"Salt" - Cat with Ruptured Diaphragm
|When "Salt" was brought into the surgery after he had been missing for 5 days I knew fairly early on during the consultation that there was something seriously wrong. I was immediately alerted to that fact when his owner commented that despite being away for 5 days he had refused food on his return. His frayed claws suggested he had been involved in a road traffic accident.|
When I listened to his chest with my stethoscope his heart sounded very loudly on the left hand side and muffled on the right. This was a sure sign that we were dealing with a potentially life threatening situation. His owner was made aware of my concerns and consented to further x-rays of his chest.
It was obvious from the findings that the muscle (diaphragm) which separates the contents of his abdomen from the workings of his chest had ruptured. This had then allowed his liver, stomach and bowel to move through into his chest cavity severely restricting his breathing capabilities. (First x-ray) After informing his owners of the seriousness of the situation, the costs involved and the possibility that despite our best efforts he may not survive his owners decided to give him a chance as he was so young (two years old).
Once given the green light I am very proud to say the Fairfield team sprang into action. Without the assistance of my conscientious colleague Michele, who came in on her week-end off, and the experience and diligence of my veterinary nurse Lucy my surgical efforts would all have been in vain.Together we repositioned the liver, stomach and bowel back to where they should be and repaired the torn muscle.
(second x-ray) A chest drain was placed, Salt was allowed to recover from the anaesthetic and then we all crossed our fingers!Miraculously, he was eating his dinner within 3 hours of the operation. A testimony to the remarkable recovery capabilities of cats!
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS