Tinsel and ribbon make your home look great for the holidays, but they can also be dangerous for your pets. We see pets eat lots of toxins and foreign bodies during the holidays.
Cats are especially prone to ingesting these items, particularly tinsel, and will often swallow them whole without chewing them into pieces. Any long item, like a ribbon, thread, or chewed piece of cloth can pose a high risk of linear foreign body obstruction.
Such an obstruction develops when the item gets anchored at one end -- typically wrapped around the base of the tongue or tangled with other material in the stomach. The long portion of the string leaves the stomach, and the intestines try to move it normally while one end remains caught, leading to intestinal bunching. When this happens, the blood supply is compromised quickly and the sawing motion of the string can eventually cut through the intestinal wall causing extensive damage to the tissue.
Conservative therapy without surgery is often not successful and delaying treatment in cases of linear foreign body obstruction can lead to even greater damage to the intestines.
Even with prompt surgical intervention, complications are common. In many instances large portions of intestine have to be removed due the severity of the damage.
If you see your pet acting strangely, vomiting or not eating, call us at EVCOT or contact your local veterinarian immediately.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052