They say it’s who you know.
Oki’s familial connections—the 8-year-old Burmese cat is owned by two veterinarians employed at the University of California, Davis—certainly didn’t hurt when her kidneys began to fail.
Diagnosed with an obstruction in her right ureter—the result of a birth defect—Oki underwent subcutaneous ureteral bypass surgery at UC Davis’ William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
The procedure is relatively new, having been performed in the past year at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts and at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The technique involves creating a new ureter out of tubing to connect the kidney to the bladder and bypass the original ureter.
The surgery, performed by UC Davis’ soft tissue surgery service, undoubtedly saved the cat’s life, as medications provided only temporary relief and her condition continued to worsen.
Oki’s surgery was a success and she has steadily improved.
This new technique, which was featured in February as UC Davis’ Case of the Month, holds tremendous promise for cats with ureter issues, according to a School of Veterinary Medicine spokesman.