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A feline patient undergoing tail amputation and excisional arthroplasty of the left hip joint

02 April 2017
12 mins read
Volume 8 · Issue 3


The patient was an entire male domestic shorthair, estimated at 10 years old, and admitted out of hours after being involved in a road traffic accident (RTA). After initial assessment and treatment, it was decided to further stabilise the patient while hospitalised then at home before undergoing surgical treatment 8 days later of the hip dysplasia and tail fracture caused by the RTA.

A 10-year-old male domestic shorthair cat was admitted to hospital following a road traffic accident (RTA). On admission the patient was mobile but reluctant to move. He was fairly bright and responsive but was vocalising and was reactive to examination of the left hind limb.

The veterinary nurse (VN) allocated to this case had extensive involvement with patient care in the initial 2 days post RTA. Involvement on the day of surgery included preoperative assessment and preparation, intraoperative anaesthetic monitoring and postoperative recovery and care including pain assessment and management.

On admission the cat's vital parameters were determined: heart rate (HR) was 168 beats per minute and respiratory rate (RR) 48 breaths per minute (Table 1). This elevation in RR may have been due to stress, pain or a cough the owner reported. Examination of the left hind limb was poorly tolerated implying trauma. The tail was fractured 12 cm proximal to the tip and there was no movement or sensation distal to this. Both were confirmed by radiography under general anaesthetic (GA). In-house blood analysis revealed mild hypoproteinaemia and anaemia. This was indication for further stabilisation before surgery due to the potential for hypoxia and an alteration in drug potency in the patient.

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