Gastrointestinal Foreign Body Surgery in Dogs and Cats


Gastrointestinal foreign body surgery is a lifesaving procedure for dogs and cats who have ingested items that cannot pass naturally through their digestive system. These objects can cause blockages, leading to critical conditions without surgical intervention.

Why This Surgery?

Objects ingested by pets, such as toys, bones, or strings, can obstruct the gastrointestinal tract, causing severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration, and the risk of intestinal perforation. Surgery is often the only solution to remove these obstructions and prevent life-threatening complications.

Why perform surgery at Allied Veterinary Service?

  • Our surgeons have undergone rigorous residency training in small animal orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. 
  • Patients receiving this procedure typically receive regional pain blocks to ensure the best experience possible for your beloved pet.  
  • Our doctors will care for your pet 24/7 before and after your pet’s surgery and tailor treatment according to the patient’s needs. 

What Does the Surgery Involve?

  • Depending on the obstruction's location, the procedure may include:
  • Gastrotomy: Removing foreign materials from the stomach.
  • Enterotomy: Extracting objects from the intestine.
  • Resection and Anastomosis: Removing a damaged section of the intestine and reconnecting the healthy ends.

Benefits of Surgery:

  • Obstruction Resolution: Surgical removal of the obstruction allows for the restoration of normal gastrointestinal function.
  • Prevention of Complications: Prompt surgery prevents serious complications such as perforation and peritonitis.
  • Quality of Life Improvement: Most pets quickly return to their normal activities post-surgery.

Risks and Complications:

While the surgery is generally safe, it does carry potential risks:

  • Postoperative Infection: Infections at the incision site, though rare, can occur.
  • Anesthetic Risks: Comprehensive precautions are taken to minimize anesthesia-related risks.
  • Dehiscence: A small percentage of cases may experience dehiscence (wound reopening), particularly 3-5 days post-surgery, necessitating close monitoring and potential additional intervention.
  • Recurrence: There's always a risk of pets ingesting foreign objects again; preventive measures are crucial.

Recovery and Aftercare:

  • E-Collar: An Elizabethan collar helps prevent self-inflicted injury to the incision site.
  • Dietary Restrictions: A gradual reintroduction to regular food from a bland or liquid diet is advised.
  • Activity Limitation: Reduced activity promotes healing, avoiding strain on the surgical site.
  • Monitoring: Watch for signs of infection and adhere to scheduled follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.

Cost Considerations:

A comprehensive estimate will be provided, covering the entire surgical process, from pre-operative preparation to post-operative care.

Final Thoughts:

The decision to proceed with surgery is significant. Allied Veterinary Service is committed to supporting you with empathy and professional guidance, aiming for the best outcome for your pet.

Legal Disclaimer:

This information is for educational purposes and does not replace professional veterinary advice. Treatment outcomes vary. Always consult with your veterinarian for the most appropriate treatment for your pet.

Contact Us:

Allied Veterinary Service - Emergency and Referral
8301 93rd Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
(763) 463-9800
Open 24 hours