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Why is my cat vomiting?

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Posted on 01-22-2016

Why is my cat vomiting?

It happens to all of us.  You’re home on a Sunday night, watching television and the sound of a peaceful night in is interrupted by the tell tale sign of an oncoming stressful evening.  A vomiting pet.

There can be a number of possible reasons as to why a pet vomits. From eating their food too fast to an upset stomach to pancreatitis, we often have appointments booked for owners concerned at the sight of frequent vomiting by their cats and dogs.

Recently we had a cat come in for this exact issue. My cat Jack to be exact.  The first few times he brought up his kibble, I thought to be due to him eating too much of his kibble too fast. But when the vomiting continued I knew it warranted a visit to the clinic.  I think it was more painful for me than him because generally a trip in the car means a lot of howling and messing in his carrier and him being angry at me for a few days.

We started off with a pet physical examination.  He had come in just two months earlier for a check up and bloodwork, where we found everything to be great, but it is important to do another examination, to make sure there wasn’t any noticeable differences from that time.  The usual questions were asked, “is this normal for him?’  No.  “Did he eat anything he shouldn’t have?”  I don’t think so.  “Is he using the litter box regularly?”  Definitely.

 Uncertain why he was experiencing so many bouts of sickness in such a short period of time we agreed that we should take an initial x-ray and sent for an Etobicoke Vet to examine, just to rule out the concern of a possible foreign body ingestion. Pets eating things they should not (a piece of their toy, hair ties/elastic bands, articles of clothing, etc) is very common and can be dangerous.  This can often cause for them to vomit since their food has nowhere else to go but back up if something is blocking it from traveling through the intestines.  The next step, suggested by the specialist, was to perform a Barium Series.  This includes the pet drinking a barium solution and taking a series of x-rays to watch it's progress through the stomach and intestines to ensure that there is nothing obstructing it's path.

Thankfully, as you can see from a few different views of the process of the Barium Series traveling from the stomach through intestines showing, there was no foreign body present.  Had there been a foreign body, surgery could have been an option to remove the foreign body from Jack’s stomach/intestines.  Because there was not, we could rule that out.  I was more than relieved.

In the end, after being observed throughout the day, Jack was administered anti-nausea medication as well as subcutaneous fluids to re-hydrate and sent home with a prescription of medication to keep his stomach comfortable.  By the next day, you wouldn’t have even known anything had been going on.

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