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Des Moines, Iowa 50321
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ISU Student Experience

Kitten Catastrophe

Kitten Catastrophe

Mufasa presented to IVS as a 22-week-old Bengal kitten.  The owner reported that he had tripped and accidently landed on Mufasa.  At home, Mufasa had not wanted to walk and was having difficulty breathing.  On presentation, Mufasa was extremely tachypneic, with rapid open-mouth breathing at times, and mucous membranes were pale-pink.  He was ambulatory at the time of presentation.  His pulse ox was 98%, but he was in respiratory distress, so supplemental oxygen was provided after a quick exam.  After talking with the owners, we started with radiographs of the chest, utilizing supplemental oxygen during the procedure to lessen the stress on the respiratory tree.  The radiographs revealed a right-sided pneumothorax, with deviation of the heart to the left hemithorax, and pulmonary contusions.  The owners were updated with the radiographic findings, with the recommendation to hospitalize Mufasa with supplemental oxygen until the clinical symptoms showed improvement, which would likely be 24 hours or longer.  They were also told about the potential need for a thoracocentesis if the pneumothorax worsened radiographically or clinically.  Buprenorphine would also be administered to Mufasa for pain control.  Radiographs were to be repeated in 8 to 12 hours based on ongoing clinical signs.

By early the next morning, Mufasa was showing clinical improvements in respiratory rate and effort.  His radiographs were repeated later the second day, revealing improvement in the pneumothorax, but worsening in the pulmonary contusions.  Oxygen supplementation was slowly weaned through the overnight of the second night, and Mufasa continued to do well.  Mufasa was able to be discharged the third day, showing improved respiratory rate (still mildly tachypneic) and normal respiratory sounds and is now at home doing great!

Published on October 4, 2016

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