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"Dash" - Collie with Bowel Obstruction
Photo: Dash

Diamonds are amongst the most expensive stones in the world. I should know as I recently felt compelled to buy three after witnessing Mt Etna erupting, the associated spectacular lava flow and the emotional turmoil that it engenders.

Gravel stones by contrast can usually be bought by the ton for an equivalent sum of money or so Dash's owner's originally thought.

They were singularly unconcerned as they watched with amusement whilst "Dash" tossed the gravel stones up into the air catching them in his mouth. That is, until they became aware that "Dash" turned his nose up at his dinner and generally became very subdued............."Dash" had been very aptly named!

At this point my advice was sought and it soon became very clear to me that "Dash" had a bowel obstruction caused by a stone.

"Dash's" digestive tract, like ours, is a very strong muscular tube which endeavours to push all that we consume from one end to the other. The muscular contraction (peristalsis) acts in waves and considerable effort is exerted to ensure that any food bolus moves generally in only one direction.

The cause of discomfort to the patient results both from the build up of gas behind the obstruction causing distension of the bowel and the intensity of the muscle cramps as the bowel struggles to propel the obstruction further down the digestive tract.

The bruising caused by the stone is all too apparent at the time of surgery when the obstruction is removed. Fortunately the level of damage caused was entirely reversible and consequently, the improvement in the general demeanour of the patient is usually very dramatic. Overnight, "Dash" suddenly starts acting like his namesake again!

His owners were very pleased to be reunited with him again and are considering having the stone mounted on a piece of jewellery because of it's value!

Photo: The stone. Label reads "Not a diamond! But an expensive stone nonetheless!
The Stone

X-ray - Click for a larger version


Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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