Ah yes, the weird, the wonderful, the macabre…the veterinary true stories.
Always good for ruining a dinner party.
This post is not for the faint hearted, and please note that it contains actual images of things recovered from the pet’s stomachs (yes, blood and all). If you can’t cope with this, then you probably shouldn’t be here. 😉
That said, the vets and VNs/VTs out there are totally gonna relate.
Well, it wasn’t actually confetti. It was metal shavings, but believe me, the X-ray lit up like a Christmas tree. I distinctly remember the other night vet marvelling in awe; “it really does look like confetti…it’s beautiful”.
I think they were aluminium (alumiNUM, sorry America). The dog in question was a serial “thing eater”, and was well known to us for having had previous gastrotomies (surgical removal of an object from the stomach) to remove socks, pants and once a solo gardening glove. This time, in the manner of the notorious French showman and soldier Tarrare(google him if you want to be thoroughly appalled), the poor spaniel had slurped down a couple hundred grams of industrial metal sawdust.
For the sentimental out there, have no fear – he survived. We fed him stodgy porridge to help it all pass, painkillers, and prescribed antibiotics to safeguard against infection (since presumably metal shavings in the intestines can be a bit scratchy). He was fine…although I can’t image it was a very pleasant bowel movement.
It was actually my colleague who handled this case one night on OOH, but I was very much privy to the drama that followed.
The situation is as follows:
Male owner arrives in a hot mess, frantic, and dragging behind him a large yellow retriever who – he tells us – has just eaten an item of his wife’s underwear off the floor.
Being the good veterinary professional that she is, my colleague (with a truly commendable lack of giggling) reassures Mr Thong that Rex is going to be fine. We will make him sick, she tells Mr Thong. He will throw that naughty underwear right back up for us.
This pleases Mr Thong.
My colleague administers the sick-making injection.
As they wait, Mrs Thong arrives, in scrubs, presumably straight from work (our hospital is next-door to children’s hospital). Mr Thong appears nervous. He is in the middle of telling her that she really should go back to work because he has this situation under control. And then Rex throws up a blue lace thong.
Moment later there is shouting audible throughout the building, and then Mrs Thong storms out.
Turns out she doesn’t wear thongs.
Grass. So Much Grass.
We went in after a lamb bone, but this wee Frenchie clearly had a side hustle as a lawn mower.
He also had almost a full roll worth of toilet paper crammed in there (bonus loo roll).
The best part? His owners had no idea. They only brought him in for the lamb bone.
Actual photo to follow – the squeamish out there, please look away now.
ALL Of The Cocktail Sticks
Because originally they had cocktail sausages attached, and what dog isn’t into that?
The Jack Russell Terrier in question was rushed in by his extremely worried and very lovely owners, having polished off an entire silver tray of cocktail sausages in the thirty seconds or so that they were out of the room. This put something of a damper over the baby shower they had been about to host, but – fabulous pet parents that they truly were – their priority in that moment was their fur baby.
An hour and a half of surgical time later, and Sausage [also not real name] was in recovery, and I was on the phone to his very emotional owners, who – in a fit of heartfelt gratitude – informed me that they were going to name their daughter Daisy.
Situation update: it’s two years later, and I have no idea whether they actually did.
An Egg Inside A Cat
This was such a weird one. Like, so weird that my colleague ended up publishing a case report on this case. I was working sole-charge at a branch one busy afternoon, and in comes this beautiful ginger tom cat, middle aged, with his sweet but mildly manipulative elderly female owner (“oh please nice Miss Receptionist, bump me to the front of the queue because I’m every so worried about Fluffy [not real name]”).
Fluffy’s owner relayed her concerns that Fluffy had neither eaten nor passed a bowel movement for three days, and had also been vomiting (mostly fur). After feeling Fluffy’s (somewhat constipated) abdomen, the decision was made to X-ray Fluffy.
And we found an egg.
The veterinary professionals out there will be able to appreciate quite how unusual these images are. That round, white thing in the bottom of the abdomen? That should not be there. That is not part of Fluffy!
Well, actually it kind of is. I referred Fluffy to our main branch for an ex-lap, and my colleague found (aside from intestines full of fur and, well, constipation) a peritoneal egg. It’s a thing. It’s super rare. And I found one.
It really was quite the Kinder Surprise.
Pick ‘N’ Mix
This was honestly such a fun one.
Picture the scene: young couple in their twenties dash down to us one summer afternoon with their labradoodle, who has – to a dog’s mind – hit the jackpot, having been left unattended in the same room as a 1kg bag of pick’n’mix. This could, of course, only end one way.
To complicate things further, they rapidly explain to me, Doodle is diabetic. He’s on a very strict high protein low carb, low sugar diet. Doodle grins (to be fair, labradoodles are always kind of grinning). He’s having the time of his life.
One sick-making injection coming up.
What follows can only be described as a projectile rainbow, and to this day, years later, I still regularly regret that I didn’t have the forethought to record it for posterity.
I have never seen such pretty vomit!
And Finally…The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Found
…And I’ve found some pretty awful things.
This dog’s owner was an absolute babe. She’s a very regular client of mine, a firefighter and the most down to earth and entertaining human being you will ever meet. And it’s lucky she does have such a good sense of humour, because I don’t think we’ll ever let her forget about this one.
She has a cockapoo – we’ll call him Happy Camper [not real name].
One afternoon whilst out on a walk in the local park with Happy, they come across a tent. Look, it’s Liverpool, and the odd park around here can be a little dodgy. And it’s not exactly the wilderness. The only reason for this tent to be here, is if some poor soul with no home, is calling this tent home for the time being.
Before she can stop him, Happy has made a beeline for the tent. She shouts and waves her arms, but can’t distract him from whatever he’s found – he’s fully engrossed in something in a plastic shopping bag on the floor outside the tent.
By the time she reaches him, it’s too late.
Her stomach turns. “You disgusting dog!!”
Two hours later, Happy starts acting strangely. He’s woozy, and wobbling when he walks. It’s as if he’s drunk. She rushes him in to us. Tells us what he did. And we immediately start treatment for a possible cannabis toxicity.
But no, it wasn’t a spliff that Happy found.
65% of cannabis that you take into your body is excreted in your faeces.
Happy helped himself to a homeless guy’s sh*t.
Sound like your dog? Confess!:
…Or perhaps you’d like to read something else instead?: