Treatment: While being assessed for an anaesthetic to examine this wound, his breathing was noted to be abnormal and a chest radiograph (x-ray) was taken. This showed a diaphragmatic hernia-a hole in the muscle that divides the chest and abdomen-which allows the abdominal contents to enter the chest. Some cats with a diaphragmatic hernia have just a liver lobe or two that slip through this hole. Harry had greatly over-achieved, and every abdominal organ that could possibly move had relocated into the chest (stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, spleen and pancreas). Harry’s heart and lungs were none too happy about this invasion, especially as every time he tried to eat they’d get even further squashed.
Harry was taken to surgery and the hernia was repaired. As the chest is open during this procedure, a nurse had to carefully ‘breathe’ for him until the hole in the diaphragm was closed. As soon as he was awake he was eating with new found enthusiasm and has shown great dedication to the worthy art of food consumption ever since (including being caught cleaning out the vet’s bowl of pumpkin soup at lunch one day)!
Harry recovered well from the hernia repair but, although no longer infected, the collar wound wouldn’t completely heal as the injury had destroyed the normal pocket of skin a cat’s elbow sits in (this pocket is partly responsible for a cat’s ability to land safely from relatively great heights). A visiting specialist surgeon repaired this and it healed beautifully. Harry managed to further extend his stay by developing a skin condition. This eventually settled well with medical treatment and a change of diet.
Shelter Life: Harry stayed in the Shelter vet clinic during his treatment and became a firm favourite. While life in the vet clinic isn’t for every cat, Harry revelled in the attention and, although initially timid, he blossomed into a confident young cat who would greet people as they arrived in the clinic and would happily sit on the top of his scratching post for hours watching the team work. He particularly liked morning tea when all his humans would stop and gather round, seemingly for the sole purpose of adoring him as he sat amongst the team.
Harry’s Happily Ever After: Following treatment Harry went to stay with a foster carer. Unsurprisingly they fell in love with him and once his skin problem had fully resolved they were able to adopt him. The vet team miss his company in the clinic but are delighted this special cat has found his furever home.
You can gift a Cat Kringle donation to help an adult cat like Harry here.