days he kept wriggling out of his protective collar, which obviously meant he was at great risk of pulling out his feeding tube. He literally couldn’t be left alone for a second because he was like grease lightening wriggling out of the collar. We rigged up a camera to watch him so that a quick trip to the loo was feasible! In the evenings my husband would take a turn watching him so I could at least have a shower. Having enlisted the help of the head nurse at our practice, we put a second collar on him and clipped his nails so he couldn’t really get them into the soft bits of the collar which was how he was getting it off. He did look a little like a flower but it definitely helped. He could still wriggle out of all three collars but only manged this a couple of times in the remaining two weeks!

He’s now had his feeding tube out and the skin graft is looking healthy and is holding. He’s now allowed to eat normally, but only soft food. We have to continue to monitor the graft to ensure it doesn’t break down but the signs are all extremely positive and we have everything crossed that this might actually be the last operation for him.

He is looking so well now and apart from the shaved bits under his chin and neck and on his front legs, you’d never know anything had been wrong with him. His recovery inspires and humbles us every day and we are so proud of him. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing love and support and please keep your fingers crossed that his graft continues to hold and that this is the end of the operations for him.
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Dexter continues to improve and make good progress except for the ongoing problem he has with the hole in the roof of his mouth. This still causes him problems when he eats and drinks because some of the food and water get into his nasal cavities, through the hole, and makes him cough and splutter and gives him sneezing fits. He has had recurrent infections too which have meant he’s had to be on antibiotics for the past four weeks and is on them again for the next two weeks. His own vet has referred his case to a specialist facility some distance from us to ask whether there may be something surgical that can be done to try and help the situation. We may have to travel there for them to assess him but at the moment it’s just his records, xrays, scans and photos which have been sent. It’s heart-breaking to think he may need further surgery but we will be guided by the experts and do whatever’s right for Dexter.

On an extremely positive note though we are delighted that he’s one of only four pets to have been shortlisted for the finals of the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) pet survivor of the year award. He is obviously our hero and we are so proud of how hard he’s fought and what a miraculous recovery he’s made but it would be fantastic for him to be recognised as the winner of this award too. If you have a spare moment, please share his story and vote for him – Dexter will send you all special purrs if you do.

The link to his story is below and also a picture of the hole in his mouth so you can fully understand what he’s struggling with poor soul. The photo is quite graphic (it was taken by his vet for his referral case) so if you’re at all squeamish, probably better that you don’t look too closely. The other photo was taken this week so you can see how glossy and shiny his coat is and how bright his eyes are. He really is a true survivor and we will keep you updated on the news from the specialists.
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£8,745 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 523 people in 8 months
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