3 Little Puppy Tales....

Puppyhood is an exciting time.  There are so many things to investigate and try out.  Occasionally it is so thrilling to get hold of something they shouldn’t have that a puppy might “accidentally” swallow it in all the excitement!

This is what happened to some of our clients’ puppies rece ntly.

Diego was brought in with vomiting after his owner witnessed him eating a sock the day before.  It was highly likely that the sock was causing the problem so it was quickly decided that Diego would need an anaesthetic to get the sock out.  Because it was a soft item we elected to try to remove it with forceps using our video endoscope – a camera at the end of a long flexible tube.  Imagine our surprise when we found not 1 but 4 socks!   However, Diego was very lucky as we were able to pull them out the way they went in and he was able to go home the same day.
Luna was not so lucky.  She had also been seen eating a sock.  She w as brought in the following day but despite our best attempts we were not able to extract the sock with the endoscope forceps because it had folded in on itself and was too wide to pull back out of the stomach.   Luna therefore had to have surgery to open up the abdomen and take the sock (and a scrunchy hairband!) out of her stomach.  This is far more high risk as the chance of infection is much greater and the recovery time is also longer as the incision site has to heal.  Puppies aren’t all that keen on no play and lead exercise for 2 whole weeks!  Luna has recovered well but hasn’t really learnt from this experience and still tries to eat things she shouldn’t!

Sometimes it’s not the risk of foreign material getting stuck that is the problem.   All little Ellie did was to swallow some of what you might think to be fairly innocuous human vitamin D suppleme nts.  Luckily, the owners rang to check if this would be a problem.  Unfortunately, the canine body has no ability to cope with an excess of this vitamin which can cause a life threatening increase in calcium so it really was a very serious case of poisoning.   Ellie had to have numerous blood tests to monitor her calcium levels which remained unstable for almost 4 weeks until the effect of the vitamin D supplement had worn off.  During this time she spent many days with us on intravenous fluids and diuretics to help flush out the excess calcium in her blood.   She also had to have what turned out to be a very expensive human drug to help reverse the effects of the vitamin D.   Thankfully, she is now back to normal and surprisingly loves coming to see us!

Puppies and dogs are very inquisitive and love eating so please try and keep anything that may tempt them out of harms way and supervise play sessions.  If your dog does swallow something always phone us as soon as possible to check whether it is poisonous or whether intervention is needed.  If you are worried about poisoning always keep the label/packaging so we can work out exactly how much has been ingested to see whether it is a problem.    It is not difficult for us to make your dog sick but it needs to be done quickly (normally within 2 hours) to be effective.