This is a story about Frank (name changed for privacy), but truth be told it could be the story about almost any dog.
This beautiful boy has recently moved homes, his folks busily packed up their lives and headed off to another home, unpacked their lives and settled in.
They unpacked boxes and bags and ensured their canine pal was happy and settled in his new home and backyard.
The trouble started when Frank started vomiting in the morning and straining to pass faeces. When I say vomiting, it wasn't just a here and there... it was very 30 minutes, at least 12 times and stretching his legs out as though uncomfortable.
Thankfully, the family were quick to bring him in to see us.
X-rays were taken and a foreign body in the stomach/duodenum could be seem. Was it a bone? The family was given the option of an exploratory laparotomy to find and potentially retrieve the foreign body or to take Frank home and monitor him closely for any changes and hopefully it will pass.
The family opted for surgery.
A midline incision was made, intestines, stomach, colon and mesentery all look normal. The foreign body was found in the transverse colon. It looked to be approximately 6cms long and 2cms wide with pointy/spikey bits at each end. Was it a plastic toy? The foreign body was milked down to the mid-descending colon to be passed once awake.
Thankfully after a frightening 24 hours followed by an anxious wait, 2 days post op Frank passed a HUGE piece of cooked bone.
Frank spent a few day's on a bed watching his humans work feeling quite sore and sad before quickly returning to his usual self after the bone had been passed.
This type of thing could easily happen to any of us. This family ADORE their dog, they take wonderful care of him.
The only thing this family didn't do... which to be honest it would not have occurred to most of us to do.. was check their yard for old bones or toys from the previous furry occupant.
A reminder to us all, when we move house or take our pets on holiday, we must check their environment. Even if they are not normally chewers or scavengers in their own environment, the lure of an object pre loved by an unknown furry pal may be enough to encourage them.