When Alan the cat’s windpipe collapsed, he was rushed to the vet’s in life-threatening condition. Alan was breathing poorly, and ultimately a surgery which is often performed on humans but rarely on cats saved his life.
The ten-year-old Burmese cat suffered from tracheal stenosis, a condition which is rare in cats but which causes the windpipe to narrow to the point where a cat can’t breathe in enough air. The solution to the issue is to put a stent into the cat’s windpipe. Stents are typically inserted in humans to open up blocked arterties, but in this case, performing that same surgery on a cat was necessary.
Alan’s owner, Ian Mills of Skipton, North Yorkshire, brought Alan to Dick White Referrals in Cambridge, Cambs. There, surgeons used interventional radiology to guide a stent into Alan’s windpipe. This was no easy feat, as Alan’s windpipe had narrowed to a space only 2mm wide in some areas. Luckily, the surgery went well, the stent was inserted, and Alan’s windpipe was opened up to improve his breathing.
Alan is now home resting, and is expected to be free of further issues caused by his condition.