What Happens If My Cat Ingests a Foreign Object?

Cats love to explore, but unfortunately, sometimes that exploration can lead to dangerous situations, such as ingesting a foreign object. Although foreign objects sometimes pass through cats’ intestinal tracts unfettered, in other cases, cats require emergency veterinary care to prevent or solve an obstruction. If you think that your cat has ingested a foreign object, here is a look at what you can expect.

Onset of Symptoms
In some cases, you may be aware that your cat has eaten a foreign object, so you seek care at a veterinary clinic before symptoms start. In other cases, the cat’s symptoms could be your first clue. Your cat may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. He or she may be reluctant to eat or drink normally and may become aggressive when you try to handle him or her because of abdominal sensitivity. Although other conditions can cause these symptoms, it is important to see the veterinarian when they occur for an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosis
Your veterinarian will perform a full exam to determine what is causing your cat’s symptoms. Abdominal tenderness may suggest that your cat has an obstruction, so your veterinarian may order X-rays, typically using contrast material, to pinpoint the location of the obstruction. Blood work may also be necessary to rule out other conditions.

Treatment
Your veterinarian will determine if your cat needs surgery to find and remove the foreign object or if it can pass through his or her intestinal tract safely. If your vet decides that your cat can pass the object, he or she may recommend that your cat remain at the veterinary clinic for observation until the item is out of your cat’s system. Monitoring is important, since an obstruction can stop blood flow to one or more of your cat’s organs.

Don’t delay seeking emergency veterinary treatment in Dallas or McKinney if you think your cat has ingested a foreign object. Help is available from Chastain Veterinary Medical Group for all of your pet’s medical needs. Contact Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or contact Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

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