Friday, April 11, 2008

Foreign Body Friday, April 11

I came into work last Friday to find a young cat who had been vomiting for the previous 3 days. X-rays taken the day before showed this:

Question 1): Can you find the foreign body?

Question 2): Can you guess what it is?

1) I would hope everybody would see the bright white object in the center of these X-ray pictures. In radiology-speak, white means "radio-dense," that is, the most dense object we can see. Least dense is air, followed by fat, fluid, bone, and finally most dense, which is metal.

So, now you know it is metallic. Any guesses as to what this kitty ate?

Here is our recovering patient, post-op, after a gastrotomy (incision into her stomach) to remove the foreign object.

And, here is my abdominal incision:

This is what you can expect after a straight-forward, routine gastrotomy in a cat. The incision is about 2 inches long, and the skin sutures are buried underneath the skin, so they will dissolve. In a dog, I would probably put the sutures on the outside. (personal preference) Bella will have to be quiet for the next week to 10 days, but was already feeling better when she went home the next morning.

Oh, yes, the answer to question 2:

Bella ate a dime. This is a really un-cat-like thing to do. I expect this sort of goofy behavior from a dog, but cats usually eat things like ribbon, string, or a needle and thread. Rarely (in my experience) do they swallow coins or other non-stringy objects.


Mary said...

Good work, Katdoc! My daughter's cat ate a sewing needle (no thread...) a year ago and had the same surgery.

My experience with cats is that they eat almost anything - right up there with dogs. Shoe strings, balloons, Christmas tinsel - and I know it because I was the one who cleaned the litter box.

nina said...

Why are cats so attracted to stringy things??
I've pulled (for just a short distance) yarn and ribbons from down their throats.
Is it something to do with the raspy tongue--that makes it continue down their throat lower and lower and lower?

crazyforcinema said...

One of my sweet departed kitties had a penchant for the curly cord that attached a telephone receiver to the phone itself. She, too, needed the surgery and I had to detach the cord from the phone every time I finished a call. Inconvenient but I loved her all the same.

Susan Gets Native said...

My cats have fallen in love with my stringing wire, and I have to vacuum under the table every single time I work on something, because otherwise they will be trying to eat the tiny pieces that I cut off.

Also, Powder (the rag doll) has a thing for wicker. Dern cats.

That's really weird for a cat to do, eating a dime. Maybe it needed to feed a meter. You know, cats don't carry purses.