A hernia, in case you don't know, is where some part of your inside organs start poking out through a hole in the muscle wall that is supposed to hold everything together inside your body. There are lots of kinds of hernias, and you can get them in lots of different ways. One way to get a hernia is by lifting something heavy and making a rip in your abdominal wall, and then your guts start kind of squishing out through the hole. Usually, a hernia needs to be fixed because if your insides get stuck partway through the hole, they can get strangulated, and then very bad things will happen, including you might even die.
We think Jeeves got his hernia because Aunt Linda ran over him by mistake a few months ago. She was driving really, really slowly on her driveway, so that she would not run over any cats, but then she heard one screeching, so she pulled forward and got out to see if she had killed a cat or what. And Jeeves came out from under the car, and he was limping a whole bunch with his back leg. So Aunt Linda kept him inside for a few days, and he got better and stopped limping. After which, she thought he was fine. And when Mom saw him, she also thought he was fine, because he didn't walk funny or anything.
|A dog with a really, really big hernia|
Anyway, Mom took the kittens back to the shelter on Wednesday, and Dr. Regan looked at Jeeves, and she said he definitely had a hernia, and she said she didn't do hernia surgery because it was tricky, and sometimes the repair didn't hold together. But then Aunt Tania and Mom talked to Dr. Regan for a while, and finally she said she would try to do the surgery, but she couldn't promise that it would work.
So yesterday Mom took Jeeves there to get the surgery done, and she got to watch Dr. Regan do it, because she is used to watching Dr. Regan do spays and neuters, which is mostly the only kind of surgery that she does. Except one time Dr. Regan and Dr. Beth amputated a cat's leg, and Mom said that was kind of icky to watch. Oh, and another time Dr. Michelle took out a dog's eyeball. Ewwww!
|A hernia in a human|
Dr. Regan had to go very carefully and slowly to do the hernia surgery because Jeeves' body had tried to repair itself by growing some new blood vessels and tissue over the place where the intestines were sticking out through the rip in the muscle wall. You couldn't even see his intestines at all because they were under all the new stuff that grew there. But Dr. Regan wasn't trying to find Jeeves' intestines. What she wanted to do was find all the edges of the hole so that she could sew it up. And after a while, she found the original hole and then she pushed everything back inside and sewed the hole shut.
|Jeeves' hernia looked sort of like this one,|
but lots smaller, because he is a kitten and not a human.
We hope that this will solve the problem, even though Jeeves will probably still have a little bit of a bulge. Dr. Regan is worried that Jeeves might have some problems with his bladder later on because his bladder was also sort of involved as part of the hernia. She said it would be better to wait until he is older before finding him a new home because it's important to make sure his bladder is working okay.
When Mom brought Jeeves home, he was still kind of out of it, and he just sat in his cage like he didn't know where he was or what the heck happened to him. But later he started acting more perky, and he tried to climb out of his cage, and Mom took him out and held him for a little while. Jeeves has a really long incision, and a whole bunch of hair got shaved off his tummy. Mom gave Jeeves a crate of his very own so that he wouldn't start trying to play with his sisters and hurt himself. Maybe in a week or so, Jeeves can move back in with the girl kittens.
|Hey! Let me out of here!|
Oh, and do you know what? I have a hernia, too! My hernia is called an umbilical hernia, and it's right where my belly button is. I've had it my whole life, but it's not very big, and it doesn't bother me, so I don't have to get hernia surgery like poor little Jeeves did.