Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat Average Cost

From 341 quotes ranging from $500 - 2,000

Average Cost

$1,000

First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat?

You may hear your veterinarian call a foreign body stuck in your cat's throat an esophageal obstruction, gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction, pharyngeal obstruction or airway obstruction. All of these terms simply mean your cat has swallowed an object that is too large to pass through the GI tract or has become trapped in the respiratory tract.

Cats inspect the world around them with their tongues and mouths. This habit can sometimes get your feline friend into trouble and threaten her health. Sometimes a cat eats an object that is too large to pass through her upper digestive tract, namely her esophagus. These foreign bodies can become lodged in the esophagus or airway, obstructing digestion or airflow. A foreign body can also cause inflammation or injury to the esophagus or airway, leading to pain and discomfort. If you fear your cat has a foreign object trapped in the throat, visit a veterinarian right away. Depending on the size and location of the object, an esophageal or pharyngeal blockage is a life-threatening condition. 

Symptoms of Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat in Cats

Cats with foreign bodies lodged in their throats will behave differently depending on whether the airway or esophagus is blocked. A cat with an esophageal obstruction may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Hypersalivation
  • Gagging
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Regurgitation
  • Attempts at swallowing

If your cat's esophagus is only partially obstructed, the signs may be less noticeable. Symptoms of partial esophageal obstruction in cats include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Inflammation or infection of the esophagus
  • Pneumonia

A cat with an obstructed airway might exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing loudly
  • Choking

Causes of Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat in Cats

Typically, a cat suffering from this type of obstruction has purposefully licked, swallowed or otherwise ingested the foreign body. You may even have seen your cat swallow the offending object. Some toys, especially yarn or string, can be swallowed by your cat during playtime. Food may also obstruct your cat's airway if she eats too quickly or fails to chew properly. Only diagnostic procedures performed by your veterinarian are sufficient to determine what type of foreign body has become stuck in your cat's throat. 

Diagnosis of Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat in Cats

Your veterinarian will need to perform chest and neck x-rays in order to diagnose your cat's partial or complete obstruction. Signs that the object is obstructing the lower respiratory tract, such as coughing or trouble breathing, will lead a veterinarian to x-ray your cat's chest. If your veterinarian suspects the upper respiratory tract and upper airways are obstructed, he or she may use a scope as part of the physical examination. These tools make it easier for your veterinarian locate the foreign body. 

Foreign bodies lodged in the GI tract are usually visible with a typical head or chest x-ray. If your veterinarian cannot locate the foreign body on an x-ray, he or she may perform a contrast esophagram, where your cat swallows a radioactive dye to assist with imaging. An esophagoscopy, whereby your veterinarian will feed a scope, or camera, down your sedated cat's esophagus to visualize the foreign body, may be performed. A scope can also be used to examine any esophageal tearing or irritation caused by the foreign body. 

Treatment of Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat in Cats

Your veterinarian's first priority when treating a foreign object stuck in the throat of your cat will be to retrieve the object as soon as possible. If the foreign body is trapped in the upper esophagus or upper respiratory tract, it can be removed through the mouth using endoscopy and forceps or using a balloon catheter, depending on its shape and size. If the foreign body is particularly dangerous or sharp, an endogastric tube can be fed through your cat’s mouth to shield the esophagus while the foreign body is retrieved. 

If it is too dangerous or difficult to remove the foreign body through your cat's mouth, your veterinarian may choose to push the object into her stomach where it can pass through the remaining GI tract safely. An airway obstruction can also be encouraged to dislodge itself with flushing of the respiratory tract with lubricating secretions. If none of these retrieval methods are appropriate, your cat may require surgery to remove the foreign body. This surgery is fairly common and generally safe, with a 93% recovery rate. 

If your cat's esophagus has been injured or inflamed by the foreign body, treatment of the esophagitis, or irritation, may be required. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications can relieve discomfort while your cat heals. 

