A Christmas drama for one little dog……
Christmas day is typically enjoyed by all members of the family, including the family pet. Chloe was an affectionate 13 year old West Highland White Terrier, who had enjoyed many years of good health and care from her owners. However, on Christmas day evening, she was rushed in by her owners to E-vets emergency service for a sudden onset of severe vomiting and depression.
Chloe was admitted for treatment with intravenous fluids, antibiotics and pain relief. Despite the initial treatment Chloe’s condition did not improve, she continued to vomit and her breathing became laboured. Further investigation was performed by vet Peter Sharp. X-rays taken showed a severe pneumonia in Chloe’s lungs and a suspicious mass in the mid chest, which may have represented an oesophageal foreign body. After discussion with Chloe’s worried owner, it was decided to perform endoscopy under general anaesthetic. The procedure proved very successful and a large piece of turkey bone ‘knuckle’ was removed with endoscopic forceps from the mid oesophagus.
An oesophageal foreign body is always a severe life threatening emergency. Once the oesophagus is obstructed, the dog is unable to swallow any food, water or saliva and will easily inhale liquid triggering an aspiration pneumonia. The foreign body can also cause severe ulceration of the oesophagus and potentially even cause a rupture.
Chloe needed intensive ‘round the clock’ care, by the veterinary and nursing team for the following 10 days. She was fed through a feeding tube directly into the stomach to bypass the damaged oesophagus, allowing it to heal. Intravenous antibiotics were given to treat the pneumonia and pain relief was provided through out.
Fortunately, Chloe’s story has a happy ending and she has now made a full recovery and is back home with her owners. It appears the turkey bone was consumed in a ‘blink of an eye’ raid on a bin bag on that fateful Christmas day.