The Veterinary Centre

Henley and Twyford

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Case Notes: Pandora: Polecat with Pyothorax
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Pandora was brought to us because she had laboured, wheezy respiration and was losing weight. We suspected that she had a respiratory infection and we prescribed antibiotics.

She was seen again the following day. Pandora's owner was having trouble in getting her to take the antibiotics. She was also quite depressed and reluctant to eat. Injections of antiobiotics were administered over the next couple of days.

When we next saw Pandora there was no change in her condition. She still had laboured respiration and was not happy. Pandora was admitted for a chest xray and this revealed a generalised fluid / soft tissue density within her chest. Under sedation we were able to place a needle into her chest cavity and remove 30mls of pus and fluid from it. This indicated that Pandora had a condition called a Pyothorax – pus in the chest cavity.

Under anaesthetic we placed a drain into Pandora's chest. This allowed us to remove the accumulation of pus, flush her chest cavity with sterile saline and instill antibiotics directly. The drain had to be sutured in place and, because polecats can be quite canny with their stitches, we wrapped her up in an entire body bandage. The drain stayed in place for 5 days and was then removed.

Pandora was lovely to nurse, very friendly and didn't attempt to bite us at all. She was very good about having her drain flushed and with us giving her all her medications. When we were sure that Pandora was ok following the removal of the drain she was sent home. She had to wear her groovy coats for a few days to make sure she wouldn't chew at the stiches but these didn't seem to bother her.

We have seen Pandora back at the surgery since going home and she is doing very well. She is much like her old self, is eating well and her breathing is almost back to normal.

The best thing about Pandora though is that she is insured! Her owner doesn't have to worry about the bill at all!


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Henley Vets and Twyford Vets
The Veterinary Centre: 271 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1EL - Phone 01491 574490
Also at Twycombe Lodge, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, RG10 9JA - Phone 0118 934 0259