Alvar swallows an open safety pin!

Alvar was first presented to the hospital following a couple of days of vomiting and lethargy at home. His temperature and other vital signs were all still normal, but he did have a sore abdomen and a history of eating a hair tie previously (which he managed to pass out). Alvar was admitted to hospital and placed on intravenous fluids to help rehydrate him. An x-ray of his abdomen was taken to find out why he was so sore.

It was soon very obvious. Alvar had an open safety pin within his intestines! Unbelievable!
Due to the obvious high risk of the safety pin's sharp point penetrating the wall of his intestine, it was decided that surgical removal was the best thing for Alvar. Soon after, under a general anaesthetic the safety pin was removed from Alvar's intestine. The hole which it was removed through was carefully sewn back together and Alvar recovered well from his surgery. Fortunately for Alvar, the safety pin had somehow manage to pass through his mouth, oesophagus, stomach and part of his small intestine without causing any problem at all!

Alvar was discharge from hospital the next day, and was soon back to his usual playful self. This case highlights the dangers of animals swallowing inappropriate items. We often think of cats as being 'sensible' when it comes to eating foreign objects, and whilst this is often the case, it is not always true, particularly in young curious cats.

From Alvar's parents:

"Alvar had had similar symptoms before (retching, lack of appetite) after eating a shoelace so we decided to keep an eye on him over the weekend and see if he passed anything unusual. By Sunday, however, he wouldn't even get up and we knew something was very wrong - usually he's climbing all over us and yowling for us to get up and make him breakfast! We called the vet as soon as they opened and they fitted us in straight away. Within half an hour he was on the operating table to remove a safety pin he'd swallowed - the vet said he was very lucky it had gotten so far and not done damage. They kept us informed through the whole experience and even after he was home and healing they were happy to help with any queries. Now he has a very cool scar and is very much back to his former self - but hopefully a bit more streetwise!"

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