Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Cat Veterinary

My cat, Zeus 5 years old, started vomiting, alot. Listless,

Customer Question
My cat, Zeus...

My cat, Zeus 5 years old, started vomiting, alot. Listless, depressed, not eating, trying to drink but vomits it right out. Vet wanted $450.00 to run tests. I barely have $4.50 left after bills. I started syringe feeding him Pedialyte and meat baby food (no onion or garlic) and saw one dingleberry on butt wit string. I gently pulled string until I felt resistance and clipped 4" off with 2" left. I continued with syringe feeding. He had barely pooped or peed in weeks. Can't afford vet. What else can I try. Please do NOT mention putting him down like my vet did when I couldn't afford to pay for their testing. ūüė†

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Zeus?

He's not grooming, but his eyes are not sunken in and his abdomen isn't hard. He doesn't seem to be losing any more weight

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 24 minutes by:
1/3/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,980
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
Verified

Hi, I am Dr. Denney. I am currently reviewing your post now. Please give me a few minutes to type my response. Thank you for trusting us with your question. This service is used for general information only and is no substitute for a veterinarian-patient relationship by examination.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

It sounds like your cat may have what is termed a linear foreign body ( the string).

Pets have the unfortunate tendency to eat things they shouldn't, and we aren't talking about food. Toys, socks, rocks and other materials find their way into pet stomachs but when the foreign body is a string, the consequences are especially dire.

Animals like to play with things and play often involves chewing. Chewing leads to accidental swallowing and from there potential disaster can ensue. Pets of any age will play with toys but it is generally the youngsters who get into trouble with foreign bodies. Common objects, or foreign bodies, that are swallowed include:

  • Strings
  • Balls
  • Toys
  • Leashes and collars
  • Plastic bags (especially if there has been food inside)
  • Pieces of shoes
  • Coins (pennies are especially dangerous)
  • Sewing needles

‚Äč‚ÄčThe list goes on. Playing escalates to chewing, which escalates to swallowing, or the object may be outright mistaken for food and swallowed. Often these objects will pass out the other end in a day or two, though it is possible for a small object to rattle around inside the stomach without passing for weeks. If the object does not pass and causes obstruction or partial obstruction, surgery will be needed to remove it. Prompt diagnosis allows for prompt removal of the foreign body before the bowel is badly damaged. In more advanced situations, sections of damaged bowel must be removed and in the worst possible scenario, the intestine breaks open and spills bacteria and digested food throughout the abdomen. This latter possibility is associated with very high mortality and is to be avoided at all costs.

The foreign body patient develops a poor appetite and vomiting fairly quickly. Listlessness comes soon after. Pain may be difficult to recognize and may simply appear as listlessness. The sooner the patient is evaluated by the doctor, the better.

The Linear Foreign Body is a Special Situation

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, there is an especially bad foreign body situation when the object is a string or similar linear structure. Common linear foreign bodies might include string or yarn (especially for kittens) or a towel or cloth leash where the fabric has not been completely chewed through and long threads are exposed.

The Drawstring Effect

Imagine a pair of drawstring pants or bag. Tie a knot in one end of the drawstring so that it cannot move and pull on the other end. The fabric wads up along the string channel. If the string is pulled hard enough and the knot still will not budge, the string will actually rip right through the string channel.

This is what happens in the linear foreign body scenario. The foreign body lodges somewhere in the GI tract and will not move. The strings, however, dangle forward in the GI tract like a drawstring. The intestine attempts to move them forward but because the foreign body is lodged, the bowel ends up inching up the strings similar to the drawstring channel on the pants. This type of folding upon itself is called “plication” and is the hallmark of the linear foreign body. If the foreign body is not removed, the strings will literally cut through the intestine leading to life-threatening peritonitis.

String under the Tongue

The first common linear foreign body scenario involves a loop of string wrapped around the base of the tongue. The pet is chewing on a wad of string, the string gets tangled and loops are formed, one of the loops lassos the tongue and the rest is swallowed. The bowel attempts to pass the wad of string but it only gets so far. The string around the tongue becomes taut and the stomach and bowel are sliced open by the tight string.

