Seamless cooperation between a primary care practice and a leading veterinary referral centre has ensured a great outcome for a young Burmese cat who needed emergency surgery for severe urethral damage.

Parsnip, a nine-month-old Burmese kitten, was seen by Boundary Vets in Abington in September. His owner was very worried as Parsnip had suddenly become very lethargic and disinterested in his food and appeared to be in considerable pain when urinating.

Boundary’s clinical director and veterinary surgeon, Anna Sacewicz carefully examined Parsnip and noticed that his abdomen was very painful. Blood tests and scans showed that the distressed cat may have experienced a urinary tract injury and Anna suspected that he had ruptured his bladder or urethra.

“We took him into surgery which confirmed an extensive rupture of the junction between bladder and urethra, with urine leaking into the abdomen,” said Anna. “As the injuries were severe, we realised we would need urgent support from a surgical Specialist, so we contacted Davies Veterinary Specialists for help.”

Both Boundary and Davies are part of Linnaeus, one of the UK’s largest veterinary groups.

Parsnip was rushed to Davies’ extensive multi-disciplinary veterinary hospital in Hertfordshire for specialist surgery, undertaken by RCVS and EBVS® European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery Javier Rincon Alvarez and surgical resident Rufus Hammerton.

“We found a circumferential urethral tear which had separated the cranial urethra from the attachment to the bladder,” said Rufus. “We repaired the tear (hand sutured anastomosis) and a cystostomy tube was placed to keep the bladder empty during recovery in hospital.”

“Urethras in cats are small and thin structures, making surgery challenging. Extremely careful dissection, suture pre-placement and maintenance of lumen patency by introducing a urinary catheter from the bladder were key for the success of the surgery,” said Javier.

Parsnip was discharged once the cystostomy tube was removed seven days after the surgery and his owners followed careful instructions for his continued care at home. Parsnip is now fully recovered and back to being the adventurous young cat he was before the injury.

“The level of service from both Boundary and Davies vets cannot be faulted,” said Parsnip’s owner Carl Fabian-Hunt.  “Boundary arranged the referral of Parsnip late on a Friday and then drove him all the way to Davies despite it being out of hours.  Davies operated immediately, and it was such a relief to get the call from Davies at 1am the next morning with the first piece of good news after a whole day of steadily more alarming and worsening diagnosis from Boundary as they worked through their tests.  Both vets kept us fully informed at all times.  The daily calls from Davies during Parsnip's recovery in hospital were particularly appreciated.  He is now back to his playful self.”

“Bladder neck avulsion is a relatively rare injury which occurs after trauma to the abdomen or pelvis,” said Javier. “Rapid identification of the injury, placement of a temporary cystostomy tube and referral to Davies by Parsnip’s primary care veterinary surgeon Anna Sacewiczwas crucial for the positive outcome for him.”

To find out more about Davies Veterinary Specialists, visit

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