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Dr. BJ Hughes
Dr. BJ Hughes, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4794
Experience:  20+ years in feline medicine,surgery, and teaching. Special emphasis on educating owners.
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my cat has a diaphragmatic hernia due to a car accident. the

Resolved Question:

my cat has a diaphragmatic hernia due to a car accident. the surgery to correct this costs 4000 dollars which we do not have. our vet says he could do the procedure but just does not feel good about doing it as my cat seems to be doing well and that he may be albe to live a full life without correction. i am just worried. i can see where his breathing is different and deeper. he was at the vet for 10 days and just came home last nite. so far he has had a few times peeing in the litter box and one BM. he ate a little but seems as if he is not realy intrested in eating, even when i gave him is fav...milk. his back leg is broken and casted as well. in your opinion, can my cat be ok and have a good life with this condition?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. BJ Hughes replied 3 years ago.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

HI there --

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Welcome to Just Answer

Customer:

hello

Dr. BJ Hughes :

There are mild to severe herniations -- did your vet describe the exact organ displacement or severity?

Customer:

he said taht by the look of the xray it did not appear to be reapairable to him

Customer:

so i am not sure what they means for my baby

Customer:

:(

Dr. BJ Hughes :

ok -any idea of the organs that are displaced into the chest ?

Customer:

im sorry but i dont. he expalined to me that his intestines are shifting into his chest

Customer:

and in certain postitions it gets worse for me but gravity works

Dr. BJ Hughes :

ok -- this can be a very complicated surgery - and often can become worse at times -- as you have noted that elevation of the front portion of the body will ease the pressure on the lungs and hear t--

Dr. BJ Hughes :

the major problems with this condition are that the abdominal organs may slide in and out of the abdomen -- if it is severe -- then there may be little to put back together -- which explains the estimate of surgery .

Dr. BJ Hughes :

These organs being in the chest can cause lack of oxygen (as breathing is compromised) and also decreased blood pressure that can be rapid.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

If the surgery is an option for you -- then I would recommend asking for a consultation with an veterinary internal surgeon (possibly at the vet college in your state -- this is done by your vet by phone) . The xrays can be sent for review by the specialist surgeon -- and a second opinon renderedd,

Dr. BJ Hughes :

The extent and cost of surgery do not guarantee positive results -- as it is a difficutl surgery and because of the unknown injuries internally -- there may be more to this than is currently seen.

Customer:

and if the procedure is not an optin? what will his life be like? i dont want him suffereing

Dr. BJ Hughes :

There are cases where repair is not made --

Customer:

and how do these typically fare?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

and the biggest concern is quality of life, ability of the cat to adjust to the extra pressure in the chest (some will do fine) -- some cats carry these for years unknown to owners.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

If there is slipping of organs in and out -- then there will be times where your cat will be very uncomfortable and unable to breath. If this is happening regularly -- or breathing is difficult all the time -- then the discomfort would need ot be figured into the quality of life. If the decline is too great -- and this may need to be assessed over time -- -- then this may be a cause for euthanasia. But as I mentioned - sometimes this is seen incidentally without extensive symptoms. This will be a life long condition that would require monitoring for life.

Customer:

well so far he does not seem to be struggling too much. as i said he just came home from the vet last night. he is being kept in our bathroom sicne his leg is in a cast and we have other animals in the house. also do not want him overdoing things so figured a smaller space would be better for him at this time. he is sitting with me now and sleeping, which he has been doing alot of sinc brought home. i can tell by the movement of this stomach that his breathing is harder then normal. what would i need to look for as far as his breathing goes. as i said he is not eating much and laying around a lot. but he is happy to be home and purrs a lot adn wants to rub and be loved.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

so sorry for the delay --

Customer:

no worries :)

Dr. BJ Hughes :

It sounds like the qualities of his life are good at this point -- which is very good . Basically , learn to read his gums (they should be pink and when pressed with yrou finger go white then quickly back to pink when released) this helps check oxygenation of the blood. Also the rate of breathing and depth -- shallow rapid breathing is a sign that there is pressure on the chect organs -- elevating the front end may be helpful to relieves this

Customer:

ok hold on and let me check his gums...wont take just a sec as he is with me now

Customer:

i think they look ok

Dr. BJ Hughes :

very good - - and once you know how this looks --- it is simple to check if you ever are concerned that there is a possible issue.

Customer:

they aer pinkish and while i cant really tell if they are going white they do look pink

Customer:

he is mad that i woke him up lol

Customer:

mouth seems maybe a bit dry

Dr. BJ Hughes :

;-) he sounds pretty normal after having been through so much --

Dr. BJ Hughes :

continue monitoring -- including food and water consumption -- he is probably well hydrated since he just left the vet office.

Customer:

oh i am so glad to hear that! i am concerned that he does not seem really interested in eating though. maybe that wil get better

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Is there anything else I can help with?

Customer:

i think that is it. i was looking for anything to make me feel a bit better about my baby and you have done so. i will be sure to keep a very close eye on him and thanks so much! <3

Dr. BJ Hughes :

You are most welcome --- you have a lucky kitty --

Dr. BJ Hughes :

 


I hope this information helps!
_____________________________________________________________________
Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian

Customer:

yes i do though he has used up all his lives i think though! lol

Dr. BJ Hughes, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4794
Experience: 20+ years in feline medicine,surgery, and teaching. Special emphasis on educating owners.
Dr. BJ Hughes and 4 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

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