The owners of a cat requiring life-saving treatment travelled more than 170 miles and spent £4,000 to ensure it received care.  

Alan the Burmese.
Alan the Burmese cat travelled more than 170 miles for his treatment at DWR.

The 10-year-old Burmese cat, called Alan, lives in the Inner Hebrides and Skipton. He was sent to Dick White Referrals (DWR) in Cambridgeshire for life-saving treatment when a collapsed windpipe severely restricted his breathing.

It transpired Alan had tracheal “stenosis”, an uncommon condition where his windpipe narrows in a particular region to only 2mm in diameter, causing dramatically reduced airflow to the lungs.

Route to recovery

Interventional radiology, which uses sophisticated imaging techniques to guide catheters, wires and instruments into inaccessible areas of the body using blood vessels, airways and other tubular structures as a “route-map”, was conducted.

In Alan’s case, a mechanically woven stent made of a “memory-metal” alloy was placed and expanded in the windpipe at the site of the narrowing, immediately opening it up as the stent expanded. This technique has not been reported in cats elsewhere in the UK and specialists at DWR believe they have been innovative in its application.

Not easy to do

Thorax right lateral plain Alan.
Alan’s thorax after stenting.

Vet Jon Wray, who performed the procedure, said: “The trickiest part, and the time of greatest jeopardy for Alan, was the moment we had to pass the catheter through this very narrow gap in his windpipe. Not only was the tiny hole, surrounded by scarring, very difficult to manoeuvre, but the windpipe had narrowed to the same size as the collapsed stent.”

The operation was successful and Alan’s owners are delighted with the outcome.

They said: “We are so glad we were referred to a centre able to offer this technique. It cost around £4,000, but, given the expertise and equipment used and the outcome achieved, we feel it was money very well spent.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

A previously battered bird is back in the air after having its broken wing repaired by the veterinary team at Willows Veterinary Hospital in Hartford.

4 mins

Former pub transformed into “long-awaited” £1.3 million animal hospital sees visitors pour in for official opening

4 mins

Kelly Bowlt Blacklock in the second of this two-part article, discusses different techniques to close wounds in canine and feline patients.

13 mins

Ben Garland describes surgery to remove a foreign body from the oesophagus, looking at alternative methods, potential complications and recovery

26 mins

Blogger Jane Davidson outlines the difficulties she experienced finding a suitable behaviourist for her dog, despite an abundance of behavioural bodies – none of which proved particularly helpful.

9 mins

Elisabetta Mancinelli discusses ocular disease in rabbits and rodents, and how the increasing number of research investigations is improving the standards of care.

13 mins