Pittsburgh Chartreux Mourner
by R W Fuller
(Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
Vladimir, a 6 year old Chartreux male, died a couple days ago. I share this because when his condition deteriorated to concerning levels, it was too late.
Two weeks before his demise, he vomited what I thought was a hairball, but following scrutiny of the vomitus, it revealed a plush cat toy. This was alarming, but his behavior up to and days following this episode was normal. About a week passed when Vladimir vomited another plush toy. And another. These episodes were followed by food avoidance.
Obstructions are major medical emergencies in cats. The metabolism of nutrients is dependent upon protein being available for proper liver function. In addition, obstructions can cause volvulus, ileus, and other vascular restictions to vital tissue.
These areas of obstruction that have compromised blood supply are subject to necrosis and perforation. These sequelae can occur very quickly. There is nothing that can be done in this stage. And surgery is required for intestion obstructions, as endoscopy in cats is only capable of biopsy in cats stomach.
This surgery is very risky for cats in any condition, let alone in an agonal stage. In Vladimir’s case, I am certain that psychological issues prevailed, and the ingestion of these objects, unbeknownst to me, was what ultimately caused his demise. So, this gem of a cat, in my opinion, was not watched closely enough and issues like “cat toys” being left unattended and the lack of knowledge regarding cat metabolism could have nipped this before it became too late.
I advise that an owner of a Chartreux not assume anything and keep vigilant eyes on what the cats will have access. I never would have thought that toys would have caused this much pain.
R W Fuller