Intestinal Obstructions

Hello all!!! I hope everyone is well!!! It has been a busy past few weeks. I recently was in Mexico lecturing, which was very exciting, my first international lecture series. Everyone was great in Mexico, very hospitable, I hope to be invited in the future. The next few weeks will prove to be busy as well – we will see how things go – stay tuned for updates.

I was trying to think of topics to share that might be beneficial for both owner and professional, and thought I would share a little about gastrointestinal obstructions – namely foreign bodies/materials. As a general surgeon, intestinal foreign bodies and obstructions are a common reason to go to surgery. Countless times per week we are faced with the decision of surgery in intestinal obstructions. While eating a foreign body is a major way of causing an obstruction, there can be other reasons as well such as cancer, etc. We will stick to foreign body obstructions in this blog.

Defining the terms: Foreign body refers to any material (ingested, in this case) that is foreign to the body. We are referring to objects swallowed by an animal and can range from fabric, stick, coins, tennis balls, rocks, etc. When an animal ingests an object there are three possible outcomes: 1. passing the object and excreting it in the feces, 2. becoming partially lodges in the stomach or intestines and partially blocking the normal flow of contents, and 3. becoming lodged in the stomach (pylorus) and/or intestines and causing a complete obstruction, not allowing any gastrointestinal contents to pass. These can also occur in the esophagus too.

Now that we got that out of the way, we will start talking about common signs you may see with your pet when they swallow a foreign object. Stay tuned!!!

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