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Salem makes a remarkable recovery following road traffic accident

5th January 2022

Salem, a beautiful black cat, made a remarkable recovery after receiving life-saving emergency treatment from the Specialist-led Veterinary Team at Lumbry Park, following a road traffic accident which left him with multiple life-threatening injuries.

Salem was referred just before his first birthday after early stabilisation following road traffic trauma. He was in shock and had lower urinary tract rupture causing life-threatening electrolyte disturbances. Imaging identified pelvic fractures which had lacerated his urethra with concomitant injuries.

CT was used to identify the location of the rupture and a contrast was then injected into the urethra to test for leakage. The image below shows evidence of contrast (bright white) in an irregular pattern which has leaked out of the tract.

CT scan

Soft tissue surgeon Francesco Gemignani explains “This type of injury is very challenging to manage. When we saw Salem there was already extensive soft tissue damage from urine leakage, and the location of the leak was challenging to access.

“Anastamosis (connection of the damaged ends of the urethra) was not possible so a diversion surgery was performed, a modified transpelvic urethrostomy, creating a new outflow.”

Even for an experienced soft tissue team such a repair had a high risk of complications and breakdown.


ECC Specialist Caroline Hirst, further explains: “Salem required intensive care to manage derangements in electrolytes and kidney failure pre-operatively and also in the post-operative phase as Salem’s kidneys re-adjusted to a normal outflow – post-obstructive diuresis causing high fluid requirements requiring careful and regular reassessments.

“Happily, Salem’s surgery and treatment was a great success. When Salem’s urethral catheter was removed on Day 10 post-op, we were delighted by a normal urine stream!”

Salem was subsequently discharged for ‘bed rest’ and his owners have set up a new bedroom for him to avoid jumping during the healing period but ensuring home comforts.  In this picture, Salem is modelling an awesome buster collar too which is not only fashionable, but effective at avoiding surgical site infection.

He also has a traumatic hip luxation as a result of the road traffic accident which may need a future procedure but, for now, he’s at home being spoilt after his long hospital stay.

Salem was a pleasure to have in hospital, always a perfect patient, and we wish him well.

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