Age: 2 years 5 months
Most vets worry about dogs eating chocolate as it’s toxic to them, but Rollo decided to go one better with a chocolate egg.
Rollo is a Dalmatian belonging to Hampton Park Vet nurse Libby. She has owned him since May 2017, after rehoming him from the RSPCA.
Rollo managed to get hold of a chocolate egg after it fell through a hole in Libby’s pocket (a hole that Rollo had made by chewing it!) “He will eat anything without thinking about it,” Libby explained, “just as you think he’s going to let go, he tricks you and swallows it whole!”
That’s what happened here, Rollo didn’t actually eat any of the chocolate though. “He smushed it into the ground, we saw chocolate on the floor, and we were trying to get it [the toy part] off him and he swallowed it whole – and it’s plastic.”
That was on the Saturday, and Libby texted one of the vets at work to tell them what had happened. The vet told her, “to keep an eye on him and see how it goes, so that is what we did.”
What happened next?
By the Wednesday nothing had passed so Rollo was taken into the practice to have the item removed. He underwent an exploratory operation to find the foreign body. “It’s strange as most people don’t see the inside of their own dog, so that was kinda cool,” joked Libby.
Libby herself didn’t get involved in the operation, “I just popped in and out and watched from the doorway, it was kind of stressful as he’s my baby!”
Why was it important to get it out?
Any foreign object in a dog’s intestines can cause real problems to them. While in many cases, the object will be either digested or passed, plastic is resistant to digestive juices, and an object of