Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Case of the Week - Choco

Choco is an eighteen and a half year old domestic long hair. His dad became concerned when Choco was not eating very well. When he stopped eating completely, his dad brought him into the clinic to see if there was anything to be done for him. On exam, Choco was very quiet, but looked good for his age with a good weight and a shiny, long, dark brown fur coat. Just below his tail though, a soft, painful mass could be felt under his skin. Choco had developed an infection in his anal sac causing an abscess to the side of his hind end.

Anal sacs are scent glands that produce a very strong odor. Cats will express them when marking their territory, when they are scared, or when they defecate. In some cats, the secretion does not get expressed and begins to build up and thicken in the sacs. If they become infected, an abscess can form causing pain and fever. The affected cat may lick at his hind end, react to touch of the area, become lethargic and stop eating. The abscess needs to be drained and flushed under anesthesia and antibiotics begun.

Due to Choco's age, anesthesia was a concern. A complete blood panel run in the clinic showed within minutes that Choco's overall health was very good. Dr. Karnia safely anesthetized him and his hind end was clipped of hair and scrubbed with surgical disinfectant. After the abscess was punctured with a scalpel, a large amount of infected fluid was removed. A small part of the skin was so badly affected that Dr. Karnia needed to cut it away and suture the skin closed. The ascessed area was thoroughly flushed and a drain was sutured in place.

Choco felt much better as early as that evening, acting normally and starting to eat. His skin healed very well. He was doing so well that when his sutures were ready to be removed, we anesthetized him again for a complete dental exam and cleaning. Choco bounced right back from that as well. He is a true example that you are as young as you feel.

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