Nathan had been off his food and feeling quite flat. This progressed to vomiting where some string came up. But, where was the rest and why was he not his usual happy self?
Once at the vet hospital, between the x-rays and ultrasound Dr Steve found the string stuck in his intestines. This is called a linear foreign body. When things are stuck like this the intestines cannot do their job properly. They then react by “crawling” up the string, bunching up to look like a handful of grapes which is very painful.
Nathan was taken to surgery where over a 100cm of elastic string was removed. For someone so tiny, this is a large amount. There is always a risk that the intestines will perforate but thankfully Nathan had a smooth surgery. Being such a young healthy kitten his post-surgery monitoring went well and he is now home recovering with his Mum.
While the elastic string was the offender this time, it can be caused by an endless list of things around the house like: needles and threads, string (particularly from around a joint of meat), wool, hairbands, rubber bands and tinsel.
The take home message is ‘in general, intestinal foreign bodies are complex to treat but have a good prognosis if they are diagnosed early.’