Case 1 | Mia
Mia is a 6 month old Labrador puppy, who is unfortunately as daft as they come. Mia was rushed in one morning after eating some of her owners’ medication.
Human medication can be a problem for dogs for many reasons: firstly, some medication can be toxic in dogs and hence why we don’t use them in dogs, an example of this is ibuprofen a very commonly used pain relief drug in people but can be toxic in low does to dogs; The doses are often different for dogs than people, you may notice similar names of medications given to your pets, but the dose we use for dogs is normally much lower.
In Mia’s case she had decided to chew an entire packet of medication, so this needed to be remedied and quickly to stop her suffering potentially serious side effects. As she had only just eaten the medication and the owners had acted promptly and brought her to the vets the best way to do this was to make her vomit up the pills. Making a dog sick and bringing up the pills is only possible if the dog is brought in to the vets with 2 hours of eating something, after this the tablets move beyond the stomach into the small intestine and won’t be vomited back.
Mia was given the injection to induce vomiting and this is when she surprised us. Mia started to vomit but it wasn’t the tablets that were initially brought up. Mia managed to vomit up: 5 socks, 1 dusting cloth, 1 flannel, ½ a watch strap, the end of another piece of clothing, and then the tablets. This is a massive amount of stuff and probably was the entire contents of her stomach! The biggest surprise was how well she was both before and after this collection of objects was vomited up.
Mia was a very lucky dog; she managed to get away without the need for serious internal surgery. The problem with large ingested objects is they manage to get to the stomach and then move on to the small bowel but here they often get stuck. When objects get stuck in the small intestine the only way to remove them is surgery. Mia’s owners weren’t aware she had managed to swallow so many of their possessions. In this case everything ended up ok but it could have been much worse.
Mia Sitting as still as possible.
The selection of items that Mia had eaten
Leonard the Guinea Pig was brought in to Grey Abbey as and emergency. He had unfortunately fallen a short distance and after was unable to stand on his left hind leg.
On examination he was very painful on his left hind leg. X-rays showed a fracture of the femur, the large thigh bone. It was a displaced fracture meaning the ends of the bone where no longer aligned and had moved from their normal position.
His owners were faced with a difficult choice. The fracture was so bad that if he could be left with a permanent limp, or unable to use the leg at all. The choice the owners faced was: surgery to repair the fracture or amputation of the affected limb. The owners opted for surgery, this was the first time we at grey abbey had fixed a fracture in an animal so small, and Leonard only weighted 300g.
The next day Leonard had surgery a pin was placed in the thigh bone to make it straight and a suture placed around the bone to prevent the fracture from moving.
He recovered from the surgery well. He continues to recover well and 2 weeks after surgery has started to use the leg well.
Fig 1. X-ray showing fractured femur (white arrow)
Fig 2. X-ray showing leg after surgery with pin in the bone.
Fig 3. Leonard recovering from surgery