For cats that present with signs of gastrointestinal disease, obstruction is a primary differential. There are numerous reasons of gastrointestinal obstruction in small animals, yet there are several specific causes that are more commonly associated with the cat. These include linear foreign bodies, trichobezoars, focal intestinal neoplasia, feline infectious peritonitis, and megacolon. Clinical signs related to gastrointestinal obstruction consist of vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, tenesmus, anorexia, or weight loss. The course and onset of disease depends on the rate at which the obstruction develops and whether the obstruction is partial and complete. The diagnosis of obstruction is typically suspected based on clinical presentation and palpation of an abdominal mass. Diagnostics tools are used for definite diagnosis and determination of location within the gastrointestinal tract. Surgical treatment is dependent on the etiology of the obstruction and various techniques are employed to remove the obstruction and prevent recurrence.
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