Meet Sushi, a fierce young feline with a gorgeous coat of fur and a perfectly scrumptious name. Sushi visited her vet for a routine dental and groom. Being a young adult cat, she was seemingly healthy and normal as one would expect. Thankfully she has regular vet check ups as this visit showed something was different in her pre-anaesthetic blood work. Sushi was quickly rushed to Underwood to be examined by Veterinary Specialist Services (a veterinary specialist and referral service), where she has an ultrasound and further testing.
The team discovered that Sushi had a small shrunken kidney which was caused by an obstruction in her ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder, causing a potentially life-threatening lack of blood flow. Luckily for Sushi, her condition was caught in time before her kidney problems got worse. However, her kidneys did show some scarring which could indicate she had the blockage for some time.
This is what is known as a subclinical condition; an illness that hides under the radar from detection, showing no obvious signs. Being a vet, Sushi's owner is trained to pick up on any strange symptoms in a heartbeat, which shows just how subtle and dangerous these underlying conditions can be, and how important it is to stay on top of regular check ups.
As the condition can be lethal, an urgent solution was needed. Sushi underwent a procedure where an additional pathway was created to allow urine to pass from the kidney into the bladder, bypassing the blocked ureter. It was important for her to have around-the-clock monitoring to ensure her kidneys continued to function. This was done by regularly checking both her urine output and performing blood checks. Sushi thankfully recovered well under the supervision of our Pet Intensive Care Unit team.
Sushi required continuous infusions of pain relief during her hospital stay to ensure she remained comfortable as she was healing. However, she began eating shortly after her procedure which is a big plus for a kitty in hospital having undergone such an ordeal.
Luckily for Sushi, the elevated levels from her initial blood test resolved and she was able to return home to the care of her loving mum, after spending close too a week in the Intensive Care Unit.
Sushi's story shows that even our seeming healthy pets can hide underlying conditions, so it is important to ensure they receive regular checks by their vet to pick up on anything that cannot be seen.