Does your pet have an intestinal obstruction?
Take a look around your house. There are probably lots of items that may look like playthings to your pet but can cause an intestinal obstruction if ingested. We see cats and dogs eat everything from foreign bodies, such as a sock, a piece of fabric or a string to indigestible food items, like a piece of bone.
The warning signs that your pet has an intestinal obstruction usually include vomiting and loss of appetite. The loss of fluids from vomiting can also cause dehydration, leading to sunken eyes, dry gums, muscular weakness and lethargy. If the blockage is complicated by a bacterial infection, your pet may also show signs of fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
If the obstruction is caught immediately, often we can get the item out by inducing vomiting in the patient. But, if it has been too long since the ingestion of the item (typically, after the first two to six hours, depending on its size), medical management using pain medications and IV fluids may be needed to help the object pass.
If the item gets stuck, surgery is often required. In general, when an obstruction is caused by a foreign body, it is important to perform the surgery as soon as possible to prevent intestinal damage.
If you suspect your pet has an intestinal obstruction, don't wait to seek medical attention. It is best to contact a veterinarian when your pet eats something unusual to see what course of treatment they recommend.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052