She is a spunky, mischievous, 7 month old Labrador Retriever. On Sunday, May 18th, she had been playing with the owner’s mother and nipped the earring right off of her ear. After searching for the earring with no success, the assumption was that it had been swallowed. Ava presented to Bemidji Veterinary Hospital on Tuesday, May 20th. Given the history, a radiograph was taken. An obvious foreign body was observed in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ava was placed on IV fluids to maintain hydration and given preemptive pain meds. She was sedated and prepped for surgery. An incision was made into the abdomen and the gastrointestinal tract was carefully examined. A hard object was palpated in the stomach and also in the duodenum (first part of the intestines after the stomach). An incision was made into the stomach; the earring was removed along with grass and hair. The irregular object in the duodenum could not be easily advanced through the intestines, so it also needed to be removed. The doctor was able to pull it through the pyloric sphincter (passageway separating the stomach from the intestines). It was extracted through the same incision as the earring. The mass was discovered to be made up of corn and hair. The rest of the GI tract, the pancreas, and other organs all appeared normal. Her abdominal incision was closed and she was awoken from anesthesia. Her anesthesia recovery was uneventful.
The client was called and given an update. When told about the mass of corn, he did recall that on the same day as the earring ingestion, Ava had disappeared to the neighbor’s house. The neighbors are known to put corn out to feed the deer and that was likely where she had ingested it.
Later that afternoon she seemed painful in her abdomen, which is common in abdominal surgeries. She was given additional pain meds and shortly after was resting more comfortably. She rested quietly overnight and was much more energetic by the next morning. She had not vomited, so oral antibiotics and pain meds were given. She was offered a small amount of easily digestible food which she ate well. Throughout the day she continued to show progress by eating well and not vomiting. She was however caught licking at her incision, so an E-collar was placed to prevent any self-inflicted damage.
On Thursday morning she had returned to her normal spunky self. She was discharged into the care of her owners with instructions for strict rest, an easily digestible diet, and to discourage the eating of corn or especially any jewelry.
Ava came back for a recheck and suture removal on Tuesday, June 3rd. Though her owners did their best at following the directions of strict rest, she had at one point escaped from her leash and ran around the yard. Her incision line was a little red from this over-activity, but had healed enough to remove the sutures. Asking a puppy to sit still and not be playful is a difficult request.
Puppies can be very mischievous and are prone to getting into and eating things they shouldn’t. Patients who ingest foreign objects typically present to us much sicker. Ava’s owners were observant and quick to seek professional help. Common symptoms include vomiting, not passing stools, and very uncomfortable in the abdomen. A quick response from the owners allowed for an easier treatment, a speedy recovery, and a positive outcome.
If you notice your pet having any abnormal symptoms give us a call. Our trained staff can help you decide if your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian. We also have a veterinarian on call for emergencies during non-business hours. For questions, appointments, or emergencies call 218-751-2753.