This week has been a busy one at Canberra Cat Vet - mainly fishing odd things out of cats' bellies!
On Monday Smitten the kitten was vomiting, hunched up and very dehydrated. We X-rayed her and saw a round object in her abdomen (see the X-ray below). We re-hydrated her on a drip, took her to surgery next morning and found a five cent coin stuck in a bend in her intestine.
Princess arrived on Tuesday. She wouldn't eat and was crying and jumping about intermittently. Her belly was painful but we couldn't see anything on X-ray. She went on a drip too and after a couple of days of force-feeding and pain relief (and scratching our heads - why wouldn't she eat? why did she have a sore belly?) she passed part of a tassel from a cushion - and started eating heartily!
On Tuesday afternoon a ribbon went missing in prim Miss Mittens' apartment. Her frantic carer came down because the last time she had seen the ribbon was in Miss Mittens' mouth. Meanwhile Miss Mittens was eating and grooming and seemed quite normal.
Ribbons and string can make the intestines accordion - like putting elastic through a waist band. Eventually they saw through the intestinal wall. Many cats die when the intestinal contents spill into the abdominal cavity and cause massive infection. Even with surgery to remove the ribbon and clean up the spill many cats perish.
Because Miss Mittens looked relaxed and normal her carers found it difficult to believe that she could get so ill. They were very glad they decided to let us take her to surgery when we found the ribbon already working its way through her intestines and causing trouble. Today Miss Mittens is home ruling the household with an iron paw again - but all ribbons have been banished from her kingdom!