Reggie, a 15-month-old Springer Spaniel, was referred to our specialist veterinary surgery team after his owners were extremely concerned that he may have eaten a kebab stick.
An ultra sound and MRI scan quickly identified that Reggie had ingested the kebab stick, stolen from the kitchen table, which was causing him extreme pain and discomfort.
However the extent of the damage was much worse than anyone could have imagined. The kebab stick was not only present within the stomach, but it had ruptured through the stomach wall, perforating Reggie’s liver and diaphragm and was protruding into his heart sac. The damage was so severe; inflammation was starting to become visible externally along Reggie’s breast bone.
(Left, the diagonal line represents the kebab stick, dangerously close to Reggie’s heart to the far left of the image.)
Reggie was immediately rushed in for major surgery. In order to remove the stick and repair the damage to his vital organs, three body cavities (stomach, chest and heart sac) had to be opened. In total the surgery took three hours, and involved a large and dedicated surgical and critical care team to get him through the operation and recovery process.
Daniela Murgia, who leads our soft tissue surgery team, said: “I’ve never seen a case like Reggie’s before. The fact that the kebab stick had not just been ingested, but had managed to perforate so many vital organs was astonishing. I’m just so glad we were able to operate in time.
“It was a very long recovery for Reggie. Due to the extent of the internal damage, his organs needed a lot of time to heal properly. His owners had to be really careful in order to make sure that he remained as still as possible for the first few weeks after the surgery, to make sure that he didn’t rupture any stitches, which isn’t easy with a Springer Spaniel!”
When Reggie returned for his check-up three months after the operation, a further ultrasound was performed so that Daniela could assess his internal healing. We were all very relieved when he was given the all-clear!
Reggie’s owners, Mr Pete Everett and Mrs Justine Barber, (pictured below with a recovered Reggie and Daniela) said:
“We can’t thank Daniela and her team enough for everything they have done for Reggie. He wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for them! We still can’t believe just how much damage the kebab stick was able to cause him in such a short amount of time.
“We’ve got two dogs, and like most dog owners we’re always really careful to keep things that might be harmful well out of their reach. Unfortunately the dogs teamed up to knock the tray of food off the counter. It just goes to show what can happen, and that you need to be extra, extra careful. I’m so glad we were referred to the Animal Health Trust and that they were able to save our boy!”
You can watch a video about Reggie’s story here.