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Salem's Story - Testimonial

A Surgeon, a Chiropractor and a Family's love.

Salem's Story

August 2012 was very hot and dry and one Tuesday evening our little black cat Salem did not come home. He was only about 18 months old and it was worrying because he always came in by about 10pm. He did not come home the next day….or the next……by Sunday we knew something awful had happened. But apart from knocking on doors in the neighbourhood and calling out his name there was nothing else we could do.

On Sunday evening there was a thunderstorm and at about 9:30pm my daughter came flying down the stairs, ran through the kitchen and suddenly I heard shouting. By some miracle she thought she had heard a cat meowing down below in the garden from her bedroom window despite the telly being on.

Unbelievably it was Salem, but she quickly realised he could not stand properly on his back legs, half his beautiful long tail was eaten right down to the vertebrae with maggots still embedded in the flesh. We immediately took him to the 24 hour vets in Maidenhead. Once the vet told us that his whole pelvis was smashed and it was a miracle he made it home, we looked at each other in amazement. He had been lying injured somewhere out in the road since Tuesday, in the heat with no food or water. Somehow 5 days later he had pulled himself home through sheer will power on his front legs, from somewhere out on the road, down the gravel drive (10 yards), down the side of the house (another 10 yards) and to the utility door. There he cried desperately hoping that someone would hear him and come to help. How he managed to crawl home in utter agony with a smashed pelvis, on his front legs, starving and thirsty, over rough gravel is a miracle indeed.

We believe to this day it was love that drew him home. He must have heard us calling out to him and then perhaps the rain refreshed him enough to drag himself back home somehow. Salem was one very special cat.

Our beautiful little Salem was hit by a car so badly that his pelvis was smashed and had to be held by pins for 3 months – his lower half looked like a mini version of the millennium dome! He had to be kept in a cage and had to relieve himself whilst standing onto puppy trainer pads on which we scattered some Catsan. He hated this as he couldn’t clean himself, especially as the medication made his poo runny and it would run down his back legs. So every night for those 3 months one of us would sleep in the lounge with him. As soon as we heard the slightest rustle we would immediately get into action to help him stand as straight as he could with the ‘cage’ on his pelvis so he could poo onto the trainer pad and then clear it away immediately and wipe him down. Anyone who has a cat will know that keeping themselves clean is their top priority. Those 3 months were very difficult but we would not have had it any other way as our precious little Salem had come back to us by some miracle.

He recovered fairly well except for his back right paw which remained in a ‘clawed’ state where it was always curled shut, only partially stretching out then curling back. This was likely due to nerve damage and meant that when he walked it was like he was walking on his knuckles.

He was also very frail and not as well balanced and just seemed to have lost confidence. I was desperate to find some way of helping him get better but I didn’t know how. It was actually my own Chiropractor who told me about Fiona, that she also treated animals and strongly recommended her.

If it helped my beautiful Salem I was happy to drive up to Reading and back – a round trip of 2 hours. As soon as I met Fiona I could tell she was a lovely, sensitive, caring person and that I had brought Salem to the best person possible. She said she couldn’t promise anything but certainly thought she could alleviate the trauma from the accident and also help his skeletal issues resulting from walking with one paw folded inwards.

Fiona is an amazing chiropractor with animals but the best thing is not only is she ‘mechanically’ qualified to treat animals, she brings so much more – empathy and a real love for animals. Fiona can also do a little animal communication and after the very first session she picked up from Salem that he was bemused by ‘the wedding’ and wanted to know when Mummy was getting married! She could not possibly have known that my daughter, his Mummy, was getting married in 2 months! That was hilarious!

It never ceases to amaze me how she can feel through the fur with her hands and detect tiny issues with vertebrae or tight muscles. And she is such a lovely person too – she always says Salem is her favourite cat! Sometimes he will keep wriggling as only a cat can wriggle, making it impossible for her to manipulate him – but she is so patient and will just let him settle down and then finish the treatment.

Every few sessions there was a noticeable improvement in Salem – Fiona would do an initial check and determine what was wrong that day – was it tension in the head, or his hip, was it his spine? Like I said, it astounds me how she can detect issues and then alleviate them.

Fiona is open to new ways of healing if it helps the patient and is constantly going on courses so she can offer the very best treatment to all her patients.

Salem’s paw was too damaged to heal completely, but I can honestly say that apart from that he is completely healed from the awful accident. He is completely back to normal – jumping walls, bringing in birds, mice and running like the wind outside.

Even though the paw will not improve further I still take Salem for his chiro session with ‘Aunty Fiona’ as I call her, every 6 weeks, so that she can treat any spinal or posture issues resulting from walking incorrectly. If he did not have his regular sessions his little body would start contorting to compensate for the way he has to walk with one paw folded in.

These sessions are what keep him flexible and healthy and I will re-organise every other appointment on that Saturday (even my own regular chiro sessions) so Salem can go and have his treatment with Aunty Fiona!

In September 2014 we took Salem to see the surgeon who operated on him to put together his pelvis. He was amazed at how healthy he was – supple, well balanced, glossy coat. He simply could not believe that Salem could jump walls, catch mice and do everything a normal cat would do. He recommended no further treatment apart from continuing chiropractic as it was obviously keeping him supple and flexible.

I cannot tell you how much Fiona has helped our beautiful little Salem, the bravest little cat in the world. Even if I had to go to Oxford, which is where Fiona practises most of the week, I would make that trip every 6 weeks even if it took the whole day because she is so fantastic with Salem, helping him recover from his awful car accident and continuing to keep him healthy.

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