What a small rubber band can do to a cat’s tongue

The photo comes from the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic with their permission. They have a Flickr account where they upload a lot of medical photos of mainly cats and dogs. A cat come in for laser declawing. Sorry, but at this juncture, I have to declare my hatred of declawing and I am surprised that they do it as they are clearly an excellent veterinary clinic.

Anyway, back to the cat picture. The vet presents three photos on Flickr: one of a small rubber band, which must have been lying around the floor of the cat’s home. He or she nibbled it as cats do and it wrapped itself around the base of the cat’s tongue where it stayed. We don’t know for how long.

It is purely fortuitous that it was found as the cat was not in the vets for its removal. It was a good job by the vet to check out the cat’s mouth. Perhaps they automatically do some basic health checks while an animal is in the clinic for whatever reason. This helps to detect other health issues and potentially makes them more money. Vets are businesses. I think sometimes people forget it especially in the UK where they have the NHS which is free at source to everyone.

I would ask myself whether the cat demonstrated modified behaviour which indicated that something was wrong with her mouth. I would expect that. The tongue must have been very sore. It must have hurt to eat. The cat may have become anorexic due to loss of appetite.

But the owner requested declawing so we can’t expect much from her/him. For me, any cat owner who believes that declawing is acceptable is not a good cat owner. I take a strong stance on this. I’d say that they have to be a bad cat owner because the operation (onychectomy) is carried out for their convenience and at the expense of the health of the cat.

Cats are a bit like dogs in that they like to put stuff in their mouth when it is lying on the floor even if it isn’t particularly healthy. So, bits and pieces of human paraphernalia can get ingested where they become a ‘foreign body’ inside the cat at various places along the gastrointestinal tract starting at the mouth.

Link to the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic


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