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Cats + Surgical Conditions

  • A cataract is an increase in the opacity of the lens of the eye. There are many potential causes of cataracts because any type of damage to the lens can lead to a cataract. The clinical signs of cataracts vary significantly, depending on the size of the cataract; many cataracts are asymptomatic at the time they are diagnosed during a veterinary exam. The ideal treatment for cataracts is surgery, but not all cats are candidates for surgical treatment. In these cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be used to prevent glaucoma and other secondary complications of cataracts.

  • A cesarean section is a surgery to remove kittens from the uterus and is most commonly performed as an emergency procedure when there is difficulty with natural birth. During the immediate recovery period, the mother and kittens must be closely monitored and begin eating/nursing within a few hours. If you have any concerns about their health, you should immediately have your veterinarian examine the kittens and their mother.

  • A chemodectoma is a type of tumor made up of chemoreceptor cells. Chemoreceptor cells detect chemical changes in the body and respond by regulating chemical or physical processes. These tumors are most often seen along one of the carotid arteries and the aorta. Brachycephalic breeds are more predisposed to these types of tumors, though they may occur in any dog breed. These tumors are usually locally aggressive, however, there are rare cases of metastasis to other organs, including the lungs, lymph nodes, and bone.

  • Cholangitis/cholangiohepatitis in cats refers to inflammation of the bile duct or a combination of inflammation of the bile duct, gallbladder, and surrounding liver tissue. The clinical signs, diagnosis, treatments, and prognosis of the conditions are outlined in this handout.

  • This handout outlines cruciate ligament rupture, an orthopedic condition, in cats. The common causes, clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatments are described.

  • This handout discusses the use of cryosurgery in pets. This technique involves the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissues. A short discussion in included as to how the technique is used, and in what circumstances it may be appropriate to use.

  • Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. This handout discusses the signs and diagnosis of this serious oral condition in cats. A variety of dental disease conditions and their treatment are explained.

  • The diaphragm is the muscular partition that separates the abdomen and the chest. Tearing or disruption of this thin muscle is called a diaphragmatic hernia or diaphragmatic rupture. The most common cause of diaphragmatic hernia is blunt force trauma. Clinical signs are dependent on the severity of herniation. There is often respiratory distress, an abnormal heart rhythm, muffled heart and lung sounds, and other signs of systemic shock. The abdomen may feel empty when palpated. Once the patient is stable, the hernia must be corrected surgically.

  • Alveolar osteitis, also called expansile osteitis, is a relatively common condition that results from chronic periodontal disease in cats. It is painful and can interfere with grooming and eating. If this disorder is detected early, it may be possible to treat the disease without tooth extraction by performing thorough periodontal therapy (dental cleaning and scaling).

  • An FHO, or femoral head ostectomy, is a surgical procedure that aims to restore pain-free mobility to a diseased or damaged hip by removing the head and neck of the femur (the long leg bone or thighbone). This procedure is commonly recommended for cats, especially those who are at a healthy weight. Active cats often experience better results with FHO than less-active cats. It is important to follow your veterinarian's post-operative instructions. Most cats will show signs of complete recovery approximately six weeks post-operatively.