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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32505
Experience:  16 years of experience in small animal internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My cat was playing with a standard elastic band and has eaten

Customer Question

My cat was playing with a standard elastic band and has eaten half of it. It's a straight section. Should this just pass straight through? Thanks for your advice.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is Dr. Peter I am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has it been since he ate the elastic band?
2- Do you have hydrogen peroxide?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ate about 60 mins ago. I don't have hydrogen peroxide no. Cat seems ok at the moment.

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
Joanne, the concern with an elastic band is that it can become obstructed in the gastrointestinal tract creating what we call a "linear foreign body." In other words, the body will sequester the band within the wall of the gastrointestinal tract creating inflammation and even rupture of the intestinal segment with a fatal outcome. For this reason I would recommend that you take him to your nearest veterinarian so that they can induce vomiting with medication (apomorphine). Ideally vomiting should be induced within 2 hours of ingestion before the band moves out of the stomach. If you do not have access to immediate veterinary care this is what you can do:

1- Change his diet for the next 2-3 days to rice (50%) and boiled boneless chicken or ground beef (50%). The idea is for the rice to bind the elastic band and help pass it in the feces. Make sure you check the stool looking for the elastic band.
2- If you do not see the band in the stool within the next 2 days I would have him checked by family veterinarian for xrays with contrast material (barium).
3- If during the next 2-3 days you see the following symptoms: lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, constipated or diarrhea, etc. follow up immediately with a veterinarian. These are all signs of potential obstruction of the intestinal tract. In the meantime, observe and change diet as above then wean back into regular diet.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter