Kitten saved from life-threatening hernia - Veterinary Practice
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Kitten saved from life-threatening hernia

White Cross Vets save kitten from congenital hernia condition wherein his colon, small intestine and most of his liver were all on top of his heart

A kitten from Hyde had a lucky escape after being born with a rare type of hernia that meant his colon, small intestine and most of his liver were all on top of his heart, in his pericardial sac, which is the case of tissue surrounding the heart.

Thomas the British shorthair kitten was born last summer and was three months old when the congenital condition, believed to be due to a developmental defect, was discovered by White Cross Vets in Hyde, after his owner initially noticed that his breathing seemed faster than normal.

The veterinary team diagnosed a peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia, but could not operate until he was sufficiently big enough, at five months of age. After undergoing a major operation, Thomas has now been given a clean bill of health.

Danielle Fitchett, the vet from White Cross Vets in Hyde who led the intricate operation, explained: “This type of hernia is extremely rare and it’s thanks to Thomas’s diligent owner that his condition was identified at an early stage, which meant we could diagnose, monitor and treat it effectively.

“On examination, we found his colon, small intestine and most of his liver in the pericardial sac, next to his heart. The gastrointestinal tract moved easily back into place, but the liver had formed attachments to the pericardial sac, which made it tricky to move.

“It was a complicated operation that required the support of two nurses and a vet to monitor his anaesthetic, while I did the surgical repair. We also had to breathe for him for part of the operation, using the anaesthetic circuit, which made it a big team effort.

“Generally, if a pet survives the first 24 hours after this type of surgery, the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent and recurrence of problems are rare. We are really pleased that Thomas is thriving and back to being his mischievous self. Hopefully he won’t be using any more of his nine lives anytime soon!”

White Cross Vets, which is part of IVC Evidensia, has been caring for pets for 80 years. Established in West Yorkshire in 1937 it now employs a 240 strong team across 22 practices in the UK.

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