Vet Blog

December Case of the Month

December 18, 2018

Jasmine, an 18-month-old domestic shorthair cat presented to Stagecoach Pet Hospital for not eating or drinking for several days.

Jasmine's mom noticed that she was playing with the Christmas ornaments several days ago.

Physical Exam:

Jasmine appeared mildly dehydrated but no signs of pain in her belly were noted. Her heart rate and respiratory rate were normal. No issues were noted in her mouth.

Diagnostic Tests:

X-rays of the belly revealed that the small intestines were abnormally coiled.

Bloodwork was normal.

Due to the likelihood of Jasmine swallowing something off the Christmas tree and due to her abdominal x-rays being abnormal, exploratory abdominal surgery was recommended.

An exploratory abdominal surgery consists of making an incision on the midline of the belly. Then, the entire gastrointestinal contents are examined and palpated to look for foreign body ingestions and abnormal abdominal contents, such as tumors. Every abdominal organ is examined. Exploratory surgery is the best way to rule out abdominal issues as some diagnostic tests can miss abnormalities.


An i.v. catheter was placed and i.v. fluids were started on Jasmine to keep her blood pressure stable during her procedure. Jasmine was sterilely prepared for surgery and the exploratory surgery was begun. A string foreign body was found in small intestines and it was removed.

The string ended up being tinsel from the Christmas tree!


Jasmine was hospitalized for several days in the clinic and is now home doing great! Her mom was sure to remove all of the tinsel from the tree and they are working very hard to keep her from playing with any ornaments!

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