Sub bites off more than he can chew

Our patient of the month for April is a young puss called Sub, a 6 month old male Domestic Shorthair kitten who loves to play with anything he can get his paws on. While having a barbeque one night, Sub's owner gave him the end of a corn-cob to roll around the floor, much to his delight.

To his owner's concern, however, the following day Sub seemed a little depressed and off his food. He started vomitting, first all of his food, then bringing up nothing. He continued to become lethargic, kept vomiting and wouldn't eat, so his owner packed him into the car and brought him to us at the clinic.

An examination by Dr Alex revealed that Sub had a large foreign body in his abdomen, which would have to be removed by surgical incision. Sub was placed onto intravenous fluids and carefully monitored during a general anaesthetic while Dr Alex opened up his stomach and removed the piece of corncob that Sub had been playing with several days ago!

Gastro-intestinal foreign bodies are rare in cats, since cats are quite fussy eaters (though they never shy away from chewing on string!), and Sub's foreign body was particularly amazing considering the large size of the corn-cob, and the small size of his mouth!

After his surgery, Sub was allowed to recover in a warm, fluffy bed, and stayed in hospital overnight for observation. Once returned home, due to the invasive nature of major abdominal surgery he has been confined to strict rest, and will return in two weeks to have his sutures removed. After that time, Sub will be back to his old adventures, and hopefully steering clear of corncobs!

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