Hair bands attack Cindy's tummy

Cheeky little Cindy is a much loved young cat with a known propensity for eating things she shouldn't.  Unfortunately this habit landed her in great trouble recently. Cindy's family knew something was amiss when she started vomiting repeatedly.  Within a day she was not eating and vomited even after drinking just water. They wisely brought Cindy in to us for a checkover.

A physical examination found Cindy to be painful in her tummy.  X-rays taken of her abdomen quickly identified the problem.  There were some coiled up string-like structures in her intestines.  Any linear object (such as a string toy, shoelace, or piece of wool) has the potential to quickly cause catastrophic damage to intestines when swallowed, as the digestive process causes the intestines to bunch up tightly along the string. This bunching can soon lead to perforation of the gut wall, peritonitis, and potentially fatal complications.

With all this in mind we immediately proceeded to emergency surgery.  

Luckily Cindy's intestines were only starting to plicate (bunch up) and there was minimal damage to the intestinal walls.  With two incisions into her small intestine we could safely remove the offending object, which was soon identified as some elastic hair bands!

Cindy had a great recovery from surgery, but required ongoing hospital care for intravenous fluid support until she was ready to start eating, along with pain and nausea relief medications.  She bounced back quickly however and was ready to go home within 24 hours.  It would have been a different matter if surgery had been delayed and the plication had complicated her procedure.

We are pleased to report that Cindy is on the mend now, and we hope she stays away from undigestable 'toys' in the future!