This time he found something that would turn into a week-long nightmare.
PINTY’S SHORT BIO
Pinty has been with us since August 2014.
The only one with these markings, we named him Pinto, but then began calling him lil Pinty soon after.
The name stuck.
PINTY THE TROUBLE MAKER
This feisty boy has scratched and bit us multiple times. Once he sent me to the clinic as the nibble on my hand was showing signs of an infection.
He’s just an overly “friendly” cat that plays a bit too rough. And he is always ALWAYS hungry, following whoever goes into the kitchen, voicing his opinion about wanting to be fed once more (even if he had just eaten!).
He can often be found sitting at the dinner table just to let us know he wants a snack.
He is one hungry fellow!
But his personality is amazing. He likes to show off any chance he gets, he climbs the sofa, his cat tree, and the chair whenever he is excited.
In spite of his mood and biting habits, we adore him and treat him like royalty.
He is spoiled rotten, held often, and gets everything he wants, food scraps including ham, steak, and at times whatever he can steal off the table. Many a times we’ve caught the little rascal with a bone or other thing he has stolen.
WHAT HE MANAGED TO GET HIS TEETH ON
At the beginning of this month he stole something that would give us a scare to remember. Apparently a Christmas bag in the closet had lose ribbon for a handle and he helped himself to it.
Now, he does have a particular love for chewing on things he finds throughout the house, but whenever he gets caught, he usually releases it.
This time, when I heard some noises and I realized the choking sound was coming from him, I went after him…
A red piece was seen in his mouth but approaching I witnessed the last part go down his throat. Opening his mouth I attempted to look but he scurried away. I hoped it wasn’t long.
I began to worry and I posted the tweet:
For a day he seemed his usual hungry & loud self. But… Three days after he ingested the ribbon I knew something was terribly wrong.
Overnight I heard him trying to clear his throat. I was up and cleaning after him. Throughout that day he threw up every chance he got, especially after eating his brekkies.
There were repeated episodes of unproductive retching and my worry meter shot all the way up.
That day and the following he wasn’t keeping anything down and this is the time I truly panicked. He is usually a big eater as I mentioned, begging for food any chance he gets. This time he hovered and looked sad. At times he hid away from us.
Why was this usually fun and very vocal cat now so quiet? Where did my boisterous boy go?
Calling local vets produced little results but some were sympathetic and advised us to wait till after the holiday, and make an appointment to get seen. He probably had a hairball or some probable intestinal obstruction. One said, “Give him Laxatone, it might help.”
Well, this product, a flavored lubricant, is a hairball remedy I was informed at the pet store, and used mainly for cats that have trouble going potty, etc. and it may not help since it is mainly for treating constipation and the prevention and removal of hairballs. Dry kibble tends to do that to their digestive track, I discovered. Not enough fluids to help them have normal potty trips! Plus the main reason why hairballs cause similar obstructions is because of that, not eating grain-free diets and not enough fluid intake.
Researching, I learned hairballs are not normal! Makes perfect sense (read more from consciouscat.net).
Either way, I purchased it hoping his system would not get so dried up while we waited for his upcoming appointment.
No food or water meant he would be getting dehydrated fast!
SYMPTOMS OF OBSTRUCTION
I did some more research while waiting for our appointment. These are some of the signs that we could now start to see in him:
- Lethargy √
- Lack of appetite √
- Weight loss
- Persistent vomiting
- Dehydration √
- Few if any bowel movements √
- Abdominal pain
- Hunched up position √
- In some cases, diarrhea
He began showing some of the above signs. This list was found from several websites, one particular one was pethelpful.com. Besides having no bowel movement was the fact that he barely urinated.
This time he really did it. The thing he stole was now lodged inside him with no sign of getting out. We’re not sure if the gel would help the obstruction move further down his tract.
Growing more and more concerned we called another vet, though most were closed as it was Sunday. We decided to take him to the animal hospital the following day.
Without much to go with, they suggested taking some x-rays. An X-ray, unfortunately, did not reveal anything that could help. Everything appeared fine. But noticeable was the empty large intestine as well as the first part of the small intestine.
The reason? Apparent obstruction.
But the ribbon was made out of polyester and according to the animal hospital we went to, it would not show up on the scan.
Now what? The recommended method of removal was going to have to be exploratory abdominal surgery. And the cost was astronomical.
Yikes! What in the world?
He really didn’t want to eat or drink anything and I was growing desperate. I called a few more places that could perhaps offer a lower charge and tried to figure out how to get him to eat/drink anything. I found a dropper and used it to squirt water, as well as some bone broth I made as recommended by a vet, into his mouth. This website said that if your pet was fasting due to an illness, to “syringe-feed them some bone broth. It’s easy on the stomach, hydrating, and full of nutrition.”
I couldn’t bear not seeing him eat for an entire day, let alone two, so I made this bone broth with bones that simmered overnight and fed him some. That was a difficult thing to do, hold him and attempt to force-feed him several times a day.
But it seemed to have helped. He began drinking water on his own and using the potty for #1. This was a good sign. In the meanwhile, an appointment was made for another consultation and we drove to a facility north of us that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
They took him in for evaluation and confirmed once more he had an obstruction and something would have to be done. They recommended to do do it that day. Great!
RELIEVING THE OBSTRUCTION
I was so sad to see him go through this, but the surgery to relieve the obstruction was going to restore him back to health. I knew he was in really good hands.
It took several hours and he seemed woozy when brought back home. I was in tears seeing him wobble and tumble.
The place we took him to was truly a wonderful facility that restored my cat back to health.
The ribbon they removed was shockingly longer than I originally thought. No wonder it got lodged in his tiny digestive track!
He had some stitches on his belly and we had to keep the cone collar on him so he wouldn’t bother the incision.
And the little patient is now making progress. He’s back to his usual feisty–and very hungry–self.
I’ve heard through some Twitter pals that it has happened to them too. What a nightmare to go through!