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Dexter's Scent Sac Removal...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Dexter has a chronic problem with his scent sac's plugging up. Last week the fluid was very pasty in one sac after only 6 weeks from their last expression. He is usually uncomfortable a week before an expression & sore for a week after it is done.

He is 5 years old & heathy except for his scent sac problem. For the past few months I have been thinking about having them removed vs. putting him through the pain & discomfort of having them expressed frequently. Each time it is done...there is a possiblilty damage to his anal area plus, is it very uncomfortable to have a finger stuck up his little butt. As he ages, the risks become greater they will abscess or worse.

Today I talked to his vet about having them removed. He did a removal on on a cat last week who's sac had abscessed. The cat did well. There are very serious risks with this surgery, outside of the risk of anesthesia, one risk is loss of bowel control. There are other risks but if the surgery is done right, there should be no problems. My vet is an exellent surgeon with a good reputation. I have been going to him for 15 years.

Still...this is not an easy decision.
I just cannot stand to see my sweet baby boy continue to suffer with this chronic problem. If he is going to eventually need the surgery, then I would rather do it when he is healthy & young. If I choose surgery & there are no complications, he will be home with me the same day & fully recovered in about a week, never to have the problem again.

I started this thread because I feel very sad that I need to make such a serious decision & I needed to vent. I am scared to death about this. This is not an emergency, so I do not have to do it right away...but if I am going to, I want to do it while he is healthy.
Please sent us healing, calming, thoughts & prayers.
PS..if you know of anyone who has had experience with this surgery, I would really like to hear about it. It is not very common. Thanks
post #2 of 19
Awwww i can only imagine how upsetting this is for you!

I know if it were me i would have them removed so as to end the stress for both of you everytime they get blocked

The good thing is you have a vet that your confident in and 15 years is a long time so thats good!

Sending you both (((((healing and calming vibes, not to mention healthy ones!)))))
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you Susan for your sweet hugs.
post #4 of 19
Personally, I would not do it unless I was absolutely sure that the surgeon doing it was skilled beyond measure.
post #5 of 19
it sounds as though this is the best option.

Your sweet baby Dexter is in my thoughts.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
MA...what has your experience been with long term scent sac problems? Even though I have been going to this vet for 15 years...I am not sure about his ability to do this surgery. I do know that there is no room for error. There has been no sign of infection since his first one, when he was about 6 mo. old. This last expression was the first time that the fluid was thick & pasty since then. His stools are really big because I have him on high fiber food. He eats wet food & drinks a lot of water. His blood work was normal when he had his teeth cleaned about 4 months ago.

I wonder if he has developed a low grade infection & inflamation that caused the rt. sac to get pasty. I would like my vet to do a culture but was told all scent sac fluid has bacteria in it. It really is confusing.

I got a second opinion a couple of years ago from a vet that specialized in cats but his skill was not good. I cannot find a board certified feline specialest in my area. I don't really know if vet schools offer a feline speciality. I may go to a different vet for a workup about this. Maybe there are other options. I would just die if something happend to Dexter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Personally, I would not do it unless I was absolutely sure that the surgeon doing it was skilled beyond measure.
post #7 of 19
Understand that I rarely hear from cat owners when things go good, instead they email me when things go wrong asking for help. I have had enough letters from cat owners whose cats have gone through this procedure to understand that there are risks involved, and to just be sure that whoever performs this surgery does enough of them to know what he or she is doing. Perhaps your vet will put you in touch with other owners that have had successful surgeries done on their cat and you can go from there. The main complaint in these emails were that the cat(s) were losing stool even after that symptom was supposed to have stoppped. Just balls of stool dropping on the carpet and floors of distressed owners. But again the success rate on this surgery may be just as strong as the failures.
post #8 of 19
I think your primary concern here is that you're not quite sure that your vet is qualified to do this surgery. Even though you apparently have a good relationship with him, I think you should look on him as being your family practitioner and you need to find a "specialist" for this, or at least a vet with more experience.

