Gastrointestinal Obstructions

Priced from $1,600 - $2,600
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What is a gastrointestinal obstruction?

This is a complete or partial obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract at any point between the oesophagus and the large bowel. As it’s the narrowest part of the gastrointestinal tract, obstructions are most commonly seen in the small intestine. Dogs of all ages are known to ingest foreign objects that can cause obstructions, however, it can be a sign of cancer in older dogs. Dogs between the ages of one and three are most likely to experience an obstruction.

How are they diagnosed?

Determining whether there is a gastrointestinal obstruction in dogs or not is actually incredibly simple, as they tend to show up on x-rays (especially when it’s a bone, rock or metallic object). Other items (like seeds, rubber or pieces of toys) can be more difficult to spot on an x-ray. In such cases, a contrast such as barium is need to determine if an obstruction exists.

How are they treated?

Generally, the only way to remove an obstruction is surgery. This normally involves making an incision in the stomach or small intestine, removing the foreign object, and closing the incision site. In cases where the obstruction has been present for an extended period of time, severe bowel trauma or even bowel death may have occurred. This would require the affected section of bowel being removed and the healthy areas re-joined. A longer hospital stay would also be required.

Procedure cost

Depending on the complexity of the surgery and the length of hospital stay required, these sorts of procedures usually cost between $1,600 and $2,600 at Melbourne Pet Surgery. Compare this to a referral centre where you would likely see a bill of between $8,000 and $10,000 or even more – plus, many hospitals charge between $1,000 and $2,000 per day just for hospitalisation!

Optional pre-anaesthetic blood test available for all surgeries (additional cost)

Recovery and aftercare

Usually, your pet will be able to return home between one and three days after the surgery. They will be placed on a liquid diet for 24 hours, then carbohydrates (like pasta) will be added the next day. Over the following two days, you will be able to slowing start including components of your pet’s usual diet. It’s also recommended that you remove any high-risk toys for the timebeing.

Dr. Scot Plummer

Meet Dr. Scot Plummer


Dr Plummer has always had a deep love for animals and graduated from the University of Queensland with Honours. in his Bachelor of Veterinary Science. After the success of his Brisbane clinic, Dr Plummer has launched Melbourne Pet Surgery with the goal of lowering the cost of high-quality pet care for all Melburnians.

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