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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18973
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a cat that has wet leukemia. She eats well sleeps and

Customer Question

I have a cat that has wet leukemia. She eats well sleeps and is still active. The only thing is that she get's fluid in her tummy. We have had it drained twice and she is great until the fluid comes back. She is small so it shows but otherwise is well. Can a tube be placed to keep it drained.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** I'm sorry to hear bout Lila's situation with her having the wet Leukemia. When they have the ascites developing in their abdomen, it can put a lot of pressure on their diaphragm and make them not as comfortable with breathing. The frustration with the disease is that there really isn't anything that can be done to cure it. The best that can be done is to keep her as happy and comfortable as long as physically possible. There is a lot of research going on as far as treatment options, but so far none have been promising. As far as the placement of a tube into her belly to keep it drained, this honestly isn't a good option. If a tube was placed to allow continuous drainage, she would need to constantly have the drain wrapped with bandages to protect it. Some cats don't like bandages. The drain is also a route for bacteria / infection to enter the abdomen. Intermittent aspiration with a needle to remove the fluid as the pressure builds would be best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can the aspiration be done at home? And if so how?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

I am afraid Dr. Bruce is away but I did want to just answer your last question there. Aspiration (which is what your vet does when they drain her) isn't something that can be done as a part of home treatment. This is because it is quite a delicate procedure that requires a sterile approach. This is because if one doesn't do so in a sterile manner then there is high risk of introducing bacteria (often from the skin) into the abdomen and triggering a severe and likely fatal peritonitis. As well, we often need to use ultrasound when aspirating/draining cats bellies to make sure we don't lacerate or damage the abdominal organs while doing so. Therefore, this wouldn't be advised as a home treatment even if Lila's vet was there doing it. It requires great care, sterile approach, and isn't an option for home.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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