Surgery remains the only treatment option for repairing this deformity. However, if the disease is mild and your cat only has a flat chest, then it may be improved without surgery. In such cases, your veterinarian will instruct you in manually compressing the chest in such a way that will encourage the sternum and costal cartilages to take on a more convex shape. In some patients, a splint application will work to reduce the mild defects. However, in cases of moderate or severe inward sinking of the sternum, surgery is indicated for correction of the defects. The technique used by your veterinary surgeon will depend on your cat's age and the extent of the problem. Patients with respiratory problems that are directly related to this condition generally improve substantially after surgery and will start breathing comfortably.
Living and Management
Prognosis is very poor for severely affected patients, but a timely intervention and reparation at an early age may help improve the prognosis. Follow your doctor's guidelines for physical therapy at home if your cat has a mild form of the condition.
After surgery, your cat may feel sore and will need proper rest in a quiet place, away from other pets and active children. You might consider cage rest for a short time, until your cat can safely move about again without overexertion. Your veterinarian will also prescribe a short course of pain killers until your cat has fully recovered, along with a mild course of antibiotics, to prevent any opportunistic bacteria from attacking your cat. Medications will need to be given precisely as directed, at the proper dosage and frequency. Keep in mind that over dosage of pain medications is one of the most preventable causes for death in household animals.
To make the recovery period easier for your cat, place a litter box close to where your cat is resting so that it does not need to make a lot of effort, and the feeding dishes as well. While you will want to give your cat as much peace as possible, you will need to check in on your cat frequently, observing its breathing pattern and rate. If you see any abnormality in your cat's breathing, in the movement of its chest, or in its behavior, immediately call your veterinarian.
Image: mtr via Shutterstock
Pertaining to the chest
A space in the chest that holds the ribs, heart, and lungs; the chest cavity
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
The word for the bone at the front of the rib cage; may also be referred to as the breast bone.
A type of instrument that is used to affix parts of the body that might normally move; used to promote healing.
The ability to create a disease where a disease might not normally be found, usually due to an ill timed or unlikely weakness
The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance
Anything that looks different from what is considered to be normal and healthy for that species