Max a dog with a Strange Appetite
A Dog's Dinner
Max is a two-year old male Springer Spaniel that the owner had re-homed about 9 months ago from a rescue charity. In November last year Max was brought into the surgery as the owner thought he may have eaten an indestructible plastic dog toy, on examination Max was very bright and bouncy and no sign of the indestructible toy was found but a lot of gravel could be felt in his large bowel. Given the size of the stones and their location surgery was not felt to be necessary and the owner advised on ways of trying to control Max's strange appetite.
In February of this year Max was brought back into the surgery because he was bit down and off colour and hadn't eaten his food that day. On clinical examination Max was found to be fairly normal until I palpated his abdomen when a rattling sound was produced, given his previous history a radiograph was taken of his abdomen demonstrating a large number of stones present throughout his stomach and intestines.
Given the large number of stones present and the risk of intestinal penetration, Max was rushed into theatre and emergency surgery was performed. The picture below shows the number and size of the stones removed and also some plastic material that was present possibly related to the previous toy-eating incident. (This probably represents the largest amount of material that any of us have removed from a dog's intestines.). Max made an uneventful recovery from surgery and was soon eating normally again, currently we encourage our patients to eat as soon as possible after such surgery as delaying normal eating is associated with higher risks of complications
Max's owner has been working hard to try and overcome Max's wish to eat stones, I understand that this has involved some redesigning of the garden, and to date we have not had to perform any further surgery on Max.