Furball Bowel Obstruction
Chester presented late one day after suddenly being off colour. He was fine the previous day before suddenly becoming very quiet and lethargic. There was nothing new at home and he had no upset stomach.
On palpating his middle abdomen, a thick firm irreglaur shaped swelling approx the size of a plum, could be felt. It was painful to touch. His bladder and kidneys felt fine. Temperature was normal and his colour and gum refill time were also normal. His heart sounded strong with no murmur.
Xrays showed a lot of gas building up in his small intestines and some faeces in his colon and an indistinct swelling in the mid-abdomen.
The fact he was in sudden discomfort from being a healthy happy cat, it was suspected he may have an acute intestinal blockage, intestinal thrombus or a tumour causing an acute abdomen.
Chester was placed on a IV drip and anaesthetised with IV Alfaxan followed by Isoflurane gas. On examining his intestines, we found a 10cm section of small intestine which was very inflamed, thickened and swollen. There was a lot of free clear watery fluid in the abdomen, possibly leaking from the swollen intestinal surface.
An incision was made into one end of the swollen intestine. A large furball mixed with grass was found inside the intestine. It was gently removed using slight traction. The incision was closed using a soluble suture in an inverting continuos pattern (Connell Cushing). The area was washed in sterile saline several times then a soluble antibiotic (Cephalexin) was applied to the area. The incision was covered by omentum (fatty tissue in the abdomen), which provided an extra seal to the wound.
A fresh surgery kit and gloves were used to close the abdomen and skin.
Chester was kept on IV fluids and offered soft food 36 hours later. He went home 48 hours post op and made a great recovery.