Backward-boned kitten is saved by vet

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Alfreton vets have successfully operated on a young kitten to correct a very rare deformity of its breastbone.

The operation was carried out at Alfreton Park Veterinary Hospital on King Street.

Albie, a domestic shorthaired cat, was born with his breastbone curving inwards towards his backbone, which was effectively dividing his chest in two. He wasn’t growing properly, and at 12 weeks of age was only a third the size of his brother. He tired very quickly and found any exercise very difficult. Alfreton vets x-rayed his chest to confirm the problem. The heart was at the front of the curve, and his lungs were behind it, making it really hard for him to breathe.

Vet Babs Ingram said: “My husband Matt operated and managed to straighten his breastbone, and splinted it into its correct position. You go in through the skin of the chest and try and hook the breastbone and and anchor it to a lollipop-like stick. You need to operate when the cat is quite young and when the bone is still flexible. It was all a bit hair-raising because the heart is on the other side. Matt did brilliantly well.” Babs says that Albie sailed through the surgery, and has made an excellent recovery since the operation in April. She added: “Albie has gone from strength to strength since then and is playing and a happy normal kitten!”