I find it hard to believe that your area does not have any AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners) members of a high caliber, and even if they don't ... how far are you willing to travel for this?
Why don't you do some more Googling? At least this isn't an emergency and some more time and research in this might be the ticket.

Cindy
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
MA...My vet has not done many of these operations on cats. That is a big problem. He has a good surgery reputation but he is not a specialist. He is a very cocky man. He has a large practice. None of his doctors are good at expressing scent sacs. His tech usually does it for me. Pasty fluid is very hard to express. The tech is encouraging me to have the surgery because she sees what Dexter goes through. There must be a more conservative way to live well, with this problem. I refuse to risk Dexter's health & quality of life if there might be other solutions.

I can't express his sacs myself so I have to take him to a vets office to have it done. Have you had cat with pasty sac fluid before? If you did ... how did you deal with it long term? Or do you know how others lived with this problem without surgery?

Thanks for your feedback MA. You know that I am taking this very seriously.
Edit...Please read my following post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy


Understand that I rarely hear from cat owners when things go good, instead they email me when things go wrong asking for help. I have had enough letters from cat owners whose cats have gone through this procedure to understand that there are risks involved, and to just be sure that whoever performs this surgery does enough of them to know what he or she is doing. Perhaps your vet will put you in touch with other owners that have had successful surgeries done on their cat and you can go from there. The main complaint in these emails were that the cat(s) were losing stool even after that symptom was supposed to have stoppped. Just balls of stool dropping on the carpet and floors of distressed owners. But again the success rate on this surgery may be just as strong as the failures.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
You have a good eye MA. That is were Bartholomew was treated when he had his heart failure. They are an amazing practice. Dr. Hill is who we saw. He was great. I called them today. I need a referral from my vet. to see them. My vet does not feel a referral is necessary. I will ask him again & if he won't give me one...then I need to find a different vet. Thanks so much MA. You have reinforced what feels right. Get Dexter to the best.

Cindy...you hit the nail on the head. My vet is not qualified to do this surgery & my gut was telling me this.

MA...I just read about Dr Hill, on the site you linked to. I did not realize that he had an interest in feline diseases. I was so upset when I was there with Bartholomew...I did not pay that much attention to who he was. Oh...I am thrilled. Thank you so much. I love TCS.
post #11 of 19
Thank goodness your around with your knowledge MA!

* touches wood * should ever Rosie and Sophie be in this situation i now know what questions to ask!.

sending you extra, extra good luck in sorting this out for poor Dexter!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Susan...you are so right about MA's help. When I first posted this thread...I was scared, confused, felt stuck & helpless. MA's knowledge & research, helped me look at real options for Dexter's care. I have my power back.
Thank you MA & Susan for caring.
post #13 of 19
I know people here are not vets, but with the knowledge that they have and share, it does no harm does it
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
I agree...it is empowering, to know that I can go to my cat's vet and feel comfortable about asking for more information about a treatment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
I know people here are not vets, but with the knowledge that they have and share, it does no harm does it
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Good news. My vet's office just agreed to give me a referral to Dr Hill..the specialist. In fact, the person I talked to said that she would do the same thing, if Dexter were her kitty. Now that I know I have an excellent option, I am going to wait until my Granddaughter is recovered from a surgery that she is having later this month. Then I will take my boy to the specialist for a workup.
Thanks for your support & feedback good people of TCS...it made all the difference.
post #16 of 19
Just remember, we're not vets and in the end IMO a vet can give you the best advice. Your vet sounds nice, anyway.

Keep us posted.
post #17 of 19
thats excellent news!! You must be so relieved knowing that Dexter will be in good hands with a specialist!
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
He is very nice Sam....I feel that because this is such a serious operation & not very common...I need a specialists opinion about what the latest treatment options are for this disease. I will be referred back to our regular vet after the consult. Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
Just remember Lei, we're not vets and in the end IMO a vet can give you the best advice. Your vet sounds nice, anyway.

Keep us posted.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Susan...I am really pleased & relieved.
How are you doing tonight? What happened today in London is terrible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
thats excellent news!! You must be so relieved knowing that Dexter will be in good hands with a specialist!
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