In the first chapter the reader is guided through performing an exploratory celiotomy. It is important to be able perform a thorough and methodical inspection of the abdomen and take biopsies when appropriate, particularly if the disease process affecting the cat is of an unknown etiology. Some abdominal procedures in the cat are now being performed endoscopically and the equipment required for laparoscopy and how to perform the more routine procedures in this minimally invasive manner is described in the next chapter. The final two chapters in this section cover conditions of the abdominal wall, such as hernias and traumatic ruptures and diseases of the peritoneal cavity.
In the second section of this part of the book, surgical management of diseases affecting the entire gastrointestinal tract is covered. Cats are fastidious eaters and are therefore unlikely to ingest large objects that can cause intestinal obstructions. However, due to their grooming habits and barbed tongue they are more likely to ingest linear foreign bodies such as pieces of string. As this is a relatively common condition and is particularly associated with cats it is described in detail in this section. The commonest surgical condition affecting the large intestine in cats is megacolon and the etiopathogenesis and treatment of this condition is thoroughly described.
In the third section, conditions affecting the liver and spleen, including hepatic shunts, are described. Cats are prone to liver disease and in many cases surgery would not be a first line treatment option but surgical biopsy may be necessary to obtain a specific diagnosis and therefore direct appropriate management. Portosystemic shunts are conditions that can be managed both surgically and medically. The surgical management of portosystemic shunts in cats is covered in detail. In subsequent chapters surgical management of conditions of the pancreas, spleen and adrenal glands is described. Historically adrenal gland surgery in the cat is not a commonly performed technique but with the increasing diagnosis of hyperaldosteronism (Conn syndrome) adrenalectomy may be become more frequent.
In the final section of this part of the book conditions of the genitourinary tract are covered. Cats are frequently affected by urinary conditions, and obstruction of the urinary tract can be life threatening. New developments in the surgical management of this system include placement of stents in both the ureters and the urethra. The final two chapters on the male and female genital tracts include commonplace procedures such as castration and ovariohysterectomy, which are techniques that are often not covered in detail in some surgical texts, along with more complex diseases such as pyometra and uterine torsion.