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J Vet Intern Med. 2019 Sep;33(5):1970-1976. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15583. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

Clinical findings, diagnostic test results, and treatment outcome in cats with hiatal hernia: 31 cases (1995-2018).

Author information

1
Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
2
Section of Surgery, Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
4
Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
5
Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
6
Department of Veterinary Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, California.
7
Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Information regarding clinical signs, assessment, treatment, and outcome in cats with hiatal hernia (HH) is limited.

OBJECTIVES:

To characterize the clinical presentation of HH and medical and surgical outcomes in a cohort of affected cats.

ANIMALS:

Thirty-one client-owned cats with HH.

METHODS:

Medical records of cats with HH were retrospectively reviewed for signalment, history, results of diagnostic tests, details of surgical and medical treatments, complications, and outcome. Long-term follow-up data were obtained by telephone communication. Relationships between clinical variables and outcome were evaluated by regression analysis.

RESULTS:

Type I HH was present in 85.7% (24/28) of cats, and 64.5% (20/31) were >3 years of age at diagnosis. Twenty-one of 31 (67.7%) cats underwent surgical repair including phrenoplasty, esophagopexy, and left-sided gastropexy, and 10 of 31 cats were treated medically without surgery. Concurrent illness was common, and 77.4% cats had comorbidities. All cats survived to discharge, and median time to death or follow-up was 959 days (range, 3-4015 days). Cats treated medically survived longer than cats treated surgically, with median time to death or follow-up of 2559 and 771 days, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

Type I HH is the most common type of HH in cats. A congenital etiology is possible, but many cats with HH were >3 years of age at diagnosis and suffered from comorbidities, including upper airway obstruction. Case selection and the presence of comorbidities likely influenced the outcome. Cats with HH may not be diagnosed until disease is advanced or concurrent illness draws attention to clinical signs.

KEYWORDS:

esophagopexy; gastroesophageal junction; gastropexy; phrenoplasty; reflux esophagitis

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