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Emergency Vet Care for Ingestion of Objects with Your Braselton Veterinarian

Ingestion of Objects

Although you give your dog or cat plenty of food to eat, domesticated pets are curious animals that still retain their instinct to "scrounge" for food. Sometimes, pets may accidentally swallow non-food objects because the object happens to be in or around a food source. Other times, a pet consumes something because it may smell like it is edible. On occasion, a chew toy gets swallowed because it is simply too small and easily slides down the animal's throat. Fortunately, your Braselton emergency veterinarian has the skill and resources to quickly determine what your dog or cat swallowed using imaging techniques and can promptly schedule surgery (if necessary) to remove the foreign object.

Do All Objects Ingested by Pets Need Surgically Removed?

Things like golf balls, large bones, fruit stones, refrigerator magnets and coins all pose health risks to a dog or cat. In addition to causing airway obstruction, solid objects can impact normal functioning of the stomach and intestines. Even if a foreign object is chewed before being swallowed, its sharp edges may puncture the small intestine and cause a severe abdominal infection called peritonitis. Objects made from fabric (socks, underwear, shirts) can unravel or ball up in the stomach, creating intestinal obstructions. Only extremely tiny, smooth-edged, relatively flat objects may be swallowed and allowed to pass safely through a pet's digestive system.

If you ever see a string or thread hanging from the mouth of your cat or dog, don't cut it or attempt to pull it out. Try to find out if your pet actually swallowed a piece of fabric. If you aren't sure, please bring your pet to our Braselton emergency animal hospital for an immediate examination by our vet.

Detecting Ingested Objects with Ultrasound X-ray

Ultrasound x-ray imaging technology lets your Braselton vet look inside your pet's body without performing exploratory surgery. Emitting sound waves that pass through an animal's skin, an ultrasound imaging machine receives and interprets feedback as sound waves bounce off your pet's internal organs, bones and soft tissues. The resulting picture is a detailed image of your pet's internal structures that allows your vet to determine which objects are natural and which objects should not be inside your pet's body.

Ingested Object Removal Surgery

When foreign objects are lodged in a pet's throat, your veterinarian may perform chest surgery to remove the object. An enterotomy or gastrostomy may be used to remove objects lodged in the stomach or intestines. Nearly all pets recover well from surgeries to remove ingested objects, with most dogs and cats returning to normal in 24 to 72 hours. If the object damaged the intestines or stomach, your Braselton vet may need to complete additional procedures that lengthen recovery time.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Braselton Veterinarian

Animal Emergency Care of Braselton is here to help! Contact us at immediately at (470) 209-7222 if you think your dog or cat has swallowed a foreign object.