Lucy is a 4 year old long haired female cat who was brought to Reservoir Vet Clinic after she had been vomiting at home. Lucy had not eaten or drunk since the day before. Dr Andrea Montesano examined Lucy upon arrival at the clinic and found her to be lethargic and dehydrated.
Lucy’s owners told Dr Andrea that Lucy loved to eat elastic bands. Dr Andrea suspected Lucy may have a foreign body in her intestines as she was able to feel a irregular mass in her abdomen. Dr Andrea advised Lucy’s owners that Lucy would need to stay in hospital for X-rays and be placed on intravenous fluids.
Lucy was placed on intravenous fluids to support her blood pressure and then given a general anaesthetic to take X-rays. The X-rays revealed lots of gas filled loops in Lucy’s intestine.
This is seen in patients when something is blocking the gas from passing through the intestine. Dr Andrea thoroughly palpated Lucy’s abdomen while she was under anaesthetic and was able to confirm a firm circular loop of intestine. Dr Andrea advised Lucy’s owners that Lucy required an exploratory laparotomy.
Dr Andrea and Dr Raj Wicks performed the surgery while vet nurse Janelle monitored Lucy’s anaesthetic. The explorative surgery was successful and the doctors removed a firm hairball measuring 13 cm in length from her intestines.
Lucy recovered wonderfully from the anaesthetic and was sitting up happily grooming herself 15 minutes after her surgery finished. Lucy stayed in hospital over night on intravenous fluids to recover from the anaesthetic.
A very happy Lucy went home the next day with antibiotics and a food specially formulated for hairball control. Lucy also had fleas, so she was sent home with a packet of advantage to eliminate them. Fleas cause cats to over groom and this excessive grooming could have caused Lucy’s large hairball. Her owners were told she would need to visit the clinic again in two weeks time for her sutures to be removed.