Maven Vets end tabby cat Arnie's furball horror - Veterinary Practice
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Maven Vets end tabby cat Arnie’s furball horror

A desperately ill tabby cat needed urgent surgery at an award-winning South London vets, Maven Vets, to remove a giant furball that was wedged in his intestines

A dramatic furball blockage put seven-year-old tabby cat Arnie in real danger and a lot of pain. He was constantly vomiting as he repeatedly tried to dislodge the furball from his intestines.

Dr Hazel Maw, of Maven Veterinary Care in North Cheam, Sutton, was quick to identify the problem and put poor Arnie back on the road to recovery.

She explained: “When I first saw Arnie, he had been sick multiple times in 24 hours and the vomit had become blood-tinged. He did not want to eat or drink, was dehydrated, depressed and very sore in his tummy, so I admitted him to our hospital for further tests and treatment.

“Arnie was given pain relief, had blood tests, was placed onto intravenous fluids and given anti-emetics medication to stop any further vomiting.

“An abdominal ultrasound scan showed inflammation of his pancreas and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine that exits the stomach) so he was immediately treated for pancreatitis.”

Initially, little Arnie showed some signs of improvement having stopped vomiting and was more comfortable, but after 24 hours he started to deteriorate.

Hazel added: “He developed a high fever and started vomiting large volumes of fluid, so we repeated the ultrasound scan and took some x-rays of his abdomen. These revealed that Arnie’s stomach and duodenum were very dilated and full of fluid with the contents of the duodenum moving backwards into his stomach rather than forward to the rest of the intestines.

“This was consistent with a blockage in the small intestine; however, we could not see a specific cause for this.

“We recommended exploratory surgery to determine the cause of the obstruction as without surgery the fluid build-up would just continue to get worse. Arnie’s owners agreed to the operation, which revealed he had a large furball wedged inside his duodenum.

“In most cats, furballs remain in the stomach and are vomited back up, and so do not cause an issue, but once the furball has moved out of the stomach and into the small intestine, it can get stuck and cause a blockage. The good news for Arnie was that we were able to remove the furball from the small intestine without the need to remove a large section of his gut.

“He still required intensive nursing care after surgery to maintain his comfort levels and continue his medications. During surgery, we also placed a feeding tube into his oesophagus, via his neck, so we could maintain his nutrition which would help speed up his recovery.

“Thankfully, Arnie recovered very well and within three days he had started to eat for himself and was comfortable in his tummy.

“He was allowed home to continue his recovery with his family, where he went from strength to strength, getting food both via the tube and increasingly by himself. After a week, the feeding tube was removed and after another two weeks, he was fully recovered and we were delighted to sign him off.”

Maven Veterinary Care, which has been rated outstanding by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, is based in London Road, North Cheam, Sutton.

For more information, visit their website or search for Maven Vets on social media.

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