The Dog Ate My Homework and Other Tales of Pet GI Obstructions

Playful and cute terrier dog chewing a toy at homePets, particularly those of the canine variety, have a way of shocking us when it comes to the things they ingest. Sometimes, these items can be toxic, leading to a veterinary emergency.

What Causes GI Obstructions

Gastrointestinal blockages (GI obstructions) occur as a result of an item becoming lodged in a pet’s esophagus, stomach, or intestinal tract. The item could be anything, including string, Christmas tree tinsel, plastic toys, rocks, sticks, coins, buttons, bones, or fragments of chew toys.

Symptoms will vary depending on the location of the GI obstruction. Signs of an esophageal blockage can be observed immediately and can include frequent swallowing, attempts to cough up the item, and regurgitation of food and liquids. A blockage in the stomach usually results in vomiting, preventing food from entering the small intestine. An intestinal blockage can lead to a distended abdomen, fever, and shock. Continue…