Notes from St Tiggywinkles: Surgery for youngster a success

The deer the day after surgery
The deer the day after surgery

Tiggy’s is used to pulling out all the stops to try to save any casualty that comes through our portals. Sometimes an animal will arrive needing treatment at a specialist referral clinic.

This particular baby fallow deer was brought in both terrified and disorientated.

Trying to break our hearts, the slightest noise would send him into a blind panic, literally.

Yes, he seemed to be blind, normally a no-hoper when it came to male deer.

However, our vet diagnosed cataracts and the possibility of specialist surgery at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket.

We had referred animals before to Claudia Hartley, in particular fantastic eye surgery for one of our wallaby patients. Claudia was only too pleased to examine the young deer and if necessary operate to remove the cataracts.

One of our veterinary nurses, Katy Bennett, had the task of driving the sedated deer to Newmarket.

The facilities and expertise at the Animal Health Trust are second to none.

And even before attempting the surgery the deer was assessed by ultrasound, gonioscopy and even EEG to make sure all was ok.

The surgery was successful. Katy then brought the deer back to Haddenham where he was housed in his own intensive care cabin.

It did appear that he could see something, although it would take a month of daily painkillers and antibiotics before a true assessment could be made.

He was still panicking at the slightest disturbance. But as he is a fallow deer, used to being in the herd, we are gradually introducing another young fallow, this one with a damaged leg, to help him settle.

Oh, by the way – I have named him Tommy.