Abnormal Diaphragm Opening in Cats

Diaphragmatic hernias commonly occur when abdominal organs i.e., stomach, intestine, liver, etc. moves into an abnormal opening in the cat’s diaphragm. It is the sheet of muscle separating the abdomen from the rib cage area. This phenomenon can occur because of an acquired injury from the forceful blow, such as an accident or because of a defect during birth (congenital). This type of disease or condition is described in today’s article can affect both cats and dogs. So, the following is the full detail of Abnormal Diaphragm Opening with its symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Abnormal Diaphragm Opening in Cats – Symptoms, Diagnoses, and Treatment

Abnormal Diaphragm Opening in Cats

Symptoms and Types

The signs of a diaphragmatic hernia include irregular heartbeat, symptoms of shock, and labored breathing, especially after the forceful blow. In this case, the abdomen may scurry i.e., palpitate or fell empty. The reactions of such disease may cause vomiting, bloating, or diarrhea can also occur because of damage to the bowel or stomach.

In congenital cases, the symptoms of the diseases may not be evident immediately. One may observe gradual symptoms, which include muffled heart sounds or heart murmurs, double breathing, and abdominal defects. The signs may occur suddenly with damage to the bowel, liver, or spleen.


Commonly, Abnormal Diaphragm Opening is caused by the trauma such as being hit by car, bike, or other forceful blow. Therefore, diaphragmatic hernias occur most frequently with roaming outdoor cats. Such an impact causes a rupture in the cat’s diaphragm, allowing other internal organs to protrude through the rip.

The main reason behind the congenital diaphragmatic hernias is not known, although certain breeds are more likely to develop this abnormality. Some breeds may be predisposed. Himalayan cats, in particular, shows a higher number of such diseases. Other congenital disabilities may be evident in the cats born with a diaphragmatic hernia, and this condition may cause further issues, including rib fractures, impaired lung expansion, and organ failure.


The most useful diagnostic test, in this case, is by using X-rays (radiographs) that reveal inner abnormalities present in cats. If someone finds it insufficient, then further imaging processes like ultrasounds can prove helpful.

Other symptoms can also appear to be caused by a diaphragmatic hernia, including the gathering of excess liquid in the space around the lungs or abnormally fast breathing due to any other causes.

Treatment and Care

For trauma-induced diaphragmatic hernias, the cat must be treated for shock, and breathing and heart rate must be stabilized before going into surgery. The surgery must repair damaged organs and the tear in the diaphragm. The cat must be stable before surgery beings.

For congenital diaphragm opening, surgery should be performed as soon as possible to avoid further damage in the animal’s internal organs. Again, the breathing and heart rate must be stabilized before surgery. Drugs can also be used to maintain the heart rate.

Living and Management

After the surgery is completed, there are secondary problems that look out for. It is advisable to accurately monitor the heart rate with an electrocardiograph to find out any irregular heartbeat.

The hyperthermia or increase in body temperature is very common in cats after surgery. Another problem that may pop up is swelling or fluid accumulation in the lungs (pulmonary edema). Mostly cats survive when surgery is successful, and all the secondary effects are being controlled. Older cats having trauma-induced hernias are less likely to survive the surgery.


There is no method to prevent congenital Abnormal Diaphragm Opening, although it is recommended to operate as soon as possible. To avoid any traumatic experiences that may cause diaphragmatic hernias, it is best to keep pets away from potentially dangerous areas, like streets where the chances of car accidents are high.


In the end, the experts of Pets Trouble would like to say that the Abnormal Diaphragm Opening in Cats is a dangerous disease, and owners should not ignore it. The symptoms have been mentioned above, and one should see if any cat in their surroundings is facing such issues. If you have any tips and suggestions regarding the Abnormal Diaphragm Opening, you are free to share your views or experiences in the comment section given below.

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