Kevin the cat after five pence piece was removed (Image: PDSA)
Kevin the ginger tom managed to down the shiny 2010 coin minted from metal that left him weak and in pain. Even when Kevin was x-rayed and vets were able to remove the coin, there was still no change in his poorly condition. It was then vets were warned how 5p coins minted before 2012 were potentially toxic because they are made from a different metal content. Today leading veterinary charity PDSA warned pet owners to always seek urgent veterinary advice if animals swallow items feared to be potentially harmful.
Kevin’s owners Steve and Frances Gwillim had taken their two year old family pet to the Swansea PDSA Hospital when he went off his food and became increasingly distant.
PDSA vet Lucy Knight said: “When Kevin was brought in he was very unwell and had a lot of tummy pain.
“We carried out x-rays and were gobsmacked when we saw this coin on the screen. However, the object was quite small and initially we weren’t sure if this was the only cause of his illness.”
Even after the 5p was removed from pet’s stomach with an hour-long operation, Kevin was still jaundiced and in need of close monitoring.
X-ray reveals how coin had become lodged in Kevin's stomach (Image: PDSA)
Vet Knight added: “We called veterinary poison experts at the Veterinary Poisons Information Service and explained that we’d removed a 5p coin from Kevin’s stomach.
“They told us that because it had been minted in 2010, the metals it contained were potentially toxic.
“Even though we had removed the source of the toxin, Kevin wasn’t out of the woods as metal poisoning can cause ill-effects even weeks later, so it was vital to keep a close eye on him. Apparently, 5p coins made after 2012 featured a different metal which isn’t as poisonous if swallowed.”
Kevin’s owner, mother-of-four Mrs Gwillim, from Ystradgynlais, near Swansea, believes the cat managed to get his paws on the coin from their daughter Bobbi’s coin collection.
She said: “When they told us they had removed a 5p coin we couldn’t believe it. Then we realised he must have somehow swallowed one that must have been lying around from Bobbi’s collection.
“She’s only five-years-old and like a magpie. She loves anything shiny so coins are a real favourite for her. We’re now much more careful to ensure no coins are left out and Bobbi knows to put them straight in the piggy bank.”
Kevin the cat with PDSA nurse Rhian Brice (Image: PDSA)
PDSA says it sees regular cases of pets eating unusual items which can be deadly if they are toxic or cause blockages in the digestive system.
Younger dogs are prone because they use their mouths to investigate items and can accidentally swallow them.
Owners are being told to always get veterinary advice if they suspect their pet has eaten something potentially harmful.
PDSA expects to help as many as 50,000 sick and injured pets this December. For more details, see: www.pdsa.org.uk/miracle