Meet Warrior, a 1-year-old Birman. Warrior presented to the clinic very quiet and depressed. An x-ray was taken of his abdomen which made us suspicious of a foreign body in the intestines as the stomach was full of gas and the intestines looked very bunched (see x-ray in pictures). He was placed on IV fluids and given an enema to clear out anything that was in his colon. After 12 hours his condition wasn’t improving so the decision was made to do an exploratory laparotomy (ex-lap). An ex-lap is when you open up the abdomen and examine the internal organs.
During the surgery, Dr. Robert O’Connor could feel a foreign body inside Warrior’s intestines. An incision was made into the intestines and a piece of ribbon type material was found. Unfortunately, the ribbon could not be taken out in one piece so four incisions had to be made at intervals along the intestines to take the ribbon out in four pieces. The total length of ribbon was 80cm!! Along with having a foreign body, Warrior also had an intussusception. Intussusception is when the bowel telescopes in on itself (see picture below).
Because part of the bowel become compressed inside the other part its blood supply was cut off causing the intestine to become necrotic. The only solution was that we had to remove a large part of the intestine and sew the two ends back together (see picture below). Because of potential contamination into the abdomen from the incisions into the intestine, we flushed the abdomen with 2 litres of warm saline and suctioned it back out. Our main concern after surgery was that the two parts of the intestines that were sutured together were going to breakdown. Everyday Warrior slowly improved and started eating small amounts throughout the day. After a week of close monitoring and supportive care Warrior was ready to head home. We are happy to report he is back to his mischievous self and fit as a fiddle.