There are many reasons your pet may require an abdominal exploratory. Some common reasons are:
- Ingestion of a foreign body that is causing an obstruction
- Vomiting and diarrhea that will not resolve
- Mass detected in radiographs or ultrasound
Chronic vomiting and diarrhea sometimes cannot be properly diagnosed without intestinal and gastric biopsies. An abdominal exploratory will allow biopsies of the liver, pancreas, stomach and small intestine. This can give us a definitive diagnosis and allow appropriate therapy to ensue.
Acute vomiting can be due to an upper gastrointestinal obstruction. Our pets often eat object such as toys, beds, clothing that can cause an acute obstruction. Sometimes these obstructions can be diagnosed with x-rays or radiographs. There are times when ultrasound is necessary to confirm the problem. If foreign material is lodged in the upper gastrointestinal tract it is important be have it removed to prevent life threatening dehydration or peritonitis secondary to performation of the bowel.
Linear foreign bodies are some of the most serious foreign bodies we see in dogs and cats. The occur secondary to your pet eating thread or carpet that can become lodged in the stomach then travel through the intestinal tract. These cases may be diagnosed with x-rays (radiographs) and/or abdominal ultrasound.
The intestines become plicated with the thread or linear material cutting into the mucosa. As the intestines become plicated the blood supply is compromised and can lead to areas of necrosis or death. Once there is a perforation in the intestines intestinal contents leak into the abdominal cavity leading to peritonitis. This can result in death. The sooner a linear foreign body is surgically removed the less likely life threatening complications may ensue. Their removal can require an incision into the stomach (gastrotomy) and the intestines(enterotomy). More severe plications may require multiple incisions into the intestines(enterotomies). If the intestinal tract contains areas of necrosis (death) it may be necessary to resect or remove a portion of the small intestine. The vast majority of these cases have an excellent outcome but there are severe cases that may suffer complications. Acting on these cases in a timely fashion is very important.
Abdominal masses are most likely associated with one of the following structures:
- Intestinal Tract
Abdominal masses can be often be diagnosed with x-ray and ultrasound examination. There are rare occasions when the masses cannot be associated with a specific organ because of their size or it is a sarcoma not associated with an organ.
Liver masses are best dealt with in a 24 hours facility. These are complicated surgeries with potential complications that can occur and require close supervision. I can perform these surgeries at Veterinary Care Specialists in Milford, MI.