Patient of the Month - Chelsea


Chelsea, an 8 year old domestic short haired cat was presented to Vetwest Cockburn because she was intermittently vomiting and had gone off her food.

On Veterinary examination she was dehydrated, lethargic and very thin (she had lost about 1kg in the past 2 weeks - a very significant amount of weight loss for a small cat!)

Further diagnostic tests were needed to find the cause of Chelsea’s weight loss, including an ultrasound which revealed a moderate sized round structure in the stomach resembling some kind of foreign body.

Surgery was scheduled immediately with Chelsea undergoing a gastrotomy (a surgical procedure to open the stomach).  Four structures resembling pistachio nut shells were removed from Chelsea’s stomach.

Chelsea recovered well from her anaesthetic and surgery, and was discharged from hospital the next day.

Pistachio shells

Her recovery continued over the next week, and she has since then been happily eating, drinking and putting on weight again.

Intestinal obstruction from the ingestion of many different objects (just a few include corn cobbs, bones, peach pits, tennis balls and even a whole teddy bear!) is common in pets, as they may not differentiate between what is edible and what is not.  The most common symptoms seen with an obstruction are vomiting, anorexia, lethargy and sometimes diarrhoea.  Obstructions are very serious and require urgent Veterinary attention.

Pet type(s): 
Life stage(s): 
patient of the month
foreign body
intestinal obstruction

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