Sammy’s Tail Injury: The Tip of the Iceberg

When Sammy was first evaluated by our veterinary team at the San Jose Animal Shelter, the tip of his tail was black and necrotic. Something had happened to Sammy to injure his tail – perhaps a crushing injury – yet he was a stray cat, and our team knew nothing about his history. The only thing we knew was that he had previously been through a Trap-Neuter-Return program as he was already neutered and had an ear notch on his left ear.

Cat Tail Crushed Injury Broken Amputation Amputate


Although Sammy wasn’t fond of us examining his tail, he did have a tendency to lick and chew at it, so we placed an e-collar around his neck to prevent him from causing himself further damage or pain.

Cat Tail Crushed Injury Broken Amputation Amputate

The necrotic tip of Sammy’s tail.

Once it was clear that Sammy didn’t have an owner coming for him and he was now the property of the shelter, the veterinary team took Sammy to surgery to amputate the damaged part of his tail.

Under general anesthesia, the team shaved Sammy’s tail and realized that the damaged portion was a lot larger than they had previously thought. Sammy’s tail was crushed starting at about half way down his tail, not just at the tip. Despite this revelation, the plan for surgery remained unchanged. The only aspect that changed is that more of the tail would be removed.

Cat Tail Crushed Injury Broken Amputation Amputate

Sammy after surgical amputation of the injured part of his tail.

After surgery, Sammy recovered from anesthesia and surgery and went on to find a forever home with his new bob-tail look.

4 thoughts on “Sammy’s Tail Injury: The Tip of the Iceberg

  1. So even though he was a stray, he was friendly and sweet enough to find a forever home. A wonderful ending and new beginning!

    Got to say, the angle of the last shot of Sammy looks SO cute.

  2. So glad that Sammy found a forever home!!! We had a cat like that, which we named Cougar, for 21 years!! She even survived our toddler carrying her around when he was just a little guy!! Have the cutest pictures of Cougar keeping an eye over him when he was sleeping and crawling around!!! Have to agree with Jude; the angle of the last shot of Sammy does look so cute!! So glad this story had a happy ending!!

  3. My cat Emma had to have her tail amputated -probably a car as her paws showed signs of being dragged. Poor baby, she always communicated with her tail, doesn’t miaow much. She has adapted tho.

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