Everybody Loves a Happy Ending

Shadow’s story has all of the ingredients for a good tale, and most importantly a happy ending thanks to the Small Animal Practice and the Small Animal Hospital.

Shadow is a three year-old domestic longhair who went missing for a couple of weeks. He returned home in reasonable spirits but a lump of moist matted fur was noticed on his left flank.

He was examined at the Small Animal Practice but no other abnormalities were found. Shadow was anaesthetised to clip and clean the fur on the flank. During the procedure, a large wound was found with a couple of maggots at the skin edge, which were removed. However, in the centre of the wound a soft mass of tissue was identified which on closer inspection was found to be Shadow’s left kidney.

Shadow was immediately sent to the Small Animal Referral Hospital where he was taken to surgery. The kidney, luckily, still seemed healthy but had been pulled out of its normal position and exposed through the flank wound. Instead of removing the bruised kidney, we decided to clean up the surface and replace it back into the abdomen, securing it in an approximately normal position. There were hair and debris in the abdomen which could cause a potentially life-threatening infection (peritonitis) so, after lavage, a drain was placed in the abdomen to allow drainage and monitoring. The flank wound was cleaned and freshened up and sutured closed.

Shadow made a remarkably smooth recovery and returned home several days after his surgery once we were certain he had not developed peritonitis and no lasting ill-effects to his kidneys had occurred.