Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News

Clinical Case: Patient Charlie

August 27, 2019

A very sad looking Charlie came to see us recently with an upset tummy. He had been vomiting and did not want to eat anything. Medications and an IV drip made him feel a little bit better, but he was still feeling sick and was in pain. An xray was taken and showed some gas in his stomach, but no other problems. An ultrasound showed that he had an object lodged in his intestinal tract. Xrays are good at detecting thinks like stones or metal objects but are not very good for fabric, plastic, or wooden objects and this is where ultrasound is very useful.
Dogs and cats are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t and they never learn from their mistakes. We are constantly surprised by what they are able to swallow! The diameter of the small intestine is much smaller than the diameter of the throat and esophagus so this is the region where items get stuck. Unfortunately, the only way to remove them is to operate which is not without risks. The most common intestinal foreign objects we find in our patients include balls, bits of plastic, socks, corn cobs and underwear!
There are times when an owner will see their pet swallow an item that could be problematic and bring their pet to see us right away. If the item is still in the stomach, we can often induce vomiting to retrieve the item before it passes into the small intestine.
Once we knew something was stuck, Charlie was taken to surgery to have the object removed, and is now recovering well and feeling a lot better.
The only question that remains is ‘what is it?’.