Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastrointestinal Foreign Objects

General Information
A gastrointestinal foreign object is any non-food material found within the digestive tract. Foreign objects ranging from coins to clothing have been found in the digestive tract of pets. The variety of non-food material a pet may consume is astounding. While animals of any age may swallow foreign objects, young puppies and kittens are most likely to do so.

Signs depend on the amount of blockage, the location of the object, and whether the object is irritating or non-irritating in nature. Common signs include vomiting, abdominal discomfort, reduced appetite, an absence of stools, and vague uneasiness.

While some foreign objects can be passed with the aid of lubricants or laxatives, many can only be removed by endoscopy or surgery.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Radiographs (x-rays) are used to determine the nature and location of the object and assess the likelihood of passage without surgery. In most cases, surgical removal is the only effective means of treatment.

Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur
• Your pet seems depressed or reluctant to eat.
• Your pet vomits or has diarrhea or blood in the stool.
• Your pet shows signs of abdominal pain.
• Your pet’s signs recur or there is a change in your pet’s general health.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

  • Upon arrival, owners can call us from the curb in front of the clinic and we will have a technician assistant come to your car and bring your pet inside.
  • From here, your pet will be examined and the doctor will develop a treatment plan which he will then communicate via phone with the owner.
  • At the end of the visit, an invoice will be brought out to your car and payment can be taken via phone.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.