Published: 16/12/2013 13:03:48
LARRY THE BULL TERRIER bites off more than he can chew
We are keen to raise awareness among pet owners of the risks pets can face during seasonal festivities, following a recent incident involving Larry, a Bull Terrier, whose life was saved after a small piece of bone became wedged in his throat.
Click here to download our 12 festive pet tips of Christmas.
Larry managed to part-swallow a two-inch long chunk of a large marrow bone from the butcher’s shop, which wedged itself across his oesophagus.
Simon Bradford, Larry’s owner, would normally treat his dogs with the occasional marrow bone, but on this particular day he noticed Larry wasn’t behaving quite himself. Mr Bradford said: “I could tell immediately something wasn’t right when he was unable to digest his dinner. I quickly guessed it might have been the marrow bone.”
Mr Bradford suddenly found himself dealing with a rather unwell dog, and an emergency appointment was scheduled for the next day. Vets sedated Larry and tried to remove the large piece of bone with forceps. However, after several unsuccessful attempts at dislodging the chunk the decision was made to transfer him to us for further treatment.
Larry was anaesthetised once again to enable medics to remove the bone using an endoscope (a small camera used internally).
Daniela Murgia, our Head of Soft Tissue Surgery, said: “Sadly, in Larry's case the bone stuck in his oesophagus (a piece of knuckle) could not be removed using this technique. Instead he had to undergo emergency surgery, which entailed opening up his chest, incision and reconstruction of the oesophageal wall, due to the severity of the situation.”
Larry was in surgery for approximately four hours, with Daniela working hard to save him.
“After a long wait we finally heard that Larry had pulled through his ordeal,” said Mr Bradford. “It was a huge weight lifted, but a real shock as to how much damage the bone had done. “He’s well on the road to recovery now, but it has put me off ever giving my dogs any types of bones again - even one as assumedly ‘safe’ as a marrow bone.”
Daniela added: “Bones can be fatal if parts are swallowed whole. They can stay in the stomach for long periods and cause severe gastritis, or become stuck in the gut causing obstruction, which is also extremely dangerous.
“I’d urge pet owners to ensure they are aware of the risks that bones and other treats can pose to their pet, especially at this time of year.”
Our 12 festive pet tips to help keep your pets safe during the festive period include making sure they have somewhere quiet to escape to, our advice on antifreeze poisoning and of course, not giving them small bones to chew.
To download a poster of these festive tips, please click here. Remember to share our festive pet tips with your family and friends!
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