Recovery of Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat in Cats

Once the foreign body is removed, cats generally recover quickly. Still, it is important to schedule a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian to ensure your cat is not suffering from esophagitis, pain, or infection. Injury and irritation diagnosed at follow up may require medication or other treatments. If persistent, you may need to provide your cat with a diet of softer foods and small, frequent meals to calm irritation. Depending on the severity of the abrasions, antibiotics may be required to prevent infection of the damaged tissue. 

As previously mentioned, the rate of recovery following one of these obstructions is high and requires little ongoing management beyond close supervision of your cat's eating habits. 

Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Benny
American Shorthair
7 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Stumbling
Stumbling, licking, shaking head

My kitten seems to have something logged in his throat or the back of his mouth and is sticking his tongue out and around his mouth, curling it up very strangely.. It is scaring me and is really bothering him, he hasn’t eaten or drunken any water since I noticed this behavior when I got home a few hours ago.. I’m scared he is going. To choke but when I reached around and looked around his mouth I could see anything!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. WIthout examining Benny, I'm not sure if he has something stuck in his throat , or his mouth, or not. If he is acting that strangely, and his behavior is that concerning, it would be best to have him seen as soon as possible at your nearest 24 hour clinic. I hope that all is well with him.

Add a comment to Benny's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Patches
Tuxido
2 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lathargic

My cat has been coughing and gagging and foaming at the mouth, we saw the vet and he said we could wait it out and see what happens or get a surgery because he has gas in his stomach. What should I do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
It depends on what the cause of the foaming at the mouth is; foreign objects, dental disorders, poisoning, respiratory distress among other causes may cause foaming. Without knowing the specific cause I cannot tell you what the best course of action is. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you for helping I really appreciate it and it seems like he's doing just fine today.

Add a comment to Patches's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Memow
Yellow tabby
4 Years
Moderate condition
-1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Excessive licking after eat
Rapid Breathing Noisy breathing.
Rapid breathing

Medication Used

Baytril Dex Prefnisone

My cat has been breathing rapidly and has noisy breathing. The vet treated her for respiratory infection with baytril and dex injections
for a month. Now she is on prednisone daily. The symptoms remain. She has forceful burps after eating as well??? What else could this possibly be besides a respiratory infection? Could something small be lodged somewhere for this long?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Possible causes for that problem might be fungal or bacterial infections, asthma, bronchitis, or cancer. If she hasn't responded after this long, it would be best to have a recheck, recheck some x-rays, and see what is causing her problems. Unfortunately, without seeing Memow, I am not able to diagnose what might be going on - I hope that you are able to resolve her breathing problems soon!

My cat is coughing and gagging and has been foaming at the mouth and he has gas in his stomach but I'm not sure what to do or what would be the proper treatment for my cat?

Add a comment to Memow's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Tinku
Normal cat
8 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Tooth break
Sit and lay down his head
Feel drowzy
No eating

Medication Used

Lincomycin
Lincomycin with diazpam

My cat teeth was broken on last sunday. After that he didnt eat any type of food... One teeth was broken but it was stick in his mouth...when I wake up in morning the teeth was gone.... I take him to doctor he give some injection and say he will be fine... Meanwhile he was not drinking but later he started drink alot... Now my from last four days he is not moving to inch...no eating only drinking water... He eats fresh chicken(neck pieces).. i also buy can tuna food but he is eating nothing...he is too weak due to not eating.. I have give him some milk with sugar... But now what to do... A simple teeth break should not make him like that.. One thing I forgot is that on first day after this incident I give him brufen syrup...but later he start vomiting.. like yellowish type... Now what I do

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Tinku, I cannot determine what might be wrong with him, but I agree, he should not be this sick from a broken tooth. It would be best to follwo up with yoru veterinarian and have him seen again, as he is probably dehydrated, and may be suffering from an infection or infectious disease. He may have had a systemic effect from the ibuprofen, and he should be examined and given supportive care until your veterinarian can determine what is going on with him. I Hope that he is okay.

