June 24, 2015 Emergency

George, the Notorious Toy-Eating Cat

George, the Notorious Toy-Eating Cat

During the day, The Animal Medical Center buzzes with activity. Patients coming and going. Pets being anesthetized and recovered after surgical procedures. Consultations happening in our 20 examination rooms. Things do quiet down at night, but if a sick pet needs us, were are here 24/7 for urgent interventions. Last night was one of those nights. Nine patients were admitted overnight; one, George the cat, needed an emergency procedure, a toy-ectomy.

George’s family suspected there might be something stuck in their cat. Previously, he had surgery to remove a gastric foreign body and he had now been vomiting for the past two days. The ER veterinarians suspected the same. All the vomiting and loss of stomach acid in the vomit, madeEndoscopy Image of George George’s blood pH alkaline.  Because George is a round cat, the ER veterinarians could not feel anything stuck in him, but the x-ray revealed a spiny object in the stomach’s outflow tract.

Dr. Sylvia Lesnikowski, the on-call veterinarian for endoscopy that evening, started working to remove the object just shortly after 10 pm. Although AMC veterinarians use endoscopy to obtain biopsies and remove foreign bodies routinely, the object stuck in George was particularly difficult due to its irregular shape and how tightly it was lodged in the junction between the stomach and intestine. After two hours of making little progress, Dr. Lesnikowski almost gave up and called in the surgical team, but one final tug dislodged the toy and spared George aGoerge foreign body surgical intervention. The spines of the toy caused ulceration of the intestinal lining, but George was discharged the next morning on medications to help the ulcers heal.

Are you worried because you cannot find your cat’s favorite toy and you noticed your cat vomiting and not eating? X-rays and ultrasounds are quick, non-invasive tests to help determine if the missing toy is lodged in your cat’s stomach or intestine.

Be sure to select toys that seem to be too large for your pet to ingest.  Keep in mind, AMC veterinarians remove pieces of toys as well as entire toys. They also remove needles and threadpen caps and sometimes just garbage.

Above right: This is a photograph taken with the endoscope’s camera of the toy stuck in George.
Above left: This is the actual toy after it was pulled out of George’s stomach with the endoscope.

Tags: animals, cat, cats, emergency, endoscopy, pets, Surgery, veterinary,

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