Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Intestine: foreign body - linear

Contributor(s): Ed Hall, Cheryl Hedlund

Introduction

  • Cause: string, fishing line, recording tape, tinsel are common foreign bodies in cat.
  • Usually start as partial obstruction.
  • Continued presence can lead to large sections of bowel becoming non-functional and essentially completely obstructed.
  • Signs: vomiting Vomiting, melena.
  • Diagnosis: history, physical findings and radiography.
  • Treatment: surgery in most cases.
  • Prognosis: guarded, particularly if chronic.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Ingestion of linear foreign body, eg needle and thread, string.

Pathophysiology

  • A linear foreign body usually starts as a partial obstruction.
  • Its continued presence in the bowel can cause large sections of the bowel to become non-functional and essentially become completely obstructed.
  • Linear foreign body obstruction requires the object to become fixed somewhere cranial in the digestive tract.
  • Typically the object is either looped around the base of the tongue or trapped at the pylorus   →   normal smooth muscle contraction of the small intestine propels the object aborally   →   damage to the mesenteric border of the bowel through which the foreign body passes.
  • Continuation of peristalsis against the pressure of the fixed linear object will eventually result in a perforation of the intestine, with leakage and peritonitis quickly following.
  • When lacerations occur, mortality increases dramatically.

Timecourse

  • Days to weeks.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Bebchuk T N (2002) Feline gastrointestinal foreign bodies. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 32 (4), 861-880 PubMed.
  • Barrs V R, Beatty J A, Tisdall P L et al (1999) Intestinal obstruction by trichobezoars in five cats. J Fel Med Surg (4), 199-207 PubMed.
  • Stack L B, Munter D W (1996) Foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract. Emerg Med Clin North Am 14 (3), 493-521 PubMed.


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