Foreign Body Removal/Enterotomy/Gastrotomy

Foreign body removal/enterotomy/gastrotomy surgeries are provided by Animal Doctor. We accept referrals and provide second opinions.

Description: GASTROTOMY is a surgical procedure performed by making an incision into the stomach. It is often performed to remove foreign material from the stomach of a dog or cat. It is also indicated to obtain biopsies of stomach tissue, or to remove masses (tumors) in the stomach.

Symptoms: Acute (sudden) vomiting or retching; excessive salivation; inability to keep water and/or food down; history of eating inappropriate things (toys, sticks, rocks, etc); decreased or no appetite; pain on palpation of abdomen; severe lethargy.

What to look for: X-rays and/or ultrasound may show actual foreign material in the stomach, or may indicate a mass in the stomach. Blood testing may indicate infection (elevated white blood cell count), dehydration, or other abnormalities.

Animal Doctor Foreign Body Removal

What questions do we ask?

  • How long have you noticed vomiting?
  • Describe the vomit:
  • How often does your pet vomit?
  • Does it occur at a particular time?
  • Can she/ she keep anything down, including water?
  • Similar episodes in the past?
  • Any recent changes in appetite?
  • If eating, does your pet eat fast?
  • Any recent changes in diet/ food fed? New bags of food? How old is the current bag of food?
  • Diarrhea or straining to defecate?
  • Could your pet have ingested anything abnormal? If so, what, and how much?
  • Have you tried anything at home?
  • Contact with other animals? Is anyone else sick?
  • Current on vaccinations?
  • Any changes in activity level or behavior?
  • Is the patient on any medications? Include dosage and frequency.

What are the steps we take to treat your pet?

  • We begin with a thorough physical exam, including palpation of the abdomen, rectal exam, and temperature when possible.

  • Abdominal radiographs (x-rays), and occasionally abdominal ultrasound, are typically indicated to check for foreign material, masses, bloat, or other abnormalities.

  • General blood testing to check for dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, protein levels, infections, anemias, etc. is recommended.

Animal Doctor Foreign Body Removal/Enterotomy/Gastrotomy potential treatment plans?

  • Intravenous catheter is placed and fluids, injectable antinausea and antibiotic medications if indicated.
  • General anesthesia is needed for gastrotomy, with extraction of the foreign material if indicated, or potential biopsies of stomach tissue, or gastric mass excision if indicated.
  • Hospitalization is often indicated depending on the extent of the surgery and finding.
  • Oral medications (antibiotics, pain / anti-inflammatory and antinausea medications) are indicated once the patient is eating and drinking.

What results have we seen

Animal Doctor Foreign Body Removal
Animal Doctor Foreign Body Removal/Enterotomy/GastrotomyEnterotomy
Animal Doctor Foreign Body Removal/Enterotomy/Gastrotomy
Animal Doctor

What are the risks if left untreated?

  • Foreign material left in the stomach has the potential to move into the intestines and cause a blockage, and potentially rupture leading to peritonitis and potentially death.
  • A mass in the stomach can lead to severe inflammation, infection, bleeding, and potentially ulceration. If the mass is malignant (cancerous) it can also metastasize to distant areas in the body