A kitten has made a miraculous recovery after having surgery to remove a kidney which had swollen to the size of a grapefruit and a fifth of his body weight.
The cat, Blu, had a kidney that had grown so big it was compressing the other organs and poking out of his abdomen.
The eight-month old Russian Blue kitten was taken to the vet after owners Keir Walker, 25, and Beth Nixon, 23 became worried when he was vomiting and refused to eat.
Veterinary surgeon Cat Piggott, from White Cross Vets in Middlesborough, said: “Something could be seen poking out of his abdomen and I thought he had a blocked bladder or stomach because his owners mentioned they’d caught him eating polystyrene.
“Blu needed an X-ray and ultrasound to help find a diagnosis, unfortunately, all the normal organs were compressed by the abnormal structure, and his entire abdomen seemed to be filled by the mass.”
Blu’s blood tests were “remarkably normal” for such a sick cat, she said, but they were suspicious of something wrong with his bladder.
“It was obvious that we needed to act fast and operate on Blu as he was so sick.”
During the surgery, vets found that the kitten’s kidney had swollen to the size of a small grapefruit.
“We needed to remove it immediately and we had to work quickly as we were fighting hypothermia during the anaesthetic due to his small size,” she said.
“The other kidney and bladder appeared totally normal, so we stitched him up and worked on warming him during recovery.
“He loved us wrapping him up in jumpers with heat pads, and he recovered surprisingly quickly.”
Cat’s kidneys remove toxins, maintain their blood pressure and help to produce hormones for new red blood cells.
Mr Walker said although he was nervous about he operation, he was “delighted at the outcome”.
He said: “He might have lost one of his nine lives but we’re glad he’s much better now, back to climbing everything and being active.
“We love him so much and are very grateful to Cat and the team at White Cross Vets for saving his life.”