The usual victim of the tongue linear foreign body is a cat as cats commonly play with strings. Veterinarians check under the tongue for strings when examining vomiting patients. The string can be difficult to see, especially as many patients are not cooperative about this sort of examination, and the string may have embedded in the base of the tongue where it is not easy to see. Sedation may be needed to get a good look.

Stomach Foreign Body

The other area where linear foreign bodies lodge is the bottom (pylorus) of the stomach. The stomach has a large storage capacity but all of its contents must ultimately drain out of the pylorus. If a wad of cloth is too big to pass but long strings dangle forward from its main body, the intestine will pull at the string, plicating around the string, until the tight string simply cuts through.

Diagnosis of Linear Foreign Body

The linear foreign body is particularly difficult to diagnose. Strings are too small to see on radiographs and cloth does not show up on radiographs. Checking under the tongue for a string is important but not always possible, and even if a string is there it is not always visible. Frequently the only hint is evidence of plication on the radiograph or by ultrasound and even then the pattern is likely not going to be definitive. The decision to go to surgery is likely going to have to be made based on how sick the patient looks and innuendo from the radiographs.

Surgery

Because of the dire consequences of not doing surgery when it is needed (ie. the pet will diet from ruptured intestines which is incredibly painful ), it is often best to opt for surgery earlier rather than later in the evaluation process. The patient will need to be rehydrated from past vomiting prior to surgery and stabilized. After this exploration may proceed.

Most likely the foreign body will be obvious in the stomach and can be removed at least in part from the stomach directly. Hopefully, doing this will relieve the plication and the rest of the foreign body can be removed from an intestinal incision. If the bowel is damaged or even perforated, sections of bowel may require removal. After surgery, several days in the hospital may be needed for recovery. If there is going to be a problem with an intestinal incision, it is usually seen by the third day after surgery.

The linear foreign body surgery is generally considered a higher mortality situation than those of more simple foreign bodies.

In a study by Basher and Fowler published in Veterinary Surgery in 1987, 24 cats with tongue foreign bodies were examined. Approximately one third of them were able to avoid surgery by simply cutting the string under the tongue. With the release of the string tension, the rest of the string was able to pass uneventfully in these patients. If the cat did not show improved appetite and activity or continued to vomit/get more listless, then surgical exploration was performed. The point is that there is a fair chance that the expense and invasiveness of surgery may be avoided in some tongue foreign body patients.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Keeping fluids going can help, but if there is string inside of intestines it will begin to cut through the intestines causing really awful consequences.

If you can apply for care credit to help get funds to treat him that could help save him if this is a string that is stuck. Even if we can just get him on IV fluids then that may give him a chance to pass this on his own.

I am so sorry your cat is ill. I know this is very tough to be in this situation.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

You can also look into low-cost veterinarians to try and get care for him. Sometimes shelters will also offer low-cost services.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

I hope this gives you the information you need to help you decide on how to proceed.

Good luck with your cat I will keep him in my prayers.

If this was helpful I would be most appreciative if you could take the time to rate my assistance so the site will credit me with helping you

Without a rating (the stars at the top) the site will not compensate me for helping you.

I am also here for additional questions you may have, just reach out to me here and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Kind regards,

Dr. Meghan Denney

This Content is not intended to be a substitute for a professional veterinary exam, diagnostics, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your attending veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition of a pet.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Meghan Denney
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Dr. Meghan Denney Your Own Question
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,980
1,980 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic

Dr. Meghan Denney is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Cat Veterinarian

3,928 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,753 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

