“Smudge” is a 2-year-old Shih Tzu that presented to us for sudden frequent vomiting, anorexia and lethargy. On physical examination he was painful, had a fever and was dehydrated. We placed him on intravenous fluids and started treatment with intravenous antibiotics, anti-emetics (anti-nausea medication) and antacids. A blood sample and radiographs were taken to further assess his condition. His bloodwork showed a high white blood cell count, indicating significant inflammation and possible infection. Radiographs showed a marked amount of gas. On abdominal palpation we were able to feel a hard object in his intestinal tract. Smudge was taken to surgery.
Upon detailed examination of his intra-abdominal organs and structures, we located the exact position of the hard object: it was located within the first foot of small intestine exiting the stomach (the juncture of the duodenum and jejunum). All other sections of intestine and internal organs were normal. An incision was made into the small intestine, and the foreign object was removed without complications. We closed the incision with absorbable suture material and did a leak test to ensure that our closure was secure. Smudge’s recovery from anesthetic was smooth.
Over the next few days, Smudge improved in leaps and bounds—he began eating normally, did not vomit and felt much better! We gradually took him off intravenous fluids and put him on oral medications and a low-fat, easily-digestible diet that would be gentle on his digestive tract and would promote healing. He went home 3 days after his surgery with some antibiotics and special food. We saw him for revisits to ensure he was healing well. Smudge has healed 100% and is doing great!
Once the foreign object was cleaned, the owner identified it as a ‘furry mouse’ cat toy!! Please make sure to closely monitor size and texture of all the toys your pets play with – things we may not think are ‘tasty’ can be enticing for your pet.