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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21437
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My kitten who is roughly 4.5 weeks old just bit a rubber

Customer Question

My kitten who is roughly 4.5 weeks old just bit a rubber nipple off of a bottle he was eating with and swallowed it. I'm wondering if he can pass it through his digestive system or if he'll get sick.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if your kitten will be able to digest that. What is the kitten's name?
Customer: Miko. Should I try to take him to the Vet ASAP?
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Miko?
Customer: He recently had his first vaccinations, but has thus far been a healthy kitten.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long ago did he eat it?

What size was the bit?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He ate it just a couple of minutes ago. I would say the piece was between a quarter inch and a half inch. No retching or vomiting has happened yet. It doesn't seem painful to press on his belly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello again,

Now with him being so young, there is a risk that this could cause a blockage. So, since he just had this and it will still be in the stomach, it would be ideal to have Miko seen now. His local vet can safely induce vomiting or remove this with their endoscope. That way we can get it up safely and avoid any risk for him.

Otherwise, if that isn't an option for any reason, we need to start supportive care and close monitoring for him. Since he is on a bottle, we can keep encouraging fluids but start adding OTC cat hairball treatment +/- canned pumpkin to his milk or give carefully by syringe. These will help encourage the rubber to move through the intestines. Of course, if you choose to do this, we do need to keep a close eye on him. Red flags of trouble or obstruction include restlessness, lethargy, vomiting with blood or coffee ground type material, inability to keep any food or water down, anorexia, pale gums, straining to pass feces or passage of black feces (digested blood). If you see these signs, then having him seen would be best for his vet to have a feel of his belly +/- an xray to see where everything is and whether it will pass on its own.

Overall, situations like these always require us to be on our toes and tread with care. At this stage and since its likely still in the stomach, we can consider the above steps. Though if we use the latter and see any of those other signs, then we'd want him examined +/- x-rayed to assess if we have any risk here.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Dr. B,We called a vet in town, and he said similar things to you. He hasn't eaten since roughly 6 AM this morning (it's now 10), but he has never been interested in food in a bowl. Is there a way to encourage him to eat/ drink the formula out of a bowl rather than out of a bottle?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello again,

At the moment, you need to just focus on feeding with the bottle. Once this is passed then you can try to get him to eat from a bowl and be prepared for that to take time since he is still quite young. So, once we see that rubber out the other end then that would be a point to start offering a bowl(though it does take offering it first, delaying bottle feeds, wetting his mouth/paws with the bowl based foods) if you are keen to early wean.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.