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Mid-Chest Inflammation in Cats




If your cat has a severe infection, it will require hospitalization. A drainage tube is usually inserted into the lungs and intravenous (IV) fluids will probably be used to balance electrolytes until your cat is able to eat again. And if there is an abscess, surgery will be required.


If there is a foreign body, it will generally be removed with a flexible endoscope and forceps. If the foreign body has smooth edges, a tube with suction may work to get it out. For sharp foreign bodies such as fish hooks, a large tube may be placed over the endoscope to draw the item out without tearing up the esophagus.


If all of these methods fail, the foreign body may be pushed into the stomach where it can move through the digestive tract or be surgically removed. If the foreign object has perforated the esophagus, surgery will also be required. This is the worst possible scenario because the esophagus does not heal very well.


The veterinarian will put the cat on a regimen of antibiotics if it is determined that the infection is bacterial. If the infection is due to a fungus, the animal will be put on antifungal drugs. However, a cat will be on an antibiotics regimen for a relatively short time as compared to antifungal treatment, which may last as long as six months. Antibiotics can also be prescribed after removing the foreign object to prevent infection.


Living and Management


You will need to keep track of the cat's temperature daily. If it is hospitalized, blood tests will be conducted every two to three days, for up to a week. X-rays of the lungs will be taken every seven to ten days.


The antibiotics regimen will usually continue for a week after the blood tests and X-rays find no more infection. And for another four to six weeks if an abscess was found originally.