4,473 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

3,998 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Cat Veterinarian

3,557 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Cat Veterinarian

3,072 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Deb

Dr. Deb

Cat Veterinarian

2,883 satisfied customers

I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Veterinary Questions
Throwing up and some diarrhea. Just regular food. Lil Bit. A
He has an issue with pancreas. Takes pancrea plus before meals.… read more
Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt
Associate Veterinarian
DVM
617 satisfied customers
Need advice as to best dry food and wet food for 3 year old
Need advice as to best dry food and wet food for 3 year old healthy female cat I just adopted. A petite 6.5 lbs. … read more
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc
veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
402 satisfied customers
Is there any type of food or nutrient I could feed my cat to
Hello. Is there any type of food or nutrient I could feed my cat to help extend a long life and excellent health?… read more
Terri
Terri
Healthcare/behavior specialist
Private
21,881 satisfied customers
What are the healthiest wet and dry foods for 8 month old
What are the healthiest wet and dry foods for 8 month old cats? Is L-lysine chews good to give cats?… read more
Sheree HughesIrwin
Sheree HughesIrwin
D.V.M.
38 satisfied customers
He vomited up watery blood. No he eats cat food, dry food
No he eats cat food, dry food and we give him some chicken tenders in broth for a treat … read more
Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina
Small Animal Veterinary Internist
428 satisfied customers
My cat is not eating as much of her food as she used to. my
Second opinion] my cat is not eating as much of her food as she used to. my husband/her daddy for over 4 years passed away on january 21,2018. my question is; could eating less be because she is missi… read more
Sophie-Vet
Sophie-Vet
Veterinary Surgeon
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
16 satisfied customers
My cat was recently switched to an all wet food diet. His
My cat was recently switched to an all wet food diet. His poop changed to a darker brown and are much smaller and softer than usual. I noticed yesterday he had some diarrhea in his litter box and he s… read more
Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
537 satisfied customers
I am wondering what brand of dry cat food is the best to
i am wondering what brand of dry cat food is the best to feed my two 2 year and 1 year old cats. Also the older one is eating her food and then going to his. … read more
Sophie-Vet
Sophie-Vet
Veterinary Surgeon
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
16 satisfied customers
What is the best brand of food to feed my kitten? So far
Hi, what is the best brand of food to feed my kitten? So far I've been feeding him ivory coat, royal canin and applaws. I just want him to be as healthy as possible.… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
Lately our cat has been ‚Äústalking‚ÄĚ his food bowl - half the
Lately our cat has been ‚Äústalking‚ÄĚ his food bowl - half the time he sniffs it and walks away, half the time he swipes at it before he takes a bites, shakes it then eats a bite or two. He'll frequently‚Ķ¬†read more
Terri
Terri
Healthcare/behavior specialist
Private
21,881 satisfied customers
She's been throwing up her food. She usually throws up
she's been throwing up her food JA: I'll do all I can to help. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cat eat anything unusual? Customer: she usually throws up canned food JA: What is the cat's name… read more
Dr. Sara
Dr. Sara
Small animal practicioner
Doctoral Degree
93 satisfied customers
A glass broke in my cats dish. I washed it out put food in
A glass broke in my cats dish. I washed it out put food in the dish and then panicked that i had missed some chards, so I took the dish back and sure enough there were chards in the food. I threw it a… read more
Pet Doc
Pet Doc
Senior Small Animal Veterinarian
BVSc
2,782 satisfied customers
Acts hungry, but sniffs at her food and walks away. On
Second opinion] Acts hungry, but sniffs at her food and walks away. On Clavamox (pancreatits?) and had several teeth pulled on Wednesday. … read more
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc
veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
402 satisfied customers
Acts hungry, but sniffs at her food and walks away. On
Acts hungry, but sniffs at her food and walks away. On Clavamox (pancreatits?) and had several teeth pulled on Wednesday. … read more
Dr. Denise
Dr. Denise
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
518 satisfied customers
Recently I tried switching my cats food and I did it
Recently I tried switching my cats food and I did it gradually and while it was mixed he ate the food, then when it was all the new food he stopped eating for over a day. So I got a bag of the old foo… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
I sometimes have left over food from my cats, that other
I sometimes have left over food from my cats, that other cats or animals in the neighborhood come and eat. Manytimes,even my dog will like the cat dish after who knows ate from it. My cats and dogs ha… read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,557 satisfied customers
Can dogs eat cat food. My dogs like cat food in the can. No
no I like to be sure can catfood don't hurt my dogs… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
My very spoiled cat's food is Royal Canin's Uninary food,
My very spoiled cat's food is Royal Canin's Uninary food, which I get at the vet's. I got her some "Temptation's tuna flavored tarter control treats. She is now picketing her food, as she wants the tr… read more
Dr. Beth
Dr. Beth
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
389 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x