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My cat ate a ribbon 1/4" wide by about 20" yesterday. I

my cat ate a ribbon...
my cat ate a ribbon 1/4" wide by about 20" long yesterday. I looked for the ribbon & cd. nto find it, at 4am I heard her vomiting, I cd not find anything, at 7am I found an 8" piece 'coughed' up. I put cat lax on her mouth and paw areas (she hates it), she licked it off. She is very inactive, confined to master bath where her box is, there is no evidence she used her box. She is about 5 years old, I have had her since 10/15.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Expert will know if your cat will be able to digest that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Callie
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Callie?
Customer: no, she is in good health, active, eats well, loved to plan, a calico w/attitude, but not today!!
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
8/17/2017
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,463
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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I am very sorry to hear that Callie ingested about 20" of ribbon yesterday, vomited a piece of it overnight and is now lethargic and not passing stools.

I am concerned to hear that she is not acting herself, but rather is lethargic, I do think that she is in trouble.

She cannot pass stools if the ribbon is blocking her gastrointestinal tract, and if she is vomiting that will lead to some dehydration, thus she will have less fluids to produce urine.

I suspect that the ribbon has caused at least a partial obstruction, and since she is vomiting she may be to the point that surgery is needed to relieve the obstruction.

If she weren't vomiting there could be some things we could do to try to help her pass the ribbon, but at this point I am afraid anything we give orally will just lead to more vomiting and worsen her dehydration. The more dehydrated she is the less resilient her intestinal walls will be and the more likely we are to see significant damage. Ribbon can act like a hacksaw blade on the walls of the intestine, and if we are not careful she could end up with a hole in her intestinal wall and secondary peritonitis.

I know you were probably hoping for some way to help her at home but at this point she needs hand on veterinary care and possibly surgery.

Please let me know if you have any questions about my recommendation.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
She only vomited once at 7am to eliminate the ribbon--at 6pm ish, she did not like the cat lax and eliminated it w/ liquids.
She has not been vomiting a lot at all. Absence of any activity is my concern, can i make her move her bowels?? etc before going to the ER clinic?

It is not safe to give any sort of laxative with a possible obstruction and an object like ribbon that can cut the intestinal wall.

I too am concerned about her inactivity (lethargy). I would be much more optimistic if she were bright and active and willing to eat. Cats are masters at hiding being sick, so when one is obviously lethargic I take note, and that means a lot.

I think that she is beyond safely trying to help her at home. Her best bet is veterinary help now. If you choose to wait until morning so she can see her regular veterinarian you can offer clear broth to drink, because ideally we want to keep her hydrated, but I do not recommend anything else.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,463
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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