Buddy is like any other 8 month old pointer pup when I see him for a check up today – spritely and inquisitive as he reaches up to help himself to treats from the consult room bench.
Last week Buddy wasn’t looking or feeling so great. He had been vomiting and off his food so we admitted him to the hospital to work out what was going on. Xrays showed that something was affecting his bowels, causing them to bunch up and dilate with gas. When we see this in an inquisitive young dog like Buddy, we always think of a foreign body lodged in the gut, as pups often eat things they shouldn’t. Offending items like socks and underwear, fruit stones and toys are relatively common. Sometimes they pass on their own, but when they get stuck we need to perform surgery.
With consent from Buddy’s dad, we put Buddy onto intravenous fluids and began to prepare him for a general anaesthetic. As we were placing his breathing tube a rather surprising discovery was made. A piece of string was caught under Buddy’s tongue. It was pulling tight, with both the ends disappearing down his esophagus toward his stomach and intestines. It was too caught up down there to be pulled back out his mouth safely.
Surgery that night to remove the 1.5m length of string required four separate openings into Buddy’s intestines and one into his stomach. Each one requiring very careful stitching to ensure a leak proof seal.
With lots of post op TLC from the team at Ourvets, Buddy was well enough to go home two days later for quiet time with Dad. And one week on you wouldn’t even know it had happened, until he rolls over for a belly rub and reveals his big scar.