Oki, an 8-year-old Burmese cat, wasn't acting like herself. She was normally very social and liked to perch on the shoulders
of her owners—both University of California-Davis veterinarians. She began having difficulty passing urine so they brought
her to the UC-Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Service. Oki was diagnosed
with kidney failure and an obstruction in her right ureter from a birth defect.
Oki spent four days in the intensive care unit while being treated with medications. Although she was able to return home,
her ureteral obstruction remained. Seven months later, Oki's condition worsened. She returned to the ICU. After a week, her
condition stabilized with medications, but the emergency specialists knew that the obstruction was causing kidney failure
and something more needed to be done.
Apparently, one of Oki’s favorite spots is atop the shoulders of one of her owners, UC-Davis’ Karl Jandrey, DVM, MAS, assistant
professor of clinical surgical and radiological sciences. (PHOTO COURTESY OF UC-DAVIS)
It was decided that Oki should undergo surgery with the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's Soft Tissue Surgery Service
to have the obstruction relieved. Due to the type of obstruction, a technique known as a "subcutaneous ureteral bypass" was
chosen. The procedure creates a new "ureter" out of specialized tubing that connects the kidney to the bladder, resulting
in the bypassing of the native ureter.
Oki's condition has steadily improved since the procedure. Her blood work is now normal, and she is feeling like herself again.
With the success of Oki's case, the doctors at UC-Davis feel that although this is a relatively new technique, there is tremendous
promise for the use of this treatment in cats with ureter issues.