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Posted on 06-17-2015
Last Friday morning the dog sitter brought in a puppy who was vomiting. The bulldog puppy was doing fine, until that morning when she started vomiting after eating breakfast.
Client Service Rep Emily told me, “They think she ate a back scratcher.”
“A back scratcher?” I said, trying to visualize.
“You know. It has a wooden handle, claws on the end.”
Now I had an image of what the puppy ate, or chewed up, thinking there’s probably some fragments in her stomach, irritating her stomach, etc.
A few minutes later I greeted Lilly (the puppy) and Scott (the dog sitter) in the exam room. Lilly was coughing, salivating, gagging. I looked into her mouth, into her pharynx. Nothing. Clear. Just foamy saliva and mucus. Now I was thinking: Okay, she vomited, aspirated, and now she’s coughing.
We took x-rays of her stomach and chest (to look for evidence of aspiration). Her stomach was dilated with gas. It looked like there was a linear foreign object in the stomach along with a lot of dog food. But, Scott (the dog sitter) told me she ate the ball part on the end of the handle. “About the size of a marble,” he told me.
Next step, we passed a stomach tube to relieve the gas distension. I wanted to see the x-rays again, minus all the gas. Assistants Travis and Nesh took Lilly back to radiology.
“Dr. P, look!” Travis said. “I saw her chewing on something. I reached into her mouth and pulled this out!”
Travis presented the 16-inch back scratcher handle, with chewed wood or bamboo and dog spit on one end and a small wooden ball on the other. Lilly suddenly felt much better.
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