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"Fred" - Puppy with Gastrointestinal Object



One of the most common presentations for patients at our practice is "He's just not right!" This change in a patient's demeanour is never more obvious than when it involves a puppy like "Fred". Extremely lively normally his personality personified happiness. Consequently, when he arrived at Fairfield looking "as miserable as sin!" it didn't take a genius to establish we had a serious problem.

Closer inspection revealed a very tense and painful abdomen but it was only after he had been sedated were we able to clarify the magnitude of his condition. Like all puppies he had spent a considerable amount of time investigating new objects with his mouth. Unfortunately, a long piece of string had become wound around the base of his tongue whilst both ends of the string had descended down into his stomach and small intestine.

These muscular organs had attempted to push the string along the gastrointestinal tract by strong muscular contractions oblivious to the fact that the string was anchored around the tongue. The effect was to "concertina" the bowel causing intense bowel spasm at the same time as starting to slice through the base of the tongue.

Major expensive surgery was required to retrieve the offending string through multiple bowel incisions to avoid further, possible irreversible damage. Since his current owners were unable to afford his treatment my veterinary colleague Agnieszka, who had been dealing with his case decided to adopt "Fred" and foot the bill herself!

Fortunately, despite the potential complications "Fred", like so many young patients, had a tremendous capacity for recovery. And recover he did, back to his ridiculously happy self! Now Agnieszka's cat Rudi is learning to live with his new companion who seems to exist in a constant state of excited delirium! A perfect example of why cats look upon dogs with such disdain!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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