Chelsea's mishap

Chelsea, a 7 month old domestic short haired kitten, injured her leg by falling backwards. She was brought to us for Dr Raj Wicks to examine. Dr Raj found that Chelsea was not bearing weight on her left hind leg and seemed to feel some pain around her hip area. Dr Raj decided that it was necessary to admit Chelsea into hospital for her to have a general anaesthetic and radiographs taken. She was administered pain relief at the time of her admission to ensure that she was comfortable. Chelsea was placed on an intravenous fluid drip prior to her anaesthetic. This is used to maintain her blood pressure while she is anaesthetised as well as assisting with flushing the anaesthetic drugs from her system while she is in recovery.

Dr Raj administered a general anaesthetic while Nurse Janelle assisted and monitored Chelsea's vital signs. The radiographs illustrated that Chelsea had fractured her femoral head from her femur (thigh bone). This injury means that she would require surgery to have her femoral head removed. Cats can cope quite well with having their femoral head removed because of their small size. After the surgery, fibrous tissue forms in the area of the hip joint which prevents bone rubbing on bone and the muscles hold the hip in place. The operated limb will be slightly shorter than prior to surgery, but this should not cause any functional problems.

Chelsea was scheduled to have surgery the following day. On the morning of her surgery, Dr Suzanne and Nurse Janelle performed the pre-surgery checks. Chelsea was bright and happy so the pain relief was working and all her vital signs were normal. She was more than eager to give everyone cuddles and smooches.

Dr Suzanne and Dr Andrea performed her surgery while Nurse Jo monitored her vital signs. Chelsea went well throughout her surgery. She recovered brilliantly and within two hours she was talking and eating dinner. About five hours after her surgery she was placing her foot on the ground and putting some weight on it. Chelsea stayed in hospital for a second night to ensure that she stayed as still as possible to allow for a best chance of healing quickly. Dr Andrea examined Chelsea on the day of discharge and noticed that Chelsea was feeling so much better because she was trying to play, jump and run. Unfortunately for Chelsea she needed to stay strictly confined for 2 weeks and then only allowed gentle exercise for a further 3-5 weeks to allow for the muscles around her surgery site to heal properly. As Chelsea is a very energetic kitten her mother had to keep her confined in a special crate at home. At the moment she is still in the recovery process but everything seems to be progressing smoothly.

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