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"Lucky" - Bichon Frise with Stuck Object

Photo of Lucky


Lucky with mouth being held open and showing a bottle cap caught in the teeth

Lucky with "foreign object"


Every year we will be presented with a variety of different objects that have become stuck in our patients mouths.

Dogs in particular will tend to explore new objects in the hope of discovering a tasty morsel. Lamb and chicken bones are the usual candidates often becoming lodged across the upper jaw jammed between the teeth.

Owners become quickly alerted to the problem as the patient desperately tries to dislodge the offending article. Pawing at the mouth and frantic licking are generally indicative of this type of problem.

Unfortunately most patients do not understand that when examining their mouth you may be trying to help. Many owners are inadvertently bitten by their own pets when trying to assist.

Once this type of diagnosis has been made most patients are then admitted for sedation.

A modern combination of tranquilizers and potent analgesics administered intravenously takes effect within seconds. A similar cocktail of drugs is used for darting wild and dangerous animals.

Once heavily sedated the mouth can then be examined without fear of further damage to patient or vet!

It is surprising how much effort that can be required to dislodge the offending article. The power and force generated by even the smallest canine jaws is quite considerable and quite capable of inflicting significant damage. A special gag is inserted to open the jaws and then a variety of implements including forceps and pliers are then usually required to extract the foreign object.

Once removed the patient can then have the potent sedative reversed using an antidote also delivered by injection. This allows patients to be discharged within an hour where only a short procedure is to be performed.

It was only after we had removed the offending article that I decided this week's patient was aptly named.................."Lucky!"

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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