The object (recreation)
On Thursday evening I was sitting at the computer and I heard the chomp chomp of Weasley chewing. When I got up to investigate he turned on his heels to flee. By the time I got the object away from him. I realized it was a DVD)and that Weasley had bitten a sizeable chunk off. I searched about for the missing pieces but of course couldn't find them. Meanwhile Weasley looked perfectly content and happy, but I reasoned that a sharp piece metallic substance was not the best thing to have in your tummy so of to the vet we went.
Two hundered and thirty dollars later the vet had x-rayed Weasley's tummy and saw nothing but food in it, then he x-rayed the remaining portion DVD and realized that it didnt show up on the machine (I do wish they had reversed the order of the procedure). Weasley was still acting fine so the vet sent us home with Pepcid AC and told me to watch him closely for the next day. We were told it was likely he either hadn't eaten the DVD or had and would just pass it, but that was a chance of intestinal puncture or other injury. So I called my boss and told them I wouldn't be in to work the next day and why (luckily I have an understanding boss).
Well we were lucky and Weasley was just fine and there was no further sign of the DVD.
After this experience I did some basic research on Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies and Dogs and this is what I learned
- VPI pet insurance reports that foreign body ingestion is one of their most common insurance claims accounting for 3.2 million in claims last year.
- Dogs of all ages will chew on (and ingest) foreign bodies but it is most common in dogs younger then two years old. Cats are less plagued by this issue but it happens to them as well.
- Symptoms of foreign body ingestion include vomiting, discomfort, and diarrhea.
- The first thing a vet will do when presented with an animal that may have ingested a foreign object is an x-ray, but as in Weasley's case it may not show up. An ultrasound can then be helpful or if the animal appears to be in no distress close monitoring is acceptable.
- If an object passes through the intestine and into the colon then the dog will most likely pass it on their own, and dogs can pass some nasty things. Given the dog a little extra to eat can help the process. If your dog has an object logged in their colon when they are going potty (ie its sticking out a bit, never ever pull it. If its still atatched inside you can cause serious damage, instead take your dog to the vet).
- The biggest risk with foreign object ingestion is abdominal or intestinal tearing. It means that because the intestine is blocked the walls break down a hole forms and the intestinal contents will link into the abdomen and blood stream. This can cause sepsis and shock and a pet in this condition will die without immediate treatment, and may well not survive anyway.