Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am still quite shaken up at what just happened. Sasha was eating his morning meal. He was having half a turkey gizzard. Now, please don't anyone interpret this to mean that gizzards are not a safe food. I have 4 cats and everyone else eats them just fine; Sasha is just a special case. This cat does not believe in chewing anything. He tries to swallow everything whole. He also does not seem to get that slowly chewing your food equals success.

As you may have guessed already, Sasha began choking. At first, I thought it was his usual heaving and such since he ALWAYS tries to swallow everything in one gulp despite its size, but this time it was different. He began foaming at the mouth, and he struggled to race away get to a safe place (under the couch). Before he could make it, I noticed what was happening. He was rather uncoordinated and slow. The weird thing is that today I was supposed to be at work, but woke up with such a stiff neck, I decided to stay home and rest up. Luckily I was here to do something about my poor boy who by now was thrashing, then suddenly stiffened up, and went limp.

When I reached him, I honestly did not know what to do. I have been trained in people CPR, but never thought about doing it on an animal before. I picked him up and looked inside his mouth, but all I could see was foam. I couldn't get my finger in his mouth unobstructed so I began doing the Heimlich Maneuver on him out of sheer desperation. By now, he was limp and had passed out. His eyes were open and he was just laying there. I knew precious seconds were ticking away.

I yelled for my daughter to come and pump his stomach. I just wasn't sure exactly where his solar plexus was located so I figured if we were both stimulating both areas, we were bound to hit the right spot. I traced his breast bone down towards his belly and when I felt the 2 sides of the ribs stop meeting, I began pumping that area while my daughter kept pumping his actual stomach. We did this for a bit, but it always seems way longer in emergency situations. The good thing was that I could feel air coming out of his nose so the airway wasn't entirely blocked by now.

The piece of gizzard finally shot out of his mouth and poor Sasha just collapsed on the floor. He was so scared, but he was breathing, and after a few seconds, looked up at us in sheer terror and bolted right under the couch. I immediately called the Vet and they said to check his airway to ensure nothing was still blocking it, but to keep a close eye on him for the next few hours. He would not allow us to catch him to put him in the carrier to be transported. He is nervous enough to begin with and this has sent him off the deep end...poor thing. He has his yearly appointment on Friday so if I notice anything weird before then, I will just take him in after he calms down.

Goodness...what an eventful morning!!! But, it also made me want to spread the word to you all. Anything can get lodged in a cat's throat without warning (a toy, treat, or something they are not supposed to play with, but end up doing so anyways). We need to know what to do, just in case.

Here is a link to how to check if you cat is actually choking and then what to do:

Choking: Using the Heimlich Maneuver in Cats | Paw Prints the Magazine

I sincerely wish no one else has to go through this. It was VERY scary.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,743 Posts
OMG!! So glad he's OK!!!

My recommendation would be not to feed small food. Cutting the turkey gizzard in 1/2 was probably why he choked. Stick with pieces no smaller than a large mouse for safety. If you give the cat the WHOLE gizzard, which is too large for him to swallow, he'll chew it into proper-sized pieces. But giving him something that CAN go down in one swallow just MIGHT go down that way. Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Hoofmaiden, but the strange thing is turkey gizzards are actually quite large. The half I gave him this morning was about 2.5" in circumference. To use your imagery, it was one really hefty tailess mouse :)
He managed to slice that in half and had 2 pieces which were now about 1" each and then gulp!

Trust me, you would not believe the size of the stuff he tries to swallow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,965 Posts
How scary for you and poor Sasha. You must have all been terrified!

I'm going to make myself a little poster out of the link you sent and hang it on the fridge for emergencies....just in case I need it, it'll be there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
139 Posts
Glad he is ok! That is very scary indeed... I will definetly have to bookmark that site! Would hate for anything like that to happen to Joy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
We just got back from the Vet. I decided to take him anyways since he seemed dazed for a few hours after the incident this morning. When he finally surfaced from under the couch, he wasn't very sure-footed so I called the Vet again and they had me bring him in immediately.

The Vet on duty happened to be the head doctor. He cut his lunch short to see Sasha. He was actually quite impressed that he made it through. He confessed he usually never sees them alive after having that type of incident, and gave me some tips on how to refine my revival technique. He said that Sasha had injured himself a bit during his thrashing, but his eyesight was fine, which is usually the first to go after any oxygen deprivation. All his other vital signs were normal as well. The excitement of being taken out of the house seemed to have perked him up quite a bit.

Other than some minor scratches and a few broken blood vessels in the right eye, he is fine. Hooray!!! Thank you all for your support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I am so glad he is okay and good thinking on your part! It's always so hard to react in situations like that, no matter what training you have, if it's someone you know and love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,965 Posts
If anyone is interested, here is a printer friendly copy of the info on the link DG provided.

Thank you so much for the info. Thank goodness you were there and thought so quickly to save Sasha!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Thanks MowMow! But that typo! ;)

Glad to hear Sasha's alright! Poor little boo, probably his throat and middle hurts today. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone. I can honestly say that Sasha seems more like his old self tonight.

@ Mowmow thanks for putting together that printer friendly doc...great job and very useful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
omg, you saved his life! thank goodness you were there. and thank you for sharing the link. very scary indeed.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
74 Posts
Wow, very scary! Glad to hear he got through it.

I suppose the lesson is, for this particular cat, be sure to cut up EVERYTHING into really really small bits.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top