The Surgery that Saved Butler

Butler was lethargic and weak after being brought in by a Good Samaritan.

Thursday, August 25th, 2016: A wonderful Good Samaritan found a sweet little kitten on the side of the road. He suspected that the lethargic, weak 3-month-old stray had been hit by a car, and brought him to WHS for help. Our vet, Dr. Hogg, noticed he was lethargic and breathing rapidly, with no audible breathing sounds on the left side of his chest. So she recommended urgent radiographs.

It was late in the day but Willamette Valley Animal Hospital fit us in on the short notice. The team helped us with x-rays, where they identified a diaphragmatic hernia.

For those of us without veterinary medicine education, a diaphragmatic hernia is a tear in the diaphragm. In this case, due to the trauma of being hit by a car.  The intestines then float into the chest cavity as there is no longer a barrier keeping them in place.

For Butler, this caused pressure on his lungs, and as a result, his left lung collapsed. The surgery to repair Butler’s was considered an emergent, life-saving surgery. A surgery like this at a private vet practice could cost upwards of a couple thousand dollars including equipment, medication, and the necessary medical staff and tools to keep the animal safe and secure.  

Butler taking it easy on cage rest two days after his life-saving surgery.

The intestines were moved, the tear in the diaphragm repaired, and then air removed from the chest cavity. We’re fortunate our skilled shelter surgeon Dr. Harter was able to perform the procedure in our clinic. Luckily, we had everything we needed to try and save him.

The following 24 hours were critical in determining if the surgery was a success. Imagine our delight when we found little Butler was responsive, alert and doing well!

As he continued to heal over the next two weeks, it was obvious that the injury would not be an issue at all in his life. He will go back to just being a kitten in a new home. Butler was adopted and will finally get to live out his days in a lap of love. His new mom and dad promise to give us updates and share his story along the way. So keep watching for pictures!

 

The inspiring survival and recovery stories, such as rescue kitten Butler, are the reason Willamette Humane Society is here. This is a GREAT example of how the support of our community truly makes a difference. Without that support, we would not be able to make things like this happen.

A big thank you to all of Butler’s life savers: his Good Samaritan, our veterinary partners, our own medical staff, and our supporters for saving another life!

  

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Rachel
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