Foreign Body Friday: Edith’s Story

foreign body friday edith's story

Edith is an 8-year-old cat that presented for vomiting the weekend before Christmas. She had gotten into the owner’s craft room and possibly may have gotten into some yarn. Upon physical exam a yarn string was found stuck around her tongue. Dr. Brown took x-rays and confirmed a linear foreign body. A linear foreign body is different than a regular object that gets stuck in the intestines.

If a string gets caught in the intestines, it causes the intestines to “bunch up” and as it gets tighter it starts to actually saw through the intestinal lining causing perforations. If you can, imagine a drawstring on a pair of shorts being pulled really tight and the waist band becomes bunched up. This was evident on the x-rays, where you can see a “string of pearls” appearance to the intestines, which is often diagnostic of a linear foreign body. The string was present through the entire GI tract, all the way from the tongue to the colon. Based on the x-rays and finding the string on exam Dr. Morey performed emergency surgery. In the video, it’s evident how tightly bunched the intestines were during surgery. In order to get it out safely, multiple enterotomies had to be made into the intestines. If you just pull it out through 1 hole, it will slice right through the inside of the intestines.

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What we do is thread a red rubber catheter and slide it over the thread and down to the next location to cut open. This allows us to safely slide the thread out without causing more damage. Fortunately, there were no perforations through the intestines, but it was very close!

Edith recovered very well from surgery, although she did stay with us through Christmas until she was eating well on her own again. She’s doing very well and hopefully she learned to not play with yarn!!

Fenton River Surgical Procedures

Our animal hospital provides the following surgical procedures at our hospital for small animals:

  • General Surgery:  General (or soft tissue) surgery is associated with the skin and tissue. Soft tissue surgery includes tumor removal, cystotomy, intestinal foreign body removal, splenectomy, C-section, spay/neuter, and more.
  • Orthopedic Surgery:  Surgery for a variety of orthopedic surgeries for various injuries and musculoskeletal conditions, including cruciate ligament surgery, meniscus repair, hip surgery (FHO), fracture repair, amputation, patella luxations, oral mandibulofacial surgery.
  • Dental Surgery: We perform some types of dental surgery such as tooth extraction, oral tumor removal, and fracture repair.
  • Ophthalmic (eye) surgery
  • Emergency Surgery: Typical emergency surgeries we perform are wound repair, laceration repair, and foreign object removal.
  • Biopsies

If you have any specific questions regarding our surgical procedures, please call us at 860-870-8701.

Fenton River Veterinary Hospital
9 Fieldstone Commons, Tolland, CT 06084
(860) 870-8701