11985 Southern Boulevard • Royal Palm Beach, Florida 33411
Phone: 561-827-3669 • Fax: 561-828-2644
A Cat Toy Warning !
By Dr. Leah Montgomery
Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital
Zachary is a very lucky cat. He is lucky to have owners who pay attention to how he is feeling and worry about him when he’s not well.
I first met Zach about 10 days ago when his family brought him in because he had vomited his dinner and wasn't feeling quite himself. There wasn't anything terribly abnormal about his physical examination and so we took an x-ray, which looked normal as well. We gave him some medicine to help soothe his tummy and changed his diet to one that is more easily digestible. He seemed to do well with the change for about 5 days and then started vomiting again, and stopped eating his new food. The second time I examined Zach nothing was very different.
I was suspicious he had eaten something that was stuck in his intestine so we took another x-ray, but that didn't show anything either. So Zach's owners let me do a special type of x-ray called a barium series, in which 60ml (about 1/4 cup) of barium is put down his stomach with a special tube and then x-rays are taken as the barium moves through the intestines. The barium series didn't show an obstruction - if there was something in Zach's stomach or intestine that was blocking food the barium would stop moving at that point of the blockage. The test and x-ray were normal and so Zach was sent home with different food once more.
x-ray shows nothing unusual ... the flow of Barium
Again, Zach did well for a few days but then stopped even drinking water. Yesterday when I saw Zachary he had lost 2 pounds from the first day and was a little dehydrated, and just didn't seem happy at all. We sent blood tests to the lab and when the results came back they didn't show any internal organ problem like kidney disease or other medical reasons for his vomiting and anorexia. Zach's family agreed to an exploratory surgery, as I was still convinced he had eaten something. I just couldn't explain why it didn't show up on any x-rays.
toy mouse had been chewed open. The hollow
Zach had his surgery this morning - and I found the hard plastic carcass of one of those furry mouse toys stuck very firmly in his small intestine. The plastic was so well wedged in there, that 2 areas of his intestine were nearly ready to tear. If we had waited one more day, Zach probably would have died. The toy mouse body didn't show up on the barium x-rays because it was hollow - so the barium went right through it! We had to remove about 3 inches of his small intestine but everything went really well and he is feeling much better now!
Zachhary in recovery - not a happy cat... but still a very lucky cat !
These little mouse toys seem to be a favorite for cats - they love to play and chew on them. If your cat is one that really likes to chew on them, then maybe consider a different toy for her. If you just have to let your cat have one of these toys, then I would suggest only having 1 out at a time, so you will know if it goes missing! If your cat has been to the vet (for any problem) and the problem doesn't seem to be going away - please be persistent!
You could save your cat's life !
Beginning November 17, 2013, I will be joining a very large number of breeders across the U.S. in no longer shipping pets. Due to a change in Department of Agriculture regulations for pet breeders that the USDA itself has interpreted in contradictory ways, it is impossible for most persons who sell pets to know whether it is legal to ship a pet that the buyer has not seen in person. Violations of this rule carry severe penalties. For our safety, ALL sales must take place face to face.
This ruling is going to seriously curtail the choice of those wishing to buy the pet of their choice unless you are willing to travel to your breeder of choice regardless of distance. As written this will also affect service animals being made available to those in need.
While we do understand the need to stop those who don't properly care for their animals, and who knowingly sell sick kittens and puppies, we already have existing state and federal laws for those issues.
If you would like to help us fight this bad choice of regulation policy, please contact me or your breeder of choice to see what you can do to help. It is YOUR right to be able to buy a cat or kitten from whoever you choose and to pick it up personally or have your cat or kitten shipped to you or to meet your breeder at a mutually agreed upon place to save you travel and expense. However, you only have that right if it remains OUR right to offer those choices.
We're very sorry to have to make this change but the animal rights movement and the federal government are together on this: We cannot fight Washington.