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Oki’s favorite spot is atop the shoulders of one of her owners, UC Davis’ Dr. Karl Jandrey.

VMTH "Case of the Month" - February 2014

Oki, an 8-year-old Burmese cat, whose usual personality focused on cuddling up to her owners—especially on their shoulders—and interacting regularly with house guests, was not acting like herself. She was having difficulty passing urine. Her owners, both UC Davis veterinarians, brought her to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Service, where she was diagnosed with kidney failure and an obstruction in her right ureter (the tube that takes urine from the kidney to the bladder) from a birth defect.

Oki spent four days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and her condition was treated with medications. She was able to return home, but her ureteral obstruction remained. Seven months later, Oki’s condition worsened, and she returned to the VMTH’s ICU. After a week in the ICU, her condition stabilized with medications, but the emergency specialists knew that the obstruction was causing kidney failure and something more needed to be done.

It was decided that Oki should undergo surgery with the VMTH’s Soft Tissue Surgery Service to have the obstruction relieved. Due to the type of obstruction, a technique known as a “subcutaneous ureteral bypass” was chosen. This procedure creates a new “ureter” with specialized synthetic tubing to connect the kidney to the bladder, resulting in the bypassing of the native ureter. While this is a relatively new technique, it shows tremendous promise for treating cats with ureteral obstructions.

Oki’s procedure was a success and she has steadily improved. Her blood work is now normal, and she is feeling like herself again, back in her favorite spot on her owner’s shoulders.

About the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis—a unit of the School of Veterinary Medicine—provides state-of-the-art clinical care while serving as the primary clinical teaching experience for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. The VMTH treats more than 45,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows and exotic species. To learn more about the VMTH, please go to Timely news updates can be received on its Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer