informed consent hairball information

Electronic medical records (EMRs) hold great promise for improving the practice of evidence based medicine by facilitating communication between members of the health care team. The most profound influence of EMRs may lie in their ability to encourage clients' involvement in their own pets care.

informed consent hairball information

Postby malernee » Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:30 am

Intestinal Obstruction by Trichobezoars in Five Cats

<<J Feline Med Surg 1[4]:199-207 Dec'99 Case Report 25 Refs
* V.R. Barrs; J.A. Beatty; P.L.C. Tisdall; G.B. Hunt; M. Gunew; R.G. Nicoll; R. Malik
* Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006; e-mail:

Between 1997 and 1999, five domestic crossbred cats (four long haired, one short haired) presented with a palpable abdominal mass and were shown to have small intestinal trichobezoars at laparotomy or necropsy. Hair balls were associated with partial or complete intestinal obstruction and were situated in the proximal jejunum to distal ileum. In four cats obstructions were simple, while the remaining cat had a strangulating obstruction. Three of the cats were 10 years or older, and two were less than 4 years. In the three older cats abdominal neoplasia was suspected and investigations were delayed or declined in two of these cats because of a perceived poor prognosis. Predisposing factors identified in this series of cats included a long-hair coat, flea allergy dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease and ingestion of non-digestible plant material. This report shows that the ingestion of hair is not always innocuous and that intestinal trichobezoars should be considered in the differential diagnoses of intestinal obstruction and intra-abdominal mass lesions, particularly in long-haired cats. [abstract]

Here is a question and answer hairball internet discussion with one vet boarded in internal medicine. Treatment proven to work is surgical removal and everything else may at this time be investigational medical care. Many vets think if cats ate a mouse diet hairballs would not be a problem but opinions can be wrong.
question to vet boarded in internal medicine on vet and drug company only internet newsgroup.

We had a great case wherby we removed a huge hairball from a cat thru a gastrotomy;the cat however went into hepatic lipidosis which we subsequently got better as well.The question is that this cat is now getting hairballs again!!!I was wondering what would the best thing to do- to prevent these hairballs from debilitating this cat - in this situation?

boarded vet answer

I'm sure our savy practitioners have more tips to offer than this supposed specialist.

Bulking up the diet to get the hair to pass, and the the judicious use of lubricants remain the main means of tx I'm aware of. Papain and dissolvants don't seem to work in my limited experience.

I would focus in on why this cat is overgrooming. Is the cat showing signs of allergic dz (food, inhalant, topical)?--- diet change, desensitization, environ changes might help. Is it a multicat household and is there some dominance/stressful situitation?--isolation or behavior modifying medications may help.

Gastroparesis (hypomotile stomach) is also a factor in cats that accumulate trichbezoars. Cisapride has been reported to be effective for improving the gastric motility and moving the hair on through. (lecture material from Colin Burows and Washabaugh)
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