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Cats + Surgical Conditions

  • Pyometra is defined as an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is considered a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively. Pyometra may occur in any sexually intact young to middle-aged cat; however, it is most common in older cats. Typically, the cat has been in heat within the previous 4 weeks.

  • Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum. Some purebred cats are more at risk, but it can affect any cat and is believed to be an inherited trait. Diagnosis can usually be made by palpation but sometimes requires blood testing or abdominal ultrasound if the cat’s history is unknown. Risks of retained testicles include testicular cancer, spermatic cord torsion, and the development of undesirable male characteristics, so neutering is strongly recommended. Surgery is generally routine, and recovery is similar to any abdominal surgery.

  • Cats scratch and claw for several reasons: scratching serves to shorten and condition the claws, scratching allows an effective, whole body stretch, and cats scratch to mark their territory. There is usually a non-surgical solution to scratching issues.

  • Struvite bladder stones are one of the most common bladder stones in cats. In some cats, struvite bladder stones form as a result of a urinary tract infection. Signs of bladder stones typically include frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, and urinating outside of the litterbox. If your cat is having urinary issues, your veterinarian will first recommend a urinalysis. Blood tests, abdominal radiographs, and ultrasound may also be recommended. Medical dissolution and surgical removal are two categories of treatment. Cats who have developed struvite bladder stones are likely to experience a recurrence later in life, unless the conditions that led to the formation of stones can be corrected.

  • The post-operative period is just as important as the surgery itself. Following the set instructions will help avoid complications and lead to a smoother recovery. Monitor the incision daily for signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or excessive licking. Consider using an Elizabethan collar to keep your cat from licking the incision site. Should you have any concerns, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • The main objectives of fracture repair are to promote rapid healing of the fracture and to get the cat using its leg as quickly as possible. In most cases, this involves rebuilding the broken bone and fixing it in that position with metallic implants. Post-operative care includes pain medications, antibiotics, adequate nutrition, exercise restriction, and physiotherapy. Most fractures can be repaired very effectively and in many cases, your cat will resume normal activity.

  • Total ear canal ablation and bulla osteotomy (TECA-BO) is a surgery performed to remove the ear canal and a portion of the middle ear. This surgery is performed in cases where the pet is suffering from chronic and unresponsive ear infections. The surgical technique, reasons for performing the procedure, the diagnostic steps, and potential post-op complications are outlined in this handout.

  • Damage to the tympanic membrane and middle ear infections can be very painful for cats and cause a variety of clinical signs affecting the skin and nervous system. Diagnosis often requires a thorough ear examination with testing while your cat is under sedation or anesthesia. The treatment methods and prognosis depend on the nature of your cat's condition.

  • Ulcerative keratitis is a kind of inflammation that occurs in the cornea of the eye. Some breeds seem to develop them more commonly, particularly Himalayan, Persian, and Burmese cats. The signs of ulcerative keratitis depend somewhat on the cause and how long the condition has been present. There are many potential causes of ulcerative keratitis, including trauma, infection, and abnormal tear production. Antibiotic ointment or drops will be prescribed, and it is important to prevent additional trauma to the cornea. Superficial corneal ulcers typically heal within 5 to 7 days.

  • An umbilical hernia is a protrusion of the abdominal lining, abdominal fat, or a portion of abdominal organ(s) through the area around the umbilicus. An umbilical hernia can vary in size from less than a ¼” (1cm) to more than 1” (2.5cm) in diameter. Small (less than ¼” or 1cm) hernias may close spontaneously (without treatment) by age 3 to 4 months. If the hernia has not closed by the time of spaying or neutering, surgical repair of the hernia is recommended and prognosis is excellent.