Leo, and his sister, Luna were found abandoned at just a few weeks old before they were rescued and taken to Loving Hands Kitten Rescue in Olympia, WA. Leo and Luna shared a very strong bond and were inseparable, so they were adopted together to a wonderful forever home. Recently, Leo, who is an 11-month old kitten now, presented to our emergency department in respiratory distress. He was quickly brought to our intensive care unit for treatment and diagnostics. An ultrasound was performed to visualize his chest cavity and we discovered Leo had a pyothorax, which is an infection within the chest cavity. The infection was causing fluid to accumulate in Leo’s chest, which was preventing his lungs from fully expanding. In order to relieve the pressure from this fluid, so Leo could start breathing normally again, a chest tube was placed under anesthesia on the left and right side of his chest to drain the fluid around his lungs. This procedure is called a thoracentesis.

Leo’s drains were sutured in his chest was covered with a body stockinette so that the tubes could remain in place. This would allow us to drain any further fluid accumulation without having to put Leo under anesthesia again. The fluid that was obtained from the thoracentesis was evaluated by our emergency veterinarian to confirm it was an infection, then submitted for testing to see what type of infection Leo had and determine what type of antibiotics it would be most susceptible to.

Leo’s breathing was drastically improved after the fluid was removed from his chest. He stayed with us for 6 days on antibiotics and pain medication until he was recovered enough for his chest tubes to be removed and for him to go home. We are happy to report that Leo’s loving family contacted us to let us know that he has completely recovered and is back to playing with his sister, Luna, chasing bugs, climbing trees and lounging in the shade. Leo may be a sweet orange tabby, but while he was with us, he was a brave little lion.

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