- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


My cat had surgery to remove plastic from his intestines.

August 5th, 2007, 11:33 PM
I have an indoor 5 year old cat who has had a history of eating plastic, rubber bands and other stuff like that which he should not be eating. In the past, any time he would eat something like that, he would always just throw it up and would be fine.

Well for about 2 weeks he kept throwing up so I took him to the vet. They kept him over night, gave him some medicine to stop the vomiting, and gave him an enima. They sent him home and over the weekend, but continued to vomit.

So, Monday morning I took him back to the vet and they did an xray. They found something blocking his intestines and did emergency surgery to remove the obstruction, which were some pieces of hard plastic. He stayed in the vet for 2 more weeks. For the next few days he had a very high fever. They did blood work and found that everything seemed fine except a slight raise in white blood cells, so they changed his anitbotic. They were giving him fluids through an IV, antibiotics, and more medicine to stop vomiting as he was still getting sick. They did yet another xray and another enima but the vomiting continued, and he would not eat on his own. So they began to force feed him. Finally the vomiting was getting less often and less severe so they let me take him home for the weekend because they thought stress was playing a big part in him not eating.

So as soon as I got him home he imediately began to eat on his own agian. He made it 2 days without getting sick again but today started throwing up agian.

I am just very curious to know if there could be something else wrong with him. The vet sent off more blood for analysis just to try to rule out some other types of problems but I am not expected to get the results for a few more days. He has lost a lot of weight and does not have the energy he used to, but I am sure the trauma of this whole deal has been very stressful on him. Has anyone had this type of problem in the past or any type of expert opinion would be great. I am just not sure if I should just continue with the treatment we have been trying, or if I need a second opion.

August 6th, 2007, 12:04 AM
How sad! I hope he will pull through. Thanks for doing everything you can.
I imagine the plastic did some damage as it passed through, did the vet say anything about that? Maybe he has a post-op infection.
If you think it would do him, and you, any good, there's nothing wrong with consulting another vet, particularly if you sense the current one is throwing up his hands or running out of ideas. I think it is likely that the vomiting is related to the blocage and what came after, but I'm not a vet.
Is he getting any medication for pain? Animals are sometimes under-treated for pain, in my opinion.
Poor little sweetheart.
Is he eating with any enthusiasm, even though he is vomiting? Feed him small, frequent amounts - maybe chicken and soft white rice or vet 'recovery' food. I wouldn't give him the dry stuff at all, too irritating. Is he able to drink? I think Dr. Lee has suggested Ensure or Boost is OK for cats, maybe he will come on here and confirm.
I hope he turns the corner soon. Stay strong!

August 6th, 2007, 12:41 AM
I don't have any advice for you but wanted to send some good thoughts of support for you both :grouphug: :goodvibes: :grouphug: .

August 6th, 2007, 08:00 AM
You're in our thoughts, also, Heather. :grouphug: I hope he's feeling better soon :fingerscr

Dr Lee
August 6th, 2007, 10:37 AM
I am just very curious to know if there could be something else wrong with him... Has anyone had this type of problem in the past...

In my experience many foreign body surgeries with cats can be difficult with some prolonged recovery. Many cats will run fevers post op regardless of how well the surgery went. Post operative vomiting can occur for a variety of causes - the least likely of which is some of the foreign body left behind (most of us surgeons are a bit OCD about checking for that during the surgery!).

Could there be something else wrong? Some cats who eat foreign bodies can have disorders which lead to them eating strange things. Often these disorders can be those which cause mild gatrointestinal inflammation which can prolong recovery as well as be an underlying cause of the foreign body ingestion (e.g. IBD inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerances or food allergies, etc...). Also some pets will have stenosis (narrowing) and/or inflammation of the surgical site which can prolong recovery.

The weight loss and lethargy are of concern. If the clinical signs persist and the blood test is not giving an answer - perhaps ask your veterinarian whether or not you need a referral to an internal medicine specialist for an ultrasound. If your pet is worsening, there is no answers, then I agree you do need a second opinion although you may want it from a specialist rather than another general practitioner.

Good luck. :pawprint:

August 6th, 2007, 10:38 AM
He has lost a lot of weight and does not have the energy he used to, but I am sure the trauma of this whole deal has been very stressful on him.

Awww, your poor kitty, what an ordeal to have to go through. I'd say for sure this experience has taken a bit of a toll on him and it may be a slower recovery than you'd like (surgery is very hard on the body), but if you think a second opinion would at least give you peace of mind, than absolutely do that.

I agree with Badger to not feed any dry food. Perhaps you can get some canned Hill's A/D (from the vet) for him to eat, it's very palatable and easy to digest (only use it short-term though, it's meant for supplemental feeding). Plain chicken baby food (no onions or other veggies) will also do in a pinch.

As for the reason this all started, it sounds like your cat has something called "Pica", which is when cats have a tendency to eat non-edible things: There isn't really any single cause and it can last for the cat's lifetime, so you might want to be extra vigilant about keeping all of the things he's attracted to eating out of his reach.

Good luck with this, and I hope he makes a full recovery very soon!

August 6th, 2007, 11:09 AM
I'm so sorry for all you and your kitty are going through. And till now I never put this together but my cat who has a severe allergy to fleas and food also tends to try to eat plastic, I keep it away from him and play toys with him supervised then put the ones he likes to eat away. He has even de-furred a toy squirrel. Maybe you should look into what Dr. Lee suggested, an underlying cause for the plastic eating.

For now though I would seek another opinion or have your vet do more research.

I :pray: your kitty gets better soon.

August 6th, 2007, 11:23 PM
Thanks to everyone for their input and advise. Triton visited the vet again today, although totally against his will. They were actually amazed at how perky and attentive he was. They gave him an exam and let him come home again. They sent him home with some special food, thinking the reason he may be getting sick is because he eats too fast, as he has not gotten sick since early sunday morning.

Today he seems happy and content, more of the 'oh so sweet' cat that he has always been. He is curled up in my lap as we speak. I will continue to keep a very close eye on him until I know he is %110 better. Thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely, Heather and Triton

August 7th, 2007, 12:25 AM
how sad.. Usually cats let those plastic out with their feces. I have seen a cat at our neighbors house and some of the feces are plastic. i gues those were normal, but eating plastic is not. :eek:

August 11th, 2007, 11:10 PM
I feel so bad for anyone that has to go thought this. My cat just had his third sx to remove plastic/hair/fecal matter! The first one was in May (plastic from pop bottles ring) and he took a few days to recover then july 25th (drawstring from trash bag) then on aug 9th. He just turned 5 and has never had any problems before. He went from 17# down to 12# since may. Luckly i work at a vet so it hasnt cost that much but i think hes had at least 20 x-rays, over 200 mins sx time, orbax after orbax..... Im not sure why he has now desided he likes plastic but he does! We thought we deplasticed our house but its like he has a stock pill hiding. Hope your little one is well soon! if you need any help with anything let me know. Amber
PS- Plastic has fish oils in it to make it shiney!