Peritoneopericardial Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats
Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia is a congenital defect that affects the communication between the peritoneum (membrane that forms the lining of abdominal cavity) and pericardium (double-wall sac containing the heart). Like other hernias, the protrusion of the septum affects the surrounding area — in this case, the abdomen.
Symptoms and Types
Symptoms will largely depend on the amount on the amount and nature of abdominal contents herniated. Some common ones include:
- Weight loss
- Difficult breathing
Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia occurs at the embryologic stage, and is considered a prenatal defect.
You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) — the results of which are typically normal.
Abnormalities visible on X-rays ultimately depend on size and amount of herniated abdominal contents. More advanced techniques, like contrast peritoneography, are also used for a more detailed evaluation, whereby contrast medium (chemical) is given by injection into the peritoneal cavity and then X-rayed at different angles. Another technique commonly employed for confirmation of diagnosis is echocardiography.
Surgery is typically required to close the hernia and place the viable organs to their normal location. However, if found in adult cats displaying no adverse symptoms, no treatment is required.
Living and Management
Prognosis is good for cats that have undergone surgery with no other complicating factors.
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