Boomerang the kitten has life-saving hernia surgery

Davies Veterinary Specialists

Anaesthesia, Soft Tissue Surgery

17th August 2020

Boomerang the kitten bounces back thanks to hernia surgery

Boomerang the kitten has bounced back to good health thanks to the repair of a large diaphragmatic hernia.

Urgent treatment from multi-disciplinary team

The seven-month-old female domestic shorthair kitten was referred to Davies by Animalism Veterinary Surgeons in St Albans, when radiographs confirmed that she needed urgent surgery. Boomerang’s owner’s circumstances meant that she was unable to accommodate the costs of the kitten’s operation so we offered the treatment pro bono to save the kitten’s life.

As usual we took a multi-disciplinary team approach to the case; Boomerang was initially admitted and stabilised by Small Animal Surgeon Ellie Cockburn, who worked closely with Specialist Anaesthetist, Sarah Gibson, in ICU to ensure Boomerang was made comfortable and as stable as possible for surgery.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Boomerang was stabilised in ICU before lifesaving hernia surgery

“Boomerang was in considerable distress when she arrived and had severe breathing problems due to what was a large diaphragmatic hernia,” said Smita Das, Specialist Small Animal Surgeon, who performed the surgery.  “We initially put her in an ICU oxygen incubator with an IV catheter and prepared her for surgery as quickly as possible.”

Diaphragmatic tear found during surgery

Smita found a tear within Boomerang’s diaphragm which had allowed the stomach, spleen, part of the liver, part of the pancreas and much of the intestines to get trapped inside the kitten’s chest cavity. This didn’t leave much space for her lungs and made breathing extremely difficult.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Boomerang has hernia surgery - soft tissue team at work

During the surgical procedure, Smita and Intern Hannah Badham reduced the hernia and repaired the hole in the diaphragm while Sarah maintained anaesthesia, providing careful respiratory management. Boomerang made a good initial recovery and was discharged home to her owner two days later.

“Boomerang’s owner was extremely grateful for the pro bono treatment for her family’s much-loved pet and we were proud to be able to help in this way,” said Smita. “We would expect that Boomerang should now go on to live a normal life.”

The surgical procedure

The hernia is reduced.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Boomerang has hernia surgery - reducing the hernia


The intestines were pulled back through the diaphragm to their rightful location.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Boomerang has hernia surgery - relocating intestines


The hole in the diaphragm once the hernia was reduced.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Boomerang has hernia surgery - diaphragmatic tear


Click here to find out more about our Soft Tissue Surgery team.

Click here to read Vet Times’ article on Boomerang’s surgery.

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