Foreign Body Ingestion: A Piece of Carpet with a Side of Rope?!
Foreign body ingestion is a favourite pastime for many of our pets. Dogs and cats often ingest things they shouldn’t. We will never know what drives them to do this but they sometimes seem to think it is ok to ingest rocks, toys, tennis balls, socks, underwear, bones, needles and thread, string, fishing hooks, Nerf gun darts, pieces of carpet, rope, garbage, etc. Sometimes the object will pass through their intestines without complication. Sometimes the object will pass through only causing a mild upset stomach or diarrhea. Other times, the object will become stuck in the stomach or intestines and cause a life-threatening blockage.
The following is a story about a dog that seems to have a different palate for flavor than most other dogs:
Snoopy is a 2 year old Havanese mix weighing 12 pounds. He had been vomiting intermittently for one week and had minimal interest in food. He hadn’t had a bowel movement in quite a few days. He is normally very energetic but was feeling quite depressed when he came to see us.
Upon exam, it was found that Snoopy had a mild fever. His blood work showed no abnormalities. His abdomen was quite painful on palpation. We suspected that he had a foreign body stuck in his intestines or stomach that was preventing food from passing through. A firm “object” was palpated in his intestines and he cried when this area was touched. We proceeded to take radiographs of Snoopy’s abdomen, which led us to take him directly into surgery.
From Snoopy’s small intestine we removed a hard, rolled up piece of carpet. From his stomach, we removed this:
An extremely long, long, long piece of rope?! How?! Why?!
Snoopy made a full recovery and is now back to bouncing and running around like he used to. He was up and eating 12 hours after surgery. We all hope he has learned his lesson about ingesting anything but dog food.