It is six evenings. It was a beautiful spring in Gold coast. I was after the long day session of seminar in a hotel and resting in my room looking at the Pacific Ocean that welded together with dark blue sky. Watching out nature seems to be refreshing before out for my dinner.
It was the phone call from home change the mood
while attending a work-related conference and enjoying a sunny holiday in Gold coast in Queensland I received a call from my distressed wife that my dog had eaten our daughter’s socks.
My wife was not happy for leaving her with two children along with the dog. I could not help her that she also works and not school holiday time for children to take them along.
Her call was series not to be ignored being a veterinarian
One would think that our dog was not fed well, or hungry, it is true my Labrador sandy always hungry and ready to eat anything anytime. Snacking on socks while being fed good quality food also routine for my sandy. Some dogs do have this bad habit, collecting socks, balls, rope and seeds as their play toys. This can be fine, so long as the animal plays with these items instead of swallowing the full or parts can cause serious problems, to the animal and the owner who has to take care of the pet.
“Wait till tomorrow hopefully, the dog will vomit thereby passing the socks. If all else fails, take the dog to the Lort Smith animal hospital till I return” I suggested to my wife, while concerned for our family pet. Some time had passed and I had not heard from my wife or daughter, I wondered if this was good or bad news. The next day I rang for them and they said Sandy looked normal.
One week had passed since I returned from Queensland; I was cleaning the backyard when I came across my daughter’s socks that were said to be swallowed by our dog. The socks were twisted like a piece of small rope and lying abandoned in the garden. Dogs do swallow stones and shingles and it is said that in England, the dog of a carpenter was found to have about three and a half kilograms of nails in its stomach,. People who have dogs must exercise caution about the dog’s undesirable habits.
Not only the items I have already mentioned but also others such as fishing line, rope etc could create problems. Chances for a dog swallowing fishing line while trying to eat the bait onto the line are also high. Someone who enjoys fishing would rack their brain thinking what has happened to the missing link. When a dog swallows a fishing line the rope would lie lengthwise in the intestine and would roll over according to the movement of the dog resulting in the intestines becoming lacerated and damaged. In such an event the intestines would become necrotic and would have to be severed and removed during a surgical procedure.
Recently a fascinating incident occurred when George from Italian heritage brought a large malamute breed of dog to my clinic for an examination due to it vomiting frequently. He was at a loss as to why this was happening as I began examining his pet. I provided the client with some medication to settle the stomach, which later was reported to make no difference. A received a call from the owner on the second day to which he informed me of some rope attached to a toy that was missing, he now recalled the dog playing with the rope earlier in the week.
Concerned but glad to have some idea on why the dog was not improving
I explained to the owner that if his dog has eaten the line it would not show up in an X ray. I advised that the owner takes his dog to a specialty clinic to have an ultrasound performed.
The owner returned to the clinic after one hour, when inquired what the news was the owner explained that the cost of the ultrasound was too much and he pleaded with me to help save his dog. “There is only one way that I can attempt to save your dog and that is by exploratory laparotomy If there is a rope in the intestine I can remove it but it is not possible for me to do alone and I will need the assistance from another veterinarian which will incur a large cost” I said. The name of the dog was Alex and the owner agreed to go ahead with the mentioned procedure.
After the operation, I kept Alex at the clinic to observe his recovery for five days. On the fifth day, the owner was waiting one morning for me at the clinic to see Alex and ask about his progress.
“It is your lucky day, I’m happy to report that Alex has made a full recovery.” I said. The owner was in shock, but could not wipe the smile from his face.
“A three feet long small intestine and large intestine were removed during the operation. I explained that part of the intestines were removed and cut to remove all the long rope The surgery lasted five hours, I told him while observing his face. He was unruffled and I didn’t know whether he had understood what I said.
“In the future do not give the toy with Rope that your dog can get to them. If you see your dog playing with a rope I advised that he remove it as quickly as possible to avoid any problems later on. “Doctor I have to run home immediately I have over twenty concerned people waiting at home for news on Alex Many had been observing sadness of the day Alex was admitted to the clinic. They had spent five days in distress not knowing whether Alex would survive “he said.
I wondered if Alex would know the pain and suffering these people felt at home. All George’s friends’ concern was at that time was not about the major operation that Alex underwent. They all craving to see Alex George should declare to those at his home that he had saved the life of Alex and taking it there.