Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care – Most Recent



To determine whether administration of antiemetic medication to dogs and cats with gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction (GIFBO) delays time to definitive care (surgery or endoscopy) and increases the risk of complications.


Retrospective study (January 2012–July 2020).


Private referral center.


Five hundred and thirty-seven (440 dogs and 97 cats).



Measurements and Main Results

Medical records of dogs and cats with GIFBO were reviewed for antiemetic administration at the onset of clinical signs, time from onset of clinical signs to first intervention and definitive care, GIFBO-related complications, and length of hospitalization. Antiemetics were prescribed for 200 of 537 patients (158 dogs, 42 cats). Antiemetic administration was associated with an increased time between the onset of clinical signs and definitive care (3.2 days [95% confidence interval, CI, 2.8–3.5] vs. 1.6 days [95% CI, 1.4–2.0]; P < 0.001) but not with GIFBO-associated complications (P = 0.45). Antiemetic administration was associated with an increased length of hospitalization (1.6 days [95% CI, 1.4–1.7] vs. 1.1 days [95% CI, 1.1–1.2]; P < 0.001). A longer duration of clinical signs prior to intervention was associated with GIFBO-related complications (P < 0.001) regardless of antiemetic administration.


Antiemetic administration in patients with GIFBO was associated with increased time to definitive care and length of hospitalization but not GIFBO-associated complications. Antiemetics are not inherently contraindicated in patients for whom GIFBO is a differential, but clients should be counseled to monitor for progression of clinical signs and follow-up accordingly.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents

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