James Herriot summed up many of the difficulties of our
profession some years ago when he coined the phrase "If
Only They Could Talk". This is particularly relevant
when an owner enters the consulting room with the immortal
phrase "I have no idea what's wrong I just know she's
not quite right!"
That is exactly how Kizzy was presented to me some weeks
ago by her owners. A clinical examination of her proved
fruitless with no detectable abnormalities found. She had
been eating and exercising without too much difficulty but
appeared to be experiencing some discomfort. Her blood profiles
were all completely normal and apart from intermittent indigestion
(not considered abnormal for a Labrador!!) there was very
little to find.
Whilst "Kizzy" appeared to improve after each
visit it wasn't long before she reappeared with the same
history..........."not quite right!"
Despite there being no tenderness nor abnormal findings
on abdominal palpation we decided to radiograph Kizzy to
see whether this might provide additional useful information.
It was apparent that there was a bizarre shadow on the x-ray
suggestive of a pathological lesion in the stomach. It was
decided to perform an exploratory operation to investigate.
Remarkably, I removed a pair of tights............. not
just tights........ but a pair of M and S tights, wrapped
around a baby dinosaur !!
Gastric foreign bodies are notorious amongst veterinary
circles as being difficult to diagnose. The "objects"
may be present for weeks or even months, as in this case,
without giving rise to any obvious clinical problems. Needless
to say the cause of Kizzy's "indigestion" was
able to be remedied once discovered and she is now back
Now if only Kizzys owner had told me that she couldn't
find her underwear!