Kingsdale Case of the Month
Ty: 10 year old domestic shorthair feline
At the time of his physical exam, Ty was reluctant yet complacent with the detailed nature of his physical examination. When the veterinarian felt something abnormal in Ty’s abdomen, there was a cause for concern. What was felt was a large abdominal mass. The mass was so large, it was difficult to determine its exact origin. Also, as Ty was not showing any symptoms related to the mass, it was difficult to gather what exactly was the problem.
It was then decided that Ty required more diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the mass and what could be done to help. Bloodwork, urine tests and abdominal radiographs were performed and it was then revealed that the abdominal mass was in fact, an extremely large kidney. The cause of the enlarged kidney was, what we believe a stone that developed and entered his ureter (tube carrying urine from the kidney to the bladder) and become lodged, therefore creating an obstruction where the urine continued to back-up in his kidney.
An abdominal ultrasound was then performed, specifically to further evaluate both his kidneys and it was revealed that he suffered from a condition called Hydronephrosis affecting his left kidney. This occurs commonly when there is a structure blocking urine flow from the kidney as mentioned above. The affected kidney, unable to pass urine to the bladder, begins to fill with urine, stretching the kidney.
We then decided to proceed to take Ty to surgery to remove the affected kidney as the kidney would continue to enlarge and be life-threatening should the kidney rupture. The surgery was a success and Ty did fantastic. Although he only has one kidney remaining, his follow-up kidney tests came back normal and Ty is now on a special diet to help the remaining kidney, as well to decrease the chance of another stone from forming.
This case is important because it reminds us of the importance of annual check-ups, especially for indoor cats. As Ty was not showing any symptoms prior to his physical exam, the owners had no idea he had something life-threatening wrong inside him. The owners ultimately saved Ty’s life.