Buzz, cat with diaphragmatic hernia (Aznah Gulam Mydin/Sumitra’s)

Agnes and Sumitra wrote to me last week about a female cat (rescued by cat-feeder Aznah Gulam Mydin).  This female cat, now named Buzz, was supposed to have been spayed together with another male cat, but upon administering the anaesthesia, Buzz went into a “cynotic” state.

Here’s the report from the vet who attempted to do the spaying:

– under GA cat turned cynotic and gasping for breath. Reversine was given and the cat was given oxygen therapy for 0.5 – 1 hour/ Mucous membrane better on oxygen – Not Spayed
– Recovery from GA was very unstable and breathing erratic.
– Cat boarding at clinic for 2 days to be monitor by the dr(no charges). Appetite fair and mucous membrane pink / normal. Notice cat having abdominal breathing.
-suspect cat having – i) diaphragmatic hernia ii) lung problem/heart disease
– Dr suggested to do an X-ray when cat is a little more stable.

Agnes and Sumitra requested for our help in getting an X-ray as well as another opinion, so they brought Buzz to our panel vet today.

This is Buzz.  She’s one of the friendliest and sweetest stray cat I’ve ever met.
Our vet did a physical examination and suspected the following:
1.  Buzz definitely has diaphragmatic hernia.
2.  Buzz may even be in the early stage of pregnancy, but maybe it’s not.  The vet felt two “blobs” which could be the kidneys and not the foetuses.  An X-ray may be able to ascertain this. 
The vet explained that if Buzz is pregnant, she might probably die during delivery because the “pushing” would cause more organs to go directly into the chest cavity, thus blocking it entirely and she would not be able to breathe at all.
If Buzz is not pregnant, an operation can be done to correct the diaphragmatic hernia; but this is a very high-risk operation and many cats have died on the table.  So far, we have only done two under our sponsorship and only one was successful.  Kwai Chee’s cat didn’t make it.  Mas’ did.   
Regarding the surgery:     
a.  There is always a risk with all surgeries.  There is no guarantee that Buzz will survive it.  This particular surgery is also very high-risk. 
b.  Buzz seems looks very well right now, she is happy, she eats well, she grooms herself, so if Sumitra can look after her (see the donts below), Buzz may very well have a good-enough and comfortable life without the surgery.
So we debated over what’s best for Buzz and we decided to get the X-ray done so that we could make a better decision from the results of the X-ray.
Sumitra and Buzz
Sumitra in the “lead suit”, preparing to help with the X-ray taking.
We waited with bated breath while the vet dried the X-ray.  We were praying like crazy Buzz would not be pregnant. 
Within minutes, the vet came in…we’ll look at the X-rays now.
Here it is….
But what does it mean?
This is what I understand from the vet’s detailed explanation:
1.  The two “blobs” are the kidneys, not foetuses.  It is likely Buzz isn’t pregnant, but we still cannot be absolutely certain at this point in time since Buzz had only been rescued 2 weeks ago.  It takes about 42 days before the foetuses are visible.  An ultra-sound (to detect the heart-beat) or another X-ray is recommended in two weeks’ time to be absolutely sure.
2.  It IS definitely diaphragmatic hernia.  The diaphragm is torn (probably due to a kick, an injury or any form of being hit/beaten) and the organs have gone inside the chest cavity, thus incapacitating the lungs.  The white parts in the X-ray indicates the chest cavity that now contains the organs.  But the black parts indicate that there is still sufficient space for the lungs.  The lungs only need about 30% of the entire chest cavity to function well enough.
We heaved a big sigh of relief to know Buzz is most probably not pregnant.  If she had been, the vet strongly recommends aborting the babies because Buzz would surely die from the delivery. 
In principle, AnimalCare does not sponsor the spaying of any pregnant female.  But as with humans, we would have to make an exception for Buzz’s case as her pregnancy would have endangered her life, almost definitely causing her death. 
Sumitra decided that she will look after Buzz.  There’s no need for the surgery now since Buzz appears to be coping very well. 
The “donts” for a cat with diaphragmatic hernia:
1.  Do not overfeed.
2.  Do not allow the cat to be chased or stressed.
3.  Do not allow the cat to jump up or down. 
The above, if allowed to occur, will cause the organs to be pushed further into the chest cavity and result in more discomfort or even death. 
We wish Buzz all the best, and I am certain she cannot possibly be in better hands than Sumitra’s. 
Buzz was rescued by Azna who is a cat-feeder, but now, Sumitra will adopt Buzz and look after her for the rest of her life. 
Be well, Buzz.  We’re all rooting for you!
Today’s X-ray and check-up is fully sponsored from our funds. 
Disclaimer:  The details in this posting are written based on my layperson’s understanding of what the vet said.  It is by no means applicable to another case even if the symptoms are similar.  Kindly consult your vet for a proper dignosis. 

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One response to “Buzz, cat with diaphragmatic hernia (Aznah Gulam Mydin/Sumitra’s)”

  1. Devi Narayanan

    Thank you Sumitra, for adopting Buzz. I am really in tears in reading thru what the poor thing is going thru. You are so kind to understand the pains this poor thing. God bless you friend.

    If I am a witch, I would really cast a horrible spell on the cruel owner irresponsibly abandoned poor Buzz.

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