Add a comment to Tinku's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Pepsi
British short hair
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Coughing

Our cat Pepsi has just started to cough which I can only describe as a noise as if she had a piece of balloon stuck which she didn't. The cough was like a high pitched squeak she is fine now and sleeping. I think she must of inhaled a hair or something. I will keep an eye on her as she looks and sounds completely normal now.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I am glad that she is comfortable. If that happens again, it would be a good idea to have her seen by your veterinarian. I hope that all goes well with her.

Add a comment to Pepsi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Kitty
Unknown
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

In description

Medication Used

none

My cat had three episodes on Saturday (the vet wasn't in) where she would reach her paw up towards her mouth and not respond to anything. She did not cry out or use the bathroom on herself during this time (which is why we think it wasn't a stroke, especially since it seemed to not have any effects on her other than when it was happening). The vet said to give her clear syrup (sugary) to make sure it wasn't a glucose issue. We did this a few hours like he said. Stopped for fear it would constipate her. On Sunday, she threw up a few times. Tuesday morning (4am), she was sitting in the floor, meowed and brought her hand to her mouth. This time, she didn't check out like she did on Saturday.

Other than those. She is eating, drinking, sleeping. She is going to the bathroom normally (pee, poop) and even playing with us and our other two cats. She walks around fine on her legs, she doesn't sway or stagger. She jumps onto beds and sleeps and gets loved on. Loves a belly rub. Her right eye watered a bit on Sunday and had a little bit of clear residue, but it seems to be better now (Tuesday).

I can't figure out what is wrong and it's snowing too bad, so I can't get her to the vet until later this week.

She has an oddly shaped snout and was a stray before we took her in. She has had infections from being a stray, but those were treated with antibiotics from vet and have not come back for years now.

Of course, we had the tree up for a while and I'm a worry wort, so I'm wondering if she could have swallowed anything or is this a tooth ache? Or what could it be? I've seen in her mouth when she yawns and I can't tell anything is out of place. Her tongue looks to be a normal color, might be a bit light but doesn't seem purple (like some people say it will with a thread wrapped around).

She does sleep a lot, especially after playing with the other cats, but she is a house cat, she sleeps a lot normally -- and with it being cold outside, she also sleeps a lot during cold weather.

I've been trying to monitor everything down to the last detail. I've probably forgotten something, but there's all that I have.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Without examining Kitty it is difficult to say what the specific cause of this behaviour is; foreign objects, laryngeal paralysis, traumatic injury to the throat/mouth, dental issues, masses among other causes may be causing this behaviour. It is important that you keep a close eye on her and ensure that she is keeping hydrated and is able to eat soft wet food; without an examination I am not able to give you any indication to a specific cause or a treatment but continue to stay in contact with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

She may not be meowing as often as she usually does (she likes to throw a fit when she wants to be played with to let us know she needs attention right then). And she licks her mouth a little frequently, and has done so since before the episodes on Saturday.

I think, the last time we weighed her, she was 9 pounds and hasn't lost any weight since then.

She meows and at first it sounded a little hoarse, but then yesterday (around 6pm Monday) when she meowed for me to come pet her, it sounded normal, I think.

She struggles a bit in the bathroom lately, but she always gets the number 2 out. It doesn't result in her meowing or hissing or puking while she's in the litter box. It just looks a bit strained to me. Or just tries it in one litter box, doesn't get much out then goes right over to another litter box shortly after and then gets it out.

A few times her head has felt warm, but her paws haven't. It does go away though. And she does like to sleep with her head titled against one of our furry throws.

Add a comment to Kitty's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Pepper
Short hair tabby
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Coughing, hacking, puking, snoring

My cat is about 2 years old, she gags and makes a hacking noise several times a day, has been throwing up food that looks almost completely undigested and hairballa, she is snoring now and breaths quite loudly. However she will eat as normal and still plays as normal. Should I have concern and take her to the vet?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I do think that she would benefit from an exam by your veterinarian, yes. Some causes for her signs include food intolerance, hairballs, bacterial infections, and polyps. Your veterinarian will be able to look at her, run any tests that need to be run, and come up with a plan to help her. I hope that she is okay!

Add a comment to Pepper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Briar
tabby
7 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Hoarse meow

My cat has lost its voice, he doesn't have any other symptoms. He hasn't been coughing or sneezing, just a hoarse meow. He's been actin completely normal and has been eating and drinking

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
A change in voice (meow) may be attributable to various causes which may include laryngitis, thyroid enlargement, infections, foreign objects among other causes; it would be best to have your Veterinarian take a look at Briar to determine a cause so that he may receive the correct treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Briar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Finn
tabby
3 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Gagging

My cat has been sounding like he has mucus stuck in his throat?? At least it sounds like that to me. He eats, sleeps, and plays normally. But sometimes he does small gags as if to clear his throat. Other than that he acts like a normal cat.. he hasn't coughed up any hair balls either.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
If Finn is otherwise alright, I would just keep an eye on him in the meantime to see if there are any other symptoms; a little bit of viscous mucus can be difficult to move; you should let him in the bathroom with you when you shower so that he can breath in the warm humid air which may help loosen anything back there. However, if this persists, you would need to visit your Veterinarian to try and determine an underlying cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Finn's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Fiona
Tabby mix
5 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Crackly noise in throat
Won't eat

My cat is making a strange crinkly noise seemingly from the back of her throat when she swallows. I'm worried she has something stuck in her throat. When she tries to eat or drink she immediately pulls back sits up on her back legs and wipes her face with both paws. She is able to lick water off herself but still the crinkly noise. But she is otherwise acting completely normal. I'm nervous because it is midnight on thanksgiving and have no idea if this an emergency or not! She's only 5 months old never been to the vet, has spay appointment next week. Please advise!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
It may be something as simple as an offending hair at the back of the throat or something more serious, without examining Fiona I cannot say what the specific cause of this action is. You should elevate the food and water bowls to see if there is any improvement but should check the back of her throat to see if you can see anything. Monitor her in the meantime, but if it continues visit an Emergency Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Fiona's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Theo
Somali and tabby mix
1
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Runny Nose
Poor Appetite
Snoring
Gagging

Medication Used

Famotidine 2.5 mg per day. (9.5 lb)

My 11 month cat has been gagging a lot lately without really throwing up. He also has poor appetite and lethargy. He has lost his meow and also started snoring. His vet performed a full X-ray and did blood work. But there was no sign of foreign objects or infection. He had a lot of gas though that the X-rays showed. We recently got a second kitten (checked by the vet and is in good health) and my 11 month old cat started having his symptoms 3-4 days after they were introduced. He plays with the kitten but is cautious and wary of us. Which is unusual for him. Should I get a second opinion or is this just something that will pass. He has been improving a little in his appetite and his bowels are normal too.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Gagging may be caused by many different causes and may be due to an irritant in the air which we are not aware of; infections, foreign objects, masses, hairballs, acid reflux among others are the usual causes of gagging, but it can sometimes be difficult to find a cause. Thick mucus may also cause gagging and may be difficult to diagnose or treat; all the usual causes would have been ruled out by your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Theo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Willow
Siamese
3 Months
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

not Eaten yet
Quieter than normal ignoring food
Quieter than normal

My 3 month old kitten had a longish piece of wire lodged in her throat for just a few seconds until my daughter pulled it out but now she seems to have a sore throat. It happened last night and she’s been acting a bit lethargic and quiet and hasn’t eaten yet.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Your daughter may have caused some injury to the throat or oral cavity when pulling out the wire; Willow’s throat may be sore for a few days after this especially if the wire scratched the inside of the throat. If Willow normally eats kibbles, give her some wet food which may be more gentle on the throat; if you see no improvement over the weekend visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you Dr Turner. Willow seems much better now and although a bit quiet still, she’s eaten some wet food and is playing with her brother again. It looks like everything is going to be ok thank goodness.

Add a comment to Willow's experience

Was this experience helpful?