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Veterinarian Technician December 2009 (Vol 30, No 12)

Final View — Not a Creature Was Stirring

by Jennifer Payton, CVT

    Submitted by Jennifer Payton, CVT, Animal Emergency of McHenry County, Crystal Lake, IL

    TJ, a 3-year-old, 13.7-lb (6.2-kg), neutered Domestic Shorthair, presented to our emergency clinic for open-mouth breathing and vomiting. The owner informed us that TJ had a history of feline asthma and had been vomiting sporadically for 2 weeks. TJ was primarily an outdoor cat and was known to get into garbage cans.

    Two abdominal radiographs were obtained and revealed suspicious foreign material in TJ's stomach. Complete blood count, blood chemistry, electrolyte, and packed cell volume/total protein values were within normal limits. Because of TJ's history, the owners opted for immediate surgery. During a gastrotomy procedure, the veterinarian removed a large amount of dark fur. It was surprising that the fur did not pass on its own and that it did not match TJ's fur color. On closer examination, the foreign material appeared to be a small carcass—possibly a mouse.

    TJ recovered well from surgery with some mild coughing and reverse sneezing after extubation. The day after surgery, TJ was bright, alert, and eating. TJ was discharged from the hospital 3 days later.

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