Trade Organisations

Wondercat survives thanks to Animal Health Trust surgeons

Surgeons at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) have performed surgery which has saved a 16-month-old cat’s life in a procedure that many cats don’t survive.

The Seal Point Mitted Ragdoll cat, called Loui, was referred to the AHT’s Small Animal Centre in September with severe liver dysfunction and surgeons at the AHT quickly diagnosed a blocked bile duct in Loui’s intestine and operated immediately. It wasn’t until they operated, however, that they realised it was a little more complex than they initially thought.

Loui’s case was a particularly unusual one,” said Daniela Murgia, who leads the AHT’s soft tissue surgery team at the AHT. “Going into surgery we hoped it would be quite straightforward to unblock the bile duct, in order to restore his liver function.

“Unfortunately the main bile duct could not be saved, which meant we had to perform an altogether more highly complex and invasive procedure.

“In order to reconstruct the link between the gall bladder and the gut, the gall bladder had to be attached directly to the intestine. During surgery Loui developed severe complications due to low blood pressure, which could have been fatal or left him with damage to his vital organs.”

However, Loui, whose breed is renowned for its striking blue eyes and ‘colourprint’ coat, had a lot of fight and despite the complexities of his case, began to pull through against the odds as recovery rates from this type of surgery are generally quite low.

Loui’s owner, Cas Anderson-Dixon has also played an important role in his recuperation, as, following the surgery, AHT’s team of nurses had to syringe-feed him recovery food at regular intervals – and Cas had to learn how to perform the procedure herself.

She said: “We were so worried about our poor Loui, he means the world to us – as do our other members of our feline family – and I’m sure other pet owners can relate to this! We visited him as much as possible while he was in the intensive care unit.

“The staff at AHT were just incredible, he wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for them. The AHT is an amazing charity and the level of care and support is second to none. We are extremely grateful.”

Loui is just one of more than 3,000 animals the AHT has helped in 2012. The veterinary charity, based near Newmarket in Suffolk, offers veterinary referrals to horses, dogs and cats from across the UK. For more information on the work of the AHT visit the website.

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