Teazel is a lovely 13 year old Tabby Cat who doesn’t really like being handled, which can make it difficult to examine her. Teazel first came to visit Will on Saturday the 27th December 2014. For the last couple of weeks, Teazel had not been eating very well and had been quite lethargic. Will examined Teazel and found that she had lost some weight since her last visit (500g!) but Will also had difficulty hearing Teazel’s heart and noticed that Teazel had an increased respiratory effort.
Teazel was admitted to hospital the following Monday for additional tests which included blood tests, x-rays and ultrasound of her heart. The blood test results came back within normal limits, however, the x-rays showed a ‘space occupying mass’ which was consuming approximately 75% of her thoracic cavity!
To gain more information regarding the mass in Teazel’s chest, it was decided for Teazel to be sent to Fitzpatrick referrals for the day so that a CT could be performed. This would help detail the location of the mass and suggest a possible cause which would help Will decide the best treatment for Teazel. After her CT, the results came back suggesting that the most likely cause was a benign mass and that surgical removal would be the best decision.
On Wednesday 28th January Teazel had open chest surgery, performed at the Teddington branch, which required large amounts of planning and hard work by the entire team in order to remove the large mass. The surgery took 2. 5 hours in total, during this time a ventilator, controlled by Sarah and Su, was required to breathe for Teazel. Sarah and Su were also responsible for monitoring the anaesthetic and pain relief options.
Once in the chest, the mass was identified. It turned out to be compressing the heart and lungs to such an extent they were almost non-functional. After carefully separating the mass from the surrounding tissues, we were able to remove it and the heart and lungs had enough space to return to their normal position and attempt to function as normal.
Teazel’s chest was then routinely closed and prior to waking her up a procedure called a ‘Thoracocentesis’ was performed to remove the excess air in her chest surrounding her lungs. This process permitted her to breathe as normal after the anaesthetic. Teazel had a smooth recovery. She was placed in a special oxygen cage, and provided with the necessary pain relief.
The team were very happy with the success of the surgery, even though Will stayed and sat with Teazel until 10pm that evening and then Ian spent the night at the hospital to keep an eye on her, and to be there in case anything were to happen. Teazel went home the following day after a nice quiet evening of rest and relaxation.
After 2 weeks of antibiotics, pain relief and rest, Teazel is back to her normal self! The pathology results suggest that the mass was completely benign and Teazel should not require any follow up treatment.
However, Will and Teazel’s family will keep a very close eye on her with repeat tests to ensure that the mass doesn’t come back! Congratulations Teazel for winning this month’s Big Bear Award!