This is an unusual case. Denise Smith treated a wound on her cat’s left foreleg with manuka honey thinking that it would cure the ‘injury’. However, the injury was a cancerous growth and manuka honey cannot have any beneficial effect on this sort of disease. A concerned member of the public reported her behaviour to the RSPCA on August 30.
The RSPCA inspector, Michelle Hare, found that Smith had heavily bandaged her cat’s leg after applying manuka honey. She discovered a large cancerous wound on the cat’s leg. They wound was so deep that it had gone down to the tendons. The recommendation was to amputate the leg.
Smith had decided to treat the wound with manuka honey because she had read about its anti-microbial properties online. Manuka honey is used by the NHS on occasions and as I understand it it can help reduce bacterial infections. Genuine manuka honey comes from the wild manuka tree which is native to New Zealand. There are lots of fake products on the market.
Smith was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat at Wellingborough magistrates court and disqualified from keeping animals for 12 months and ordered to pay £615 in fines. The hearing took place last Wednesday. The cat’s name is Blacky. The cat’s leg had to be amputated. Blacky survived the surgery but had to be put to sleep after the cancer returned.
Comment: this is an obvious example of a cat owner trying to carry out a home treatment in order to save on veterinary fees which failed terribly. The consequences are perhaps harsh in that she was convicted of animal cruelty but it does teach cat owners a lesson that home treatments should be used sparingly, with caution and with knowledge. Veterinary visits should not be put off. One last point, however: I wonder whether this cat did in fact suffer. My instinct is to sense that the punishment was too harsh. She was doing her best, perhaps with limited funding.
The source of this information comes from the BBC website.