THE owners of a cancer-stricken cat feared she may lose her left eye after Swindon vets needed to operate on a lump above her nose.

But a specialist Eastcott Vets medics in Dorcan managed to remove the soft tissue sarcoma without damaging the poorly pet's vision.

Richard and Jackie Edwards are happy came all the way from Northamptonshire for Fleur's treatment after a local vet's initial attempt to remove the cancerous lump did not entirely succeed.

The Edwards noticed the mass regrowing and some of the original growth had not been completely cut out, so the scar and the new threat had to be removed altogether.

This risky procedure left Fleur in danger of losing her eye but the surgeons avoided this unfortunate outcome.

The surgical and ophthalmology team at Eastcott teamed up to assess the situation and devise a plan of action that would save Fleur from living a life with cancer and only one eye.

Richard said: “We were taken through the various options of surgery and, of course, wanted to do what was best for Fleur, especially considering her age.

"We did not want to put her through unnecessary pain or create a situation where the quality of her life would significantly reduce.

“The team at Eastcott were very kind and friendly explaining all the options available to us. They were confident they would do everything in their power to avoid removing her left eye and so we decided to proceed with the operation.”

The procedure removed and reconstructed parts of the feline's eyelid with a slightly smaller eye opening.

Head of surgery Tim Charlesworth said: “Fleur’s mass would have been relatively simple to remove with a wide margin and flap reconstruction if removal of the eye was an option.

"But we always go above and beyond to preserve normal function whenever possible, so we decided to do our best to preserve the left eye.

“Together with my talented colleague and head of ophthalmology Ida Gilbert, the sarcoma was removed with a wide margin of normal tissue around it to ensure complete removal. This wound was then closed using a combination of skin flap surgeries.

“Parts of her eyelid had to be removed together with the tumour but Ida managed to accurately reconstruct this resulting in a slightly smaller eye opening but complete function of the eye restored, which is a fantastic result.

“Fleur went on to heal beautifully with no infections or other wound healing complications. Today, Fleur has mild epiphora, which is watering of the eye but [it] is fully functional with a good blink and an excellent field of view.”

Richard said Fleur was doing well after the surgery. He added: “We are so pleased to see Fleur is now back to being a regular cat, climbing fences and scurrying after birds.

“We cannot thank the team at Eastcott enough who went to great lengths in making sure Fleur’s trauma was as minimal as possible.

“Not only did they do an exceptional job taking care of her, even at night, but they did a great job in keeping us reassured and updated every step of the way.”