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Just like humans, our pets can cause some mischief that may land them in a spot of bother. For 11-year-old Dachshund Max, this began when he started exploring his new garden following a house move. Here is more of his story. 

Max’s owner booked a free consultation with their local Animal Trust surgery in Ellesmere Port following some vomiting episodes and passing of loose stools. Commenting on her concerns, Max’s owner Mrs. Bennett said; ‘’When Max began to vomit up some bile and food, I became concerned as it is very out of character for him. I knew he had been exploring his new garden surroundings and worried he had picked up something he shouldn’t have.’’

Upon examination, the Lead Vet at Ellesmere Port, Eve Aron reported Max to have an uncomfortable abdomen and some abdominal guarding, which indicated there could be some inflammation of internal organs. Speaking about her findings, Lead Vet Eve says; ‘’Max initially was presented in the praying position [a position whereby the dog’s front legs are stretched out and their bottom is raised in the air], which occurs when the animal is suffering from abdominal discomfort.’’ 

Eve continues; ‘’Given Max’s history of exploring his new garden, I recommended that x-rays were performed as part of our investigations.’’

Max the dog
Slate in dog xray

Warning: Image of surgical recovery below.

Max post surgery

Following his x-rays, it became clear that Max had digested fragments of slate from his new garden, and he underwent surgery the same day to remove the foreign body. Once ingested the presence of a foreign body can cause a range of symptoms, including. 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Lethargy and lack of appetite 
  • New or unusual behaviours including growling when touched around the abdomen area 

The type of treatment required to remove a foreign body can depend on how far through the digestive tract the object has travelled. In some cases, the object may pass naturally, and, in others such as Max’s case surgery intervention will be required. 

Discussing the procedure, Vet Eve explains; ‘’Timing is critical when assessing a foreign body as if left it can cause obstructions and cut off blood supply depending on location. For Max, the slate had passed to his stomach with some smaller fragments sitting in his intestines and surgery was the best option to aid the removal and his recovery.’’

slate removed from max the dog

Following his surgery to remove the slate, Max remained hospitalised at our Ellesmere Port surgery for 24-hour monitoring – a service currently also offered at 3 other Animal Trust locations: Shrewsbury, Dewsbury and, Bolton.

After a successful recovery, mischief Max [as now nicknamed by his owners], returned home the next day. Speaking about her pet’s experience, owner Mrs. Bennett said; ‘’I’m so thankful to the team at Ellesmere Port for how swiftly they cared for Max. He’s made such a great recovery is monitored closely now when he’s out and about in the garden.’’ 

If you’re ever concerned that your pet may have digested a foreign object, contact your nearest Animal Trust surgery immediately. 

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