Kitten Undergoes an Emergency Open-Chest Surgery and Proves to Be a Warrior


Our feline friends can sometimes face health challenges so daunting that they require major surgeries. It’s in these moments that their incredible resilience and zest for life shine through. Take Piglet, a tuxedo kitten, for example.

Piglet’s Journey Begins

Piglet’s journey began when he arrived at the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his mom and siblings. They were quickly placed in foster care to prepare for their future homes.

Sadly, not everything was going according to plan for little Piglet. Thanks to an observant foster volunteer, Piglet was saved just in time.

Health Scare and Diagnosis

The foster volunteer noticed Piglet would inhale milk into his lungs while nursing, causing him to vomit after every meal. Upon detailed examination, Piglet was diagnosed with megaesophagus.

According to Pet MD, megaesophagus is a condition characterized by the dilation of the esophagus (the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach), which results in the muscles’ inability to properly move liquid and food into the stomach.

Escalating Complications

Complications grew as Piglet began struggling to breathe and became lethargic. His foster parent rushed him to the emergency vet clinic, hoping for some help.

A CT scan revealed Piglet had a persistent right aortic arch, a congenital condition that constricts the esophagus. Best Friends vet, Dr. Megan McCarthy, explained:

“Food could not travel to the stomach as it usually would. He was in dire need of surgery to correct that.”

Life-Saving Surgery

To save Piglet, he had to undergo emergency open-chest surgery. Despite concerns from his caretakers about his young age and small size, this little warrior defied the odds and pulled through.

After the surgery, Piglet returned to his foster home to continue his journey to recovery, but that road wasn’t filled with roses.

Post-Surgery Challenges

Piglet had a very specific post-surgery protocol, including wearing a sweater to protect the sutures and being fed in an upright position, remaining so for 30 minutes after a meal.

Obviously, that wasn’t the easiest task for a young cat who can’t keep still for a longer period of time.

Fortunately, his foster parents were very patient, creative, and determined to help him. They found inventive ways to elevate Piglet’s food bowl and keep him still for 30 minutes after the meal.

A Triumph of Spirit

Thanks to their efforts, Piglet began to eat normally within weeks, showcasing his indomitable spirit. Dr. Megan was overjoyed:

“We’re very happy that he survived, and we’re so glad we could get him the help that he needed.”

A Forever Home

After enduring so much, finding a forever home was the easiest thing for Piglet. He quickly captured the heart of a loving family, who couldn’t wait to shower him with all the love and attention.

Besides the loving family, he also got a feline sister, an orange kitty named Starling, with whom he instantly bonded.

A Happy Ending

This brave kitty survived against all odds, and now, he’s thriving in his new home, ready to live a beautiful and easygoing life with the ones he loves the most!

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