Monthly Archives: May 2016


Surgery Patient of the Month-May-Enucleation

“Kitty Wap”, is an adorable and friendly kitten that was found living among a colony of other stray cats. A Good Samaritan brought Kitty Wap to West Hills because they noticed she had significant swelling and discharge from her right eye.

Dr. Dominguez evaluated Kitty Wap and diagnosed her with an abscessed wound surrounding the right side of her face. The wound was so severe she actually had fly larvae (maggots) growing within the affected tissue.

Kitty Wap was anesthetized and Dr. Dominguez treated the abscess with an initial surgery to remove as much infected tissue as possible.

Kitty Wap’s care was transferred to our ACVS Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. Marc Hirshenson. Dr. Hirshenson recommended enucleation (removal) of her severely damaged and blind right eye as well as more aggressive cleaning of the wound along her face. Given the extensiveness of trauma, Dr. Hirshenson felt that removal of the eye and wound treatment was the proper initial step, followed by full facial reconstruction surgery once the infection was under control

The enucleation surgery was without complication and Kitty Wap recovered without a hitch. For the next several weeks, the staff at West Hills dedicated much time and love towards caring for Kitty Wap and her open wounds, which reached all the way down to her skull! This time was necessary in order to make the existing skin and connective tissue along her face healthy enough to support further reconstruction.Bandage

After nearly 3 weeks of wound treatment Kitty Wap was taken to surgery again, where reconstruction was performed using a flap of skin from her neck to close the open wound on her face.

Reconstructive surgery using skin flaps is a very delicate procedure, requiring expertise and experience as afforded by veterinary surgical specialists. Inappropriate post-operative wound care can lead to breakdown of the site or infection; therefore patients will experience numerous bandage changes during the course of healing. Additionally, careful attention to incision care is of utmost priority as the tissue is fragile and requires time to regrow blood vessels and nerves during reattachment. Kitty Wap was actually hospitalized during the time her face healed to minimize her chance for complications.

While hair growth in the areas of her skin flap is a bit patchy, Kitty Wap’s face is currently completely healed and she is a currently loving life as a gorgeous, healthy, and happy one-eyed kitten!After surgery

For a full photo diary of Kitty Wap’s journey, please visit our facebook page. WARNING- some of the pictures may be graphic.