Congratulations Star the heroic Ragdoll cat

27 Oct 2019 | Pet of the month

Star is a two year old Ragdoll cat, a neutered male that was brought in by his worried owner in June. Over the previous four days Star had not been eating and had also vomited badly – he was definitely not himself.

On clinical examination Star seemed bright but his cranial abdomen was tender and his stomach was distended on palpation. In consultation with Star’s owner we decided to start with treatment of his symptoms – an anti-sickness injection and pain relief and planned to re-check him within 24 hours, there was a possibility that it would simply resolve.

However, the next day Star’s owner disappointingly reported no improvement and said that he’d been sick overnight and was still not eating at all. So Star was admitted for next stage investigation including a blood test , an abdomen scan and an x-ray as his cranial abdomen was still painful and bloated. The abdominal scan and radiographs revealed significant amounts of fluid in his stomach and very poor motility of his intestines. There was no obvious signs of a foreign body which can cause an obstruction but our patient was not doing any better and so we decided to go ahead with an exploratory laparotomy – a surgical incision into Star’s abdominal cavity.

Vet Michal explained “During the surgery we assessed all of Star’s abdominal organs and we found intestinal intussusception. Intussusception is a condition where one segment of the intestine ‘telescopes’ into the lumen of an adjacent segment of intestine – it causes a blockage and can be very painful and extremely dangerous. It can be caused by a number of factors such as parasites, foreign bodies, bacterial or viral infections, diet changes or intestinal masses.

Unfortunately we found that the affected segment of the intestine was already necrotic and nearly perforated so the damaged bit of intestine was carefully removed and anastomosis (or surgical connection) was performed. Thankfully this delicate surgery went according to plan.”

Star was woken up and after the surgery our patient recovered really well – finally he was comfortable not vomiting. Star’s surgical wound was healing excellently and the only remaining problem was his lack of appetite which is quite common after surgery. We remained concerned about intestines dehiscence (the splitting open of a wound) which is one of the most common complications.

However, we were delighted that the next day Star was ready to be discharged home. We waited to hear from his loving owner if he had eaten and three days later, finally Star’s owner let us know that he had started eating his favourite meal and was now passing faeces normally.  We were so happy as it meant that Star’s intestines were healing well and that they were intact after surgery. Mrs Smart was immensely relieved “We had been so worried about Star, we didn’t know if he’d pull through. We all missed him especially Twinkle his sister and were so hugely relieved when he was able to come home and then started to return to his normal self.”

Day by day Star started doing much better and was soon back to his normal diet and condition. Star’s owner wanted to add “We are so grateful to Michal, he was so thoughtful and caring and rang us at home to check on Star. Thank you for all you did Michal.”

Congratulations Star – we are so happy that all is now well with you!