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Aleksey’s story

Aleksey (home photo)

Aleksey was lethargic, had a high temperature and wasn’t eating with his usual enthusiasm.

Treatment at his primary care vet helped him to feel a bit better, but Aleksey was still a little out of sorts. X-rays revealed a small amount of fluid around his lungs.

Aleksey was referred to our Emergency + Critical Care team, who fitted him with a chest tube to drain the fluid from his chest cavity (the area between the lungs and the inner walls of the ribs).

X-ray showing pyothorax (pus-like fluid in the chest cavity)

Aleksey was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called pyothorax (where infectious pus builds up in the chest cavity). Sepsis or septic shock occurs in up to 40% of cats diagnosed with pyothorax, so Aleksey’s life was very much at risk.

Penetrating wounds to the chest and its internal structures, spread of lung infection, and foreign body migration (such as a grass seed entering and moving around the body) are the most common causes of pyothorax in cats.

Two weeks before the onset of his lethargy, Aleksey’s carers say he had come into the house seeming a little shaken up and was slightly wet on his side but with no obvious injury.

This suspected chest wound – although not obvious – is likely to be the cause of Aleksey’s pyothorax.

Aleksey in our Cat ICU (Intensive Care Unit)

Aleksey was treated in our Cat Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for one week. He was given intravenous antibiotics, and his chest was regularly drained. Flushing of the cavity with fluids (a method known as lavage) also played a vital part in Aleksey’s treatment.

Over the duration of his stay, the fluid drained from Aleksey’s chest gradually reduced in volume and improved in appearance. After a week in the ICU, we were delighted to be able to discharge him.

Aleksey’s carers took him home with a course of oral antibiotics and strict instructions to keep Aleksey inside until he’s fully recovered. Look at this adorable video; Aleksey was apparently very happy to be home in his basket!


He did fantastically, and we were so happy to hear the below update from Aleksey’s carer:

“Aleksey is doing very well. He is recovering day by day and is pretty much back to his old self. We are all so glad to have him back, he is a very big and affectionate character, who really loves his cuddle time. He is enjoying being spoiled, with extra treats, and we had our first walk in the woods with his sister Katya, yesterday. She missed him terribly.

We are very lucky that we live in a rural area and our back garden leads into the woods. The cats love to be in the garden with us and go off into the woods exploring and climbing trees. They both like to come for a walk most mornings, and run to the gate like a pair of dogs, we go for about 20-30 minutes and they walk with me with the occasional sprint up a tree. They are both lovely affectionate cats; Aleksey is a special friend we have quite a bond.”


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Take care,

Team Ralph

2 replies to “Aleksey’s story”

  1. Jue says:

    I’ve just come across Aleksey’s story after continuing my search for information on Pyothorax. My own little cat Eddie has been fighting this horrendous condition for the past two months and has had the same treatment as Aleksey. He is due to finally come off his antibiotics this week. I’m feeling quite anxious as you can imagine. It’s so good to see how well Aleksey has come through it. I’m thrilled that he’s home with his family and has made a full recovery ❤️ Stay safe beautiful boy x

    • Zoe Tridgell says:

      Hi Jue, we’re glad that Alexsey’s story has provided you with some comfort and hope that your boy’s recovery goes well. Sending you lots of wishes, Team Ralph

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