I’m Sorry, He Swallowed What?!
At some point, everyone has met a pet that will chew on or eat whatever they can find. Most people find it to simply be a nuisance and don’t realize the possible danger their loved one is actually in.No matter what your cat or dog is chewing on (string, rocks, a shoe, etc.) it can become lodged in the intestinal tract and cause a blockage. Intestinal blockages are very serious issues that need to be dealt with right away. Dogs, especially puppies, are at a higher risk of ingesting a foreign body. Cat blockages do still occur and they are most commonly caused my string. Here at Clearbrook Animal Hospital, a cat was brought in with a sewing needle protruding from her esophagus. She was playing with the string attached and managed to swallow the needle.
If you have a furry friend that likes to chew on things they’re not supposed to, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for any symptoms. Typical signs your pet may have a blockage are vomiting, lack of appetite, straining to poop, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
When symptoms start to show, it’s in your fur-baby’s best interest to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Blockages share symptoms with a few other issues, so it’s important to give your veterinarian as much information as possible. X-Rays will be done to confirm the presence of a foreign body and treatment will begin shortly after. Below is an x-ray from the kitty who swallowed the sewing needle:Depending on the severity of the blockage, surgery may be required. If the foreign body is small enough and the veterinarian believes it can be expelled naturally, medications will be given to help move things along. However, surgery is the usual course of action in most situations.
Once the foreign body has been removed, your little buddy will be feeling a whole lot better. You can prevent a blockage by keeping certain things out of your pets reach and by buying toys that are the proper size for them. For pups, make sure you’re giving them toys that are not easily broken down into smaller, more dangerously size pieces. For kitties, ensure there are no long pieces of string or tinsel lying around and pick up and loose feathers that may have fallen off a toy.
As long as you keep an eye on your fluffy friends and their chew toys, everything should be moving along smoothly.
Until next time, Clearbrook Animal Hospital Team
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