Pet of the Week- Jasper

Jasper is just under 2 years old, and he is very playful and curious, which got him into a lot of trouble last week!







One morning last week, Jasper’s family discovered a few puddles of vomit that consisted mostly of blood.  Worried for their kitty, they brought him in for an exam right away.  Jasper’s physical exam was pretty unremarkable except for some discomfort in his abdomen, and what felt like it could possibly be something in his stomach.  X-rays revealed that Jasper’s stomach was full of some material that did not look like food.  The only way to help Jasper was to perform surgery to remove whatever was in his stomach--this was definitely not something that could pass through on its own. 
Before anesthetizing him, we performed a full blood panel on Jasper, and all values were within the normal limits for a cat.  Jasper got an IV line so he could receive fluids throughout the surgery to support his blood pressure.   There was also a veterinary assistant dedicated to monitoring his vital signs the entire time he was asleep.
The surgery went very well.  First, Jasper’s abdomen was opened.  The stomach was full of something that felt ropey.  The entire length of his intestines was explored to make sure there was nothing else stuck in his GI tract.  An incision was made into his stomach, and a tangled mass of hair-bands, string, and Easter grass was carefully removed.  The clump was quite impressive! 

Jasper recovered from anesthesia without any problems.  By the next morning, he was sitting up and doing great.

Jasper's stomach contents




  Jasper Post-Op   







Jasper was able to go home the next evening, but his family was instructed to keep him calm and confined to a small room for several days so he couldn’t romp around with the other kitty.


More about foreign bodies:

Objects in the stomach and intestines that are not food-related are called foreign bodies.  Sometimes, if the object is small enough, it can pass through without many complications.  Often, however, the foreign body will get trapped somewhere along the GI tract, and can cause a full or partial obstruction.  Signs of obstruction include vomiting, drooling, not eating, lethargy, depression, and pain.  X-rays and sonograms are used to help diagnose obstructions. 
Long, linear foreign bodies like string are especially dangerous because one end can get caught up high in the GI tract, while the other end keeps moving through the intestines.  This causes the intestines to bunch up like an accordion.  It is very easy for the string to saw through the intestinal wall, creating a perforation, and the contents can then leak into the abdominal cavity.  This causes a severe infection called peritonitis. 
Jasper is very lucky that his foreign bodies stayed in his stomach--it could have been much, much worse! 



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