Blossom's owners were sensible enough not to allow her
to have the bone from their joint this week - but they held
the bone to allow her to lick at it. Unfortunately, Blossom
had other ideas, and tried to grab the bone, tearing off
and hastily swallowing a chunk of cartilagenous gristle.
The following day, she was extremely subdued, and could
not even drink water without vomiting it back. Blossom's
owners brought her to the surgery, and asked me if the fragment
could be stuck in her gullet. I replied that it was extremely
unusual for this to happen, and much more likely that it
was in her small intestine - the commonest place for "foreign
bodies" to lodge.
To my surprise, when I x-rayed Blossom I found that her
owner was right - it was indeed wedged in the oesophagus,
about 5cm before the stomach entrance.
Is far trickier to remove such items than those lodged
in the intestines. We cannot simply cut into the chest to
get to the oesophagus, in the way we are able to cut into
the abdomen to get to the intestines. Thus, we either have
to pull the foreign body back up out of the mouth, or grasp
it from the stomach end and pull it downwards.
Using an endoscope to see what we were doing, and a specialised
pair of forceps (some 2 feet long) my colleague Ingrid managed
to grasp the bone fragment and withdraw it through Blossom's
mouth. A great relief for all involved!
I'd like to thing Blossom has learnt her lesson and will
avoid bones in future, but judging by the fact that she
was scrounging for food only the next day, I doubt this
will be the case!
Young BVSc CertSAM MRCVS.
to "Interesting Cases"
If you wish to print or save this page it
is available in PDF format here