Georgia and her two kitten siblings were transferred to Lort Smith from another veterinary clinic for rehoming at just three months old.
On her admittance check it was noted that Georgia had difficulty breathing and reduced heart sounds, unlike her littermates who showed no abnormalities. Georgia was sent for x-rays that same day and the vets were astonished by what they saw! Georgia had a diaphragmatic hernia – this means her intestines were located where her heart should be!
This is an injury that can be seen with car accidents but is pretty uncommon in the congenital form. It occurs in 0.06-0.6% of the general cat population, with Lort Smith seeing about three cases in five years.
Georgia was taken to surgery straight away to reposition her intestines to where they should located. The procedure involved approaching from the abdomen and pulling out the intestines, stomach and the liver. Essentially Georgia’s entire gastro intestinal tract was incorrectly tucked into this cavity. A visual of her heart was made and fortunately, it was beating perfectly.
Being so young, it was a tight fit to get all of Georgia’s intestines back into her little abdomen where they belonged. However, an x-ray confirmed everything was now as it should be and Georgia was moved to ICU for recovery.
Recovery is the period of highest risk, but we had nothing to fear. Georgia was a little champ and was up, purring and eating within hours. She was definitely a lot happier and more settled after the procedure. Georgia was discharged from ICU within 24 hours and went into foster care with Nurse Claudia.
Despite caring for animals all day as part of their job, a large number of our staff are also foster carers. They volunteer their time outside of work to continue to provide these animals with the best care possible.
Nurse Claudia reports that Georgia quickly became comfortable around her home and with her family. Described as loving and gentle, Georgia loves to zoom around the kitchen in the mornings and has claimed a pink mouse toy as her favourite.
Georgia still needs to be desexed and vaccinated, however Claudia’s family have fallen in love and will be applying to adopt this sweet girl when she is ready.