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Post-operative nursing of a feline patient after hypophysectomy surgery

02 March 2024
10 mins read
Volume 15 · Issue 2
Figure 1. 6-year-old feline patient one week after surgery.
Figure 1. 6-year-old feline patient one week after surgery.


This case report documents the surgical treatment of a 6-year-old feline patient with hypersomatotropism. The surgical intervention, a hypophysectomy, is a relatively novel treatment option for this condition and the post-operative nursing care is imperative to ensure a positive outcome. The patient underwent this surgery and spent 2 days in the intensive care unit of a referral hospital for close monitoring of his blood glucose and electrolytes.

The patient (Figure 1) was a 6-year-old male neutered Domestic Short Hair feline that presented to the referral centre with diabetes mellitus. With subsequent testing, he was diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma, which was the cause for his hypersomatotropism, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, acromegaly and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Hypersomatotropism is a state of excessive somatotropin, otherwise known as growth hormone, production. Somatotropin is made by somatotrophs, which are cells within the anterior pituitary gland. A state of excessive growth hormone can cause a condition called acromegaly, where soft tissue grows excessively and is characterised by a broadened face, protrusion of the mandible, large feet and organomegaly (Niessen, 2023).

The cat was admitted for the first time to have a computed tomography scan of his head which showed a pituitary gland mass – suspected pituitary adenoma. He also had an abdominal ultrasound scan which showed generalised organomegaly, as well as diffuse enteropathy. He was taken for an echocardiogram which revealed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, phenotype stage B2.

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