We have had some interesting cases this past month with dogs eating things they should’nt have.
Molly, the German Shepherd.
Molly presented to us in poor form, she had vomited 5 to 6 times the previous night and would not eat anything today.
We checked her over and decided to take her in to hospital and place her on i.v fluids as she was very dehydrated. Dehydration is very common when a dog has been vomiting not eating.
We took blood and examined it, the results were normal. We were worried that there could be a blockage causing the vomiting so we rang the owners to discuss taking x-rays.
The dark circular part on the x-ray is the blockage
From the x-rays, it was evident that there was something in the intestines that was causing a blockage. We discussed the findings of the x-rays with the owners and strongly advised an exploratory laparotomy to see if there was a blockage and if we could remove it.
We performed the ex lap and found the blockage, part of her intestines were blocked by a buildup of black rubber material that we carefully removed.
After the operation, we took her back to the recovery ward.
She was still on i.v fluids and medication with no food for 24 hours to allow the surgical site to recover.
She recovered slowly but surely and began to eat small amounts the following day. As she was recovering well and keeping her food down, she was discharged after a couple of days.
She had chewed up a rubber pipe that had collected a caused a blockage in the gut. This was causing the vomiting as the contents of her stomach could not pass. If she had not been operated on, the intestines would have started to die and things would have gotten much worse for her. Luckily she made a full recovery
Lady, The Boxer.
Lady presented to Arena Vets in a similar manner to Molly, she was in poor form, would not eat and had been vomiting.
We did a check over and took her in to place her on i/v fluids.
It is more common for a younger dog to eat something they shouldn’t, however Lady was presenting with all of the signs of a foreign body so we spoke to the owners and advised x-rays.
We took an x-ray of both sides of her abdomen as it gives a clearer image of the location of the foreign body in the intestines. Due to the length of intestines, it can be difficult to see exactly where the blockage is.
The white circles on the x-ray show the location of the stones.
We discussed the findings of the x-rays with her owner and advised surgery to remove them.
Because the stones were in two separate areas of the intestines, the surgery took a little longer to complete as two areas of intestine had to be opened.
The stones were quite large and 3 of them had become lodged together in one part of the intestine with another stuck further up. This was making it impossible for the stomach contents to pass and causing her some pain.
She was taken back to the recovery ward after surgery, due to her age and the length of the surgery, her recovery was slightly slower, but she came through the evening and the following night very well. She began to eat the following day and didn’t vomit which is great. She was kept in hospital or two days on fluids to fully recover and went home in much better form.
Our last case is our most recent. Last week we got a call from a worried owner that their dog had eaten a couple of large pieces of dark chocolate. We asked them to come in straight away as dark chocolate is the most poisonous to dogs and this guy is a 2kg chihuahua! We treated him straight away with apomorphine which induces emesis(vomiting)
Result! Even though he vomited up the chocolate, we put him on I.v fluids to flush any remaining toxins from his system. We ran bloods to check for damage to the liver and they were clear. He went home that evening in much better form.
We do not want to cause alarm on the chocolate front, however it is something that dogs should never eat as it does damage the liver, please do not feed it to your dog and if you think they have eaten it, please act quickly and take them to the vet as it needs to come out asap.
There are no easy ways to stop a dog from eating things they should not but some helpful tips are:
Do not throw scraps on to stones/gravel.
Do not throw out old cooking oil onto stones/gravel.
Keep bins out of reach.
Never feed chocolate, raisins, onions, garlic or any other human food to your dog.
Dogs love dog food!