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Cat Undergoes Emergency Surgery After Ingesting More Than a Dozen Hair Ties

By Aly Semigran    March 15, 2016 / (3) comments

Hair ties always seem to have a way of disappearing. Most of the time they fall under inconspicuous hiding spots or simply get misplaced, but in the case of Kitty the cat, the lost hairties—over a dozen of them—disappeared into her belly. 


Kitty, a 7-year-old Siamese, was brought into Boston's MSPCA-Angell when his previous owner noticed that something was off about him. Kitty was lethargic, not eating, and vomiting. It was at the MSPCA that doctors discovered Kitty had ingested 14 hair ties, which had became lodged in his intestines. Kitty needed emergency surgery, which was performed by Dr. Emma-Leigh Pearson. In fact, it was a life or death scenario for Kitty, since his intestines were under such distress.  


Andrea Bessler, a lead technician at the MSPCA who worked side-by-side with Dr. Pearson, tells petMD that the two-hour procedure included a gastronomy, in which an incision was made into the stomach wall to remove the rubber bands in the cat's stomach. Kitty also had a resection and anastomsis.


"A portion of [the] intestine was removed and re-attached because a bunch of hair ties got stuck and damaged the tissue," says Bessler. 



Luckily, Bessler assures us that Kitty "sailed through the surgery and is well on the way to a complete recovery." Since Kitty was surrendered by his last owner who brought him in, the MSPCA is now working towards finding him a new forever home.  


"Because he is such a nice kitty, he will find a home fast," Bessler says. 


Of course, whichever household Kitty winds up in, his new pet parents, like all pet parents, should be aware of items that could accidentally be ingested by their cats. String, tinsel, baby pacifiers, plastic bags, and hair itself, can be household hazards for cats, says Bessler.


"Pet parents should always be mindful of what is dropped on the floor or what your cat has access to in the home," she says. If your cat has ingested an item that he shouldn't have, you should seek immediate veterinary care for your pet.


Not all cases will require such a drastic medical procedure. "In some cases, surgery is not needed and the cat can have a less invasive procedure using a scope and skilled doctor to remove the object," says Bessler.



Images via MSPCA 


Comments  3

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  • other dangers
    04/04/2016 11:31am

    One of my cats got into my sewing room and swallowed a piece of thread. I could hear him gagging. He had to have emergency surgery to remove it. My vet told me of the dangers or swallowing thread, yarn, dental floss or anything string-like. I see ads with pictures of cats playing with balls or yarn all the time. Please don't let your cats play with things like that.

  • pica
    04/04/2016 03:10pm

    my 2 cats, littermates, neutered males i've had since age mos. now 5 yrs old, have had what is known as pica since they were kittens. pica is the desire to eat inedible objects, and it is pretty rare in cats. they both love shoelaces and sponges. sid loves clothing, socks, gloves etc., where gus seems to prefer small objects made of plastic, and in one case wood. they cannot have a bed, they will try to eat it. they cannot have any soft toys, same thing. we are so careful to keep things locked away, but occasionally they get something. i actually just had to take gus to the er on friday, he vomited up a chunk of something that looked like plastic. he's fine, i'm very fortunate neither of them have had a blockage so far. obviously i watch them carefully, i have insurance in case they do need surgery. i got some of what i paid for the visit and testing on friday, but surgery and staying at the vet would be totally beyond my means. the insurance is not cheap, but i cannot put a price on my boys' lives.

    04/04/2016 03:25pm

    My cats have this attration to plastic bags and rubber bands. I try to be as careful as possible, but I'm not the only person in this house. I'll make sure the others read this so they finally realize how dangerous this can be, and take things seriously. We do not need any tragedies here.

    Good luck, Kitty, in finding that loving home you deserve