Age: 2 Years
Iggy is a 2 year old Burmese cat who lives in Mosman, Iggy is also a VERY lucky boy. In April 2012 Iggy went missing from his family home. His worried owners searched high and low for their missing pet – posters were printed and put up all over Mosman and many evenings were spent combing the neighborhood but little Iggy was nowhere to be found. After 6 weeks, Iggy’s owners had given up hope of seeing their beloved pet again, when in strolled a very tired and thin looking cat – Iggy had come home!
The initial delight of being reunited with their missing pet quickly turned to concern, as Iggy’s owners realized that the cat in front of them was a shadow of their former pet. After 6 weeks missing Iggy was painfully thin, weak, and seemed to be having some difficulty breathing. Fearing the worst, his owners rushed him straight in to see Dr Abbie Tipler at Mosman Veterinary Hospital. On examination Iggy was fairly bright but had a wound on his tail, a missing claw and did indeed seem to be having difficulty breathing.
After starting Iggy on antibiotics to fight the infection in his tail, Dr Abbie took some X-Rays of his chest, and the reason for his labored breathing soon became apparent. Iggy had 2 pieces of metal in his stomach! Looking at the X-Rays it was impossible for Dr Abbie to tell what the metal was, or if it was safe inside Iggy’s stomach or loose in his abdomen. If safe inside the gut, then Iggy may have been able to pass the metal on his own. However, if the metal had pierced the walls of the stomach or intestine it left Iggy at risk of a potentially life threatening infection, there was also the chance that the sharp metal shards could move around inside Iggy and lacerate a major blood vessels or organs which could again be fatal. On Dr Abbie’s advice, Iggy was taken in for emergency surgery to remove the metal. Iggy underwent an ‘exploratory laparotomy’ which involves surgically opening and exploring the abdomen to find and remove foreign materials.
The team prepared Iggy for surgery and consulted the X-rays to determine exactly where to look in the abdomen for the metal. Once his abdomen was opened, Dr Abbie was able to find the first piece of metal outside of his stomach resting in some rusty looking fat near to the liver. The metal was found to be half of a pin and was VERY sharp! The teams celebration was short lived as they continued to searching in his abdomen for the other half of the pin. As they searched, they removed several patches of rust-stained debris from his abdomen, as the pin had started to rust causing irritation to the surrounding organs.
Another ten minutes later the second half of the pin was located, close to the portal vein. The proximity of this pin to this vessel meant that if it had not been surgically removed it could well have punctured the vessel which would have had disastrous consequences. This part of the pin was also removed and his abdomen flushed with sterile saline to remove any other irritants or bacteria from the abdomen before closing up.
Iggy has recovered very well from his operation and was allowed to go home the following morning with some antibiotics, pain relief medication and instructions to keep him very quiet at home. 3 days later, Iggy’s owners reported that he was almost back to 100% at home. He was eating well and putting some weight on, and was happily making up for 6 weeks of lost playtime and cuddles with his very thankful owners. Hopefully he will be happy to stay closer to home in future after his big adventure!
Posted on 18 July 2012
Last updated on 11 December 2019