Cheeky cat named Riker rushed to operating room after vet finds mysterious orange-sized ball in his stomach

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Cheeky cat named Riker undergoes surgery after vet discovers a lump on his stomach – and what he found on the x-ray left him stunned

  • Queensland vet discovers mysterious orange-sized bump on cat’s belly
  • Vet rushed the cat to the operating room and found that he had ingested 61 hair bows
  • Hairbands had been assembled into a ball measuring ten by seven centimeters over time
  • Vet says the cheeky cat would have swallowed the hair accessories over time

A Queensland vet got more than he bargained for when he discovered a mysterious orange bump on a cat’s stomach during a routine checkup.

Michael Burke, of the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery in Harristown, Queensland, was examining Riker the cat when he felt a hard lump on the animal’s abdomen.

Fearing the worst, the vet rushed the cat to the operating room, while his concerned owners anxiously awaited their cat’s diagnosis.

In an unexpected twist, Mr. Burke found that the eight-year-old cat had swallowed 61 hair ties that had formed a large ball about four by four inches.

Riker, a white and red shorthair, had swallowed 61 hair bows over time (pictured), which combined to form a hard, orange ball in his stomach

Riker, a white and red shorthair, had swallowed 61 hair bows over time (pictured), which combined to form a hard, orange ball in his stomach

“Riker came for his annual check-up and vaccination and he had no history or symptoms to indicate he was not feeling well,” Mr Burke told the BBC. courier post.

“When we examined it, we found that a lot of hair bows had grown together, along with food and other things.”

The Queensland vet said Riker would have taken the hair accessories over time, rather than all at once.

Burke said the older cat most likely suffered from a syndrome called Pica, in which cats become obsessed with chewing household items.

“Riker has a history of chewing on foreign objects. A few years ago he ate a corn on the cob and had to have it surgically removed, but he hasn’t had any problems since,” the vet said.

Despite the strange discovery, Mr. Burke said it was just another day in the operating room, after removing strange socks, underwear, large bones and even nectar seeds from the stomachs of both cats and dogs.

The Queensland vet discovered that the eight-year-old cat had swallowed 61 hair bands that formed a large ball about four by seven centimeters (pictured)

The Queensland vet discovered that the eight-year-old cat had swallowed 61 hair bands that formed a large ball about four by seven centimeters (pictured)

The Queensland vet discovered that the eight-year-old cat had swallowed 61 hair bands that formed a large ball about four by seven centimeters (pictured)

“If you have a pet that likes to chew things, try to lock it up and keep it out of reach,” the Queensland vet advised.

“But this also just goes to show how important it is to get your annual health checks and vaccinations because you never know what you’ll find and it would only get worse until there were problems.”

The West Toowoomba operation posted a photo of the individual hair bands recovered from the cat’s stomach on their Facebook page.

How many hair bands can a cat swallow without getting sick? Apparently 61! One of our sweet (but crazy) cats came in for vaccination,” the caption read.

“Michael felt this mass in the abdomen and we thought the worst. But it was a jumble of hair bands and food.

“Riker recovered nicely, but it shows the value of annual health checks.”

Michael Burke of the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery said Riker would have taken the hair accessories over time, rather than all at once

Michael Burke of the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery said Riker would have taken the hair accessories over time, rather than all at once

Michael Burke of the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery said Riker would have taken the hair accessories over time, rather than all at once

Social media users rushed to the comments to share similar stories of their own cats ingesting the strange item.

“We had a similar case last month. Cat who vomited intermittently for two years came in for an annual checkup. Stomach was full of hair bows,” one user wrote.

“We had to switch hair ties from rubber to stretchy material after seeing our cat throw up at least a dozen a day,” said another.

‘Poor little friend. The lady owner must have wondered where the hell she lost all her hair bows,” commented a third.

‘That’s stretching! A life on the rocks?” joked another user.

WHAT IS PICA SYNDROME?

Pica syndrome is the obsessive compulsion to consume inedible food, most commonly seen in domestic cat breeds.

Cats can consume wool, rubber, leather, plastic, cellophane, paper and cardboard products, but usually prefer one material.

Most kittens start chewing their bedding or toys at a young age, but the syndrome can progress into adulthood.

A cat suffering from the syndrome will usually tear off a piece of their chosen material and chew incessantly with the back molars.

It’s not entirely clear why cats seem so motivated to consume dust, but one theory suggests that chewing causes chemicals to be released in the “pica brain,” causing a feeling of intense pleasure.

Cat owners can look for signs of constipation by monitoring their pet for signs of vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and general lethargy.

It is recommended that cat owners remove all used materials and increase opportunities to play with moving objects, such as fishing rod toys.

Source: International Cat Care

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