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Ember and PPDH

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  • Lance
    Hi everyone, I m looking for some advice regarding my cat, Ember. Ember is an 11 year old FeLV+ girl I ve had for most of her life. In March, her vet feared
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 15, 2013
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      Hi everyone,

      I'm looking for some advice regarding my cat, Ember. Ember is an 11 year old FeLV+ girl I've had for most of her life. In March, her vet feared that Ember might have a fungal infection and did a chest x-ray, and an unusual mass was detected.

      After quite a bit of rechecking and a CT scan, it was determined that Ember has a congenital pericardial diaphragmatic hernia. The radiologist said that a portion of the left middle liver lobe is present within the pericardial sac, and there is a large volume of fat within the pericardial sac. There isn't really any fluid there, so they don't think that the liver is partially strangulated. There is a bit of atelectasis within two lung lobes.

      Ember's breathing is rapid (~60 bpm) but not labored. When she starts to lie down, she will sometimes sit in an odd posture for a few minutes, and this makes me wonder if she's trying to breathe better, or if she's suffering some discomfort when she gets into certain positions. She's eating, drinking, and sleeping pretty much as normal, and she is affectionate and connected to me as always.

      Given her age and status, I'm concerned that surgery would be a major stress event for her. I feel caught in the middle of trying to improve her quality of life by having the hernia correcting, and trying to protect her health in general. Has anyone dealt with congenital PPDH, and has the cat in question had surgery?

      Thank you,

      Lance
    • elfinmyst
      Hi Lance I had a similar situation with Sam. He had a hernia and his intestines and part of his liver were pushing through the diaphragm into his chest cavity,
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 16, 2013
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        Hi Lance

        I had a similar situation with Sam. He had a hernia and his intestines and
        part of his liver were pushing through the diaphragm into his chest cavity,
        giving him breathing difficulties. It happened after an accident several
        months before. We discussed surgery but Sam was 16 and had serious HCM and
        kidney issues and he was very unlikely to survive surgery.

        But Ember is only eleven and it is a much smaller hernia. I would have
        opted for surgery in those circumstances. The surgery involves opening the
        chest cavity and moving the contents back into the abdomen. During surgery the
        cat is artificially ventilated and then the diaphragm stitched.

        If her breathing is 60 bpm at rest that would suggest some degree of heart
        struggling and the sitting up oddly (sphinx position) is also a bid to
        breathe more easily. Has she seen a cardiologist to determine if her heart is
        working properly. I would definitely have an ultrasound done first to
        comfirm there is no heart disease and how serious the hernia is. It might be
        possible the hernia isn't bothering her and she has had it all her life and
        there is another issue which you would want to check first. Please have the
        ultrasound with a cardiologist if she hasn't had one.

        Lyn

        _www.myfurkids.co.uk_ (http://www.myfurkids.co.uk/)

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • elfinmyst
        This was for group:) Hi Lyn, Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. The teaching hospital where Ember would have her surgery does have a
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 16, 2013
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          This was for group:)
          Hi Lyn,

          Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. The teaching hospital
          where Ember would have her surgery does have a cardiologist. It's a shame it's
          three hours away, but that's how it goes when you live in west Arkansas. I
          might be able to get an ultrasound done here in town, and that could give
          us some idea.

          The odd position is strange. She will lie in the Sphinx position on
          occasion, so I'm glad you brought that up. The odd position is that her back legs
          are lying down as if she were on her side, but she's "standing up" with
          her front legs. She doesn't stay in this position for long–usually no more
          than two or three minutes. But, it's obvious that this indicates a problem.

          I'm talking to her main vet tomorrow. We'll go from there. If anyone else
          has thoughts, please share them.

          Thank you,

          Lance

          _www.myfurkids.co.uk_ (http://www.myfurkids.co.uk/)

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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