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Shish Kebab Skewer Danger

November 29, 2009

Doc Truli answers the phone on an autumn Saturday night.

“Is this the Doc?”

“Sure is, how can I help you?”

“Brandy’s panting real hard, standing in one spot, and hasn’t wanted to eat or drink all day. She’s a big, fat yellow lab. She usually loves to eat.”

“I’ll meet you at the hospital in 15 minutes.”

“I dunno Doc, I just want to wait and see.”

“That’s a terrible idea!”

“She seems better now. Bye, Doc”

Brandy waited the whole weekend to see a veterinarian. When her dad finally decided to bring her in, she was grunting in pain, had a fever of 105F, and her abdomen was super painful.

Radiographs (x-rays) showed a strange area behind and above her stomach. Her bloodwork, combined with her physical, told me Brandy was septic, meaning infection was rampant in her blood.

An ultrasound showed fluid in her abdomen where none should be.

“That settles it! Brandy has peritonitis (inflammation and infection free-floating in her abdomen.) She needs emergency surgery to find and fix the cause and clean her out.”

Luckily, Brandy’s family realized by this point that they had already waited too long. They agreed to emergency abdominal surgery.

Once surgery started, as soon as I could see into her abdomen, the unbelievable problem was immediately obvious.

Brandy had swallowed a whole 9-inch wooden shish-kebab barbecue skewer! Probably Labrador Retriever gluttony made it possible.

The skewer went into her stomach and punctured out the bottom of her stomach and into her back muscles 1/2 inch to the side of her aorta. Brandy survived two days with a wooden spike digging into her back from the inside!

The skewer was removed at surgery, her abdomen cleaned, the hole in the stomach needed just a little stitch.

Brandy recovered completely from her incident. She was a lucky dog, another 1/2 inch, or a slightly stronger infection, and she could not have survived.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 8:28 am

    Dear Virtuavet,

    Best Boy Productions, a NL-based film and television production company, is seeking stories from pet lovers willing to share their pet medical emergencies. The show is about pets as family and what the family goes through when an emergency situation occurs. The show will air on The Pet Network.

    We are requesting a one to two page typed story detailing the pet health crisis or injury, the emergency medical treatment, and the recovery process, or, in some cases, the mourning process. Although we expect to receive many stories about dearly-loved cats and dogs, we are also seeking stories about more exotic animals – anything from horses, mini-goats, rabbits, birds and ferrets to iguanas and snakes.

    Would you be willing to share this story for the new series? If so, please let us know.

    Kind Regards,
    Mark Hoffe

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