A much-loved cat suffering from a life-changing brain tumour is now more affectionate than ever thanks to veterinary specialists at a leading Hertfordshire animal hospital.

Ollie, believed to be eight years old after he was taken in as a stray, was referred to the neurology and neurosurgery service at Linnaeus-owned Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hitchin following an eight-month history of behavioural changes, including becoming fearful and withdrawn, which was totally out of character.

It was at Davies where the tumour was identified and, after consultation with Ollie’s owner, an intricate operation to remove it was led by the hospital’s renowned head of neurology and neurosurgery Johnny Plessas.

The very skillful Davies anaesthesia team looked after Ollie’s anaesthesia and he had a very smooth recovery. Lab tests revealed the tumour was a non-aggressive meningioma, however, there is a chance it may slowly return.

Sarah Higgins from Milton Keynes, who has owned Ollie for six years, explained how his strange behaviour led to her taking him for examination.

She said: “I first realised there was a problem with Ollie when he started running away from me.

“He had, up until then, been very affectionate. His personality changed from being loving and happy to being afraid and introverted.

“Now he’s had the operation he is living his best life! He is more affectionate now than he has ever been, loves being in the sunshine, has a great appetite and is very vocal.

“He is also back to climbing, playing and loving life. The team at Davies have been fabulous and I’m so glad we decided to go ahead with the surgery.”

Johnny, an RCVS and European specialist in veterinary neurology, said: “Ollie’s personality had changed significantly and he had stopped interacting with his owner.

“As a pet owner myself, I know how heartbreaking this can be. The tumour also started affecting Ollie’s gait and he appeared ataxic.

“We discussed the options of surgical removal, radiotherapy or palliative care with his owner, who elected for the operation.

“Of course, no surgery is without risk, and even more so when operating on the brain.

“The tumour was accessed from the side of the head and despite its tricky location, the majority of the tumour was removed and Ollie recovered uneventfully from the operation.

“Ollie has been a wonderful patient throughout and the successful surgery has seen his loved character back to what it was. We are delighted to see him now doing so well.

“Changing the lives of our patients and their owners for the better is what gets us out of bed in the morning.”

For more information about Davies and the wide range of specialist-led services it offers, visit https://vetspecialists.co.uk/ or search for them on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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