Possible swallowed string? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Possible swallowed string?

This morning, I found one of our "Da Bird" toys lying in the hallway (I have NO idea how they got it down from the closed closet shelf, but that's beside the point, I guess). I have the pole, and the feathers, but the entire length of string (I guess about 18 inches) is missing. I've looked everywhere, and I'm terrified that one of the cats (most likely Leia, the kitten) swallowed it.

So far they both seem fine - playing, running, eating, and acting completely normal. No vomiting, even having eaten twice. They have both used the litterbox but only to pee (at least since I got home 30 minutes ago).

I'm planning on calling the vet to ask what symptoms I should be watching for (or whether I should just take them both in) but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with string swallowers. What do I watch for? Should I use vaseline or petromalt to try to help the string pass? Has anybody's kitty ever passed a long string safely?

I'm calling the vet now, but if anybody has any thoughts, I'm all ears.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:20 PM
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I think the call to the vet is the perfect move. No use taking chances. I hope the kitten didn't swallow it.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 10:31 PM
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That's a pretty fine string. If your cat did swallow it, chances that it will cause an obstruction are very low. Yet it is possible, so do check with the vet. I think all that can be done at this point is watchful waiting. Petromalt might help....go ahead and administer that.

I screwed up myself today and mistakenly left my shoes out. Mellie chewed apart the shoestrings. I don't think she swallowed any, though. I found all the pieces and the length looks about right. But I'm off to the shoe store tomorrow morning.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your support!

Well, it's been 32-36 hours since we think the incident may have occurred, and although we still can't find the string, both cats are doing very well and showing no sign of illness. They've been eating, and both have had normal bowel movements, there's no vomiting, and they're playing and running around as cheerfully as ever.

The vet said just to watch and wait (that's what I thought she'd say, but always better to check) but she didn't seem unduly concerned. We are giving a daily dose of Petromalt now, and they're getting extra wet food for ease of digestion. So basically, the kitties think this is a pretty good deal.

I know it's a matter of weeks before we're officially out of the woods (per older posts by Dr. Jean) but it feels good to see them acting normally.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 08:12 PM
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A million years ago when I worked at an animal hospital, there was a cat brought in that had a string protruding from his bum. The vet instructed the owner to clip it off as it gradually passed. If it were pulled it could do some serious damage internally...he said it would eventually work it's way out.

I also remember a cat with a terrible cough...he was anesthetised in order to examine his throat...a piece of X-mas tree tinsel had been swallowed & was wrapped around his epiglottis, ( a leaf like structure that covers the airway during swallowing)....it was stuck there, the end constantly irritating & trickling his throat.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 08:49 PM
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Thanks for the examples. The string from the butt I've heard before, but not the tinsel in the throat. Always good to learn something new. And if a cat has a persistent cough....remember, it's not necessarily a cat cold....could be something he ate during Christmas!!
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