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Persistent Right Aortic Arch

Trish Allearz

Moderator
Okay, so this isn't so much about health care, per se, but about a health condition...

About 18 months ago, I had a kitten born that was apparently healthy and thriving up until 5 weeks of age when I began to wean the litter. At this point in time, she began to vomit any solids she attempted to eat and obviously quit thriving.

With the help of my wonderful vet, we diagnosed her condition as Persistent Right Aortic Arch through a barium swallow series of xrays. This condition exists due to a failure of the Aortic Arch, which is found in embryonic development, to fall away like it does in normal development. Instead, it restricts the esophagus and therefore causes issues with solids going down.

We busted our butts to get surgery for Neala and with the help of people near and far through the internet, we managed to afford her surgery. Locally- it was quoted at $5000. Since then, I have found vets throughout the country seem to range from about $2500-$5000 for this surgery. It is a very delicate surgery since it involves the heart- so it is understandable that the price is so very high. Neala had her surgery at barely one pound of weight- survived the surgery- and would be alive today except the vet hospital did not feed her the appropriate post-operative diet (after surgery- they MUST be fed a slurry of food- so basically liquid- until the esophagus has time to heal).

IF you have a kitten with PRAA- the symptoms typically will start exhibiting themselves as soon as the kitten begins to wean. The kitten will regurgitate its food almost immediately after eating and oftentimes, they will eat the regurgitated food over and over until it stays down. The risk of leaving a kitten with PRAA is that the kitten will eventually aspirate upon its regurgitated food and develop pneumonia. It will become a vicious cycle without surgery.

Although we lost our precious Neala, we HIGHLY recommend this surgery for others facing PRAA. While the surgery is expensive, in the hands of an experienced vet, kittens can and DO survive this surgery. PRAA is pretty rare in kittens, but we have made it our mission to help others who face this issue.

You can read more about Neala, view her pictures, and read her story here:

http://www.nealagottahavefaith.blogspot.com/
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
Thank you so much trish, for posting about PRAA... it is important to make as much info available as possible as these conditions affect all cats!
 

Trish Allearz

Moderator
Thanks, Paige- I totally agree.

I wanted to add- in the most severe forms of PRAA- symptoms can even show up in a nursing kitten. I HAVE heard of this happening.
 

Kiangagirl

Savannah Super Cat
Okay, so this isn't so much about health care, per se, but about a health condition...

About 18 months ago, I had a kitten born that was apparently healthy and thriving up until 5 weeks of age when I began to wean the litter. At this point in time, she began to vomit any solids she attempted to eat and obviously quit thriving.

With the help of my wonderful vet, we diagnosed her condition as Persistent Right Aortic Arch through a barium swallow series of xrays. This condition exists due to a failure of the Aortic Arch, which is found in embryonic development, to fall away like it does in normal development. Instead, it restricts the esophagus and therefore causes issues with solids going down.

We busted our butts to get surgery for Neala and with the help of people near and far through the internet, we managed to afford her surgery. Locally- it was quoted at $5000. Since then, I have found vets throughout the country seem to range from about $2500-$5000 for this surgery. It is a very delicate surgery since it involves the heart- so it is understandable that the price is so very high. Neala had her surgery at barely one pound of weight- survived the surgery- and would be alive today except the vet hospital did not feed her the appropriate post-operative diet (after surgery- they MUST be fed a slurry of food- so basically liquid- until the esophagus has time to heal).

IF you have a kitten with PRAA- the symptoms typically will start exhibiting themselves as soon as the kitten begins to wean. The kitten will regurgitate its food almost immediately after eating and oftentimes, they will eat the regurgitated food over and over until it stays down. The risk of leaving a kitten with PRAA is that the kitten will eventually aspirate upon its regurgitated food and develop pneumonia. It will become a vicious cycle without surgery.

Although we lost our precious Neala, we HIGHLY recommend this surgery for others facing PRAA. While the surgery is expensive, in the hands of an experienced vet, kittens can and DO survive this surgery. PRAA is pretty rare in kittens, but we have made it our mission to help others who face this issue.

You can read more about Neala, view her pictures, and read her story here:

http://www.nealagottahavefaith.blogspot.com/
OMG you're scaring me to death. One of my F2 kittens is doing exactly that--he is seven weeks old and I have been feeding them canned food mixed with milk replacer and Royal Canin Baby Cat kibble. In the last couple of days I have drastically cut down the amount of canned food to encourage them to eat more of the kibble---BTW I also am providing them with Wilderness kitten kibble also. I saw him vomit a time or two before, but now he is doing it often and just since I started being firm about them eating more dry food.
What kind of test is required to diagnose this condition?
 

Kiangagirl

Savannah Super Cat
Get a barium swallow done on him. You can see Neala's xrays from her barium swallow here...

http://praakitten.homestead.com/PRAA.html
I took him to my vet today---she said to keep a journal on him for the next several days and then we will decide whether to do a barium xray. I was encouraged this evening when I got him home--he has eaten two meals this evening and I haven't seen any vomiting.
I just happened to read an article in Cat Fancy while at the vet's office. Apparently some cats are just sensitive to dry kibble or a certain brand of dry kibble. My kitten may be one of them because tonight I just gave him canned food, no kibble and so far no more throwing up. I'll keep everyone posted. And thanks everyone for the input.
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
Trish, this is wonderful information to share, though I am very sorry it happened to you personally :( I had never heard of this condition before, so your sharing is not only informative, but heartfelt. Thank you!
 
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