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.