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Friday, March 9, 2012

Linear foreign body in a cat. Corps étranger linéaire chez un chat domestique.

The diagnosis was simple. A lovely, older, intelligent lady who's a nurse, came in with her son and their sick pet. The cat had very recently swallowed some string or yarn, while the owners noted that the cat had vomited up a large piece of string, had bitten off the portion that was brought up, and then swallowed the remainder of it once again.
Regular x-rays demonstrated plication (or folding) of many portions of the small intestine along with pearly gas pockets often seen on x-rays when the pet has a linear foreign body (rope, string, yarn, etc).
The owner called her old fashioned husband who declined to have us perform the life-saving surgery required in this case. They cried, took the cat home, and promised to work on Dad. The cat was sadly discharged with pain medication and the owners were advised that a decision would have to be made by the following morning, lest the poor cat suffer a long, painful death (and remember, veterinarians - in Ontario at least - are obligated to report cruelty and/or suffering, this obligation was firmly planted in my mind should they not return within 24 hrs with some sort of decision.
Happily, the owners called me within ten minutes of arriving home and pleaded, "Can we come back for the surgery right now?" The clinic would be open for less than three more hours... "Of course," I replied.
Surgery was performed by my boss. Pictures speak louder than words:

A portion of the small intestine of said cat with intestine completely plicated like an accordion. This is a typical finding in linear foreign body obstruction cases. The string was found in the entire GI tract, from the stomach all the way down to the colon. The tissue was healthy and bowel resection was not necessary. This cat, as all pets often do, made a remarkable recovery.

4 comments:

Niki said...

hi. This comment is not at all related to this article (or any others I've found so far!) but I thought this might be an effective way of posting a question. We have 2 beagles; one was sick for several days last week with diarrhea, and now the second seems to be going through the exact same thing. I obviously don't expect any kind of specific advice or diagnosis, but we were wondering if you knew of some kind of outbreak in Toronto lately. We went to buy some diarrhea-stopping medicine at Global and they were all sold out, which made me think maybe it's not just our dogs getting sick.

Thank you in advance!!!

TorontoVet said...

At the time you left the comment, I was treating two dogs that had to be hospitalized for several days for the most severe cases of gastroenteritis I've ever seen. That said, I haven't seen any since. I hope your guys/gals are doing well!

Veterinarian philadelphia said...

Great blog.I never read such interesting and full of information blog.thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

1) question (months after your post!) (am assuming you get posting alerts frequently)
who do you report animal cruelty to? what is most reported ?
does this happen often? and what is the usual outcome?

2) now that it's July and we have had incredibly hot weather, would it be an overworked discussion to post something on leaving your companion pet in a vehicle? How do you educate pet owners and do you bring this topic up more frequently -especially-(sorry to say)since the media has been interested?

3) July 3rd- i read that over 30 dogs have died of parvo in Wisconsin how horrible

I am now following your blog again -i umm.... took a sabbatical for awhile:(
(PC crashed & lost EVERYTHING)

oh, re: the linear foreign body in the cat, now i understand my obsession in picking up thread/string/even shoelaces with a focus that irritates my family. I will show them this photo-
I really, really like the visual (learn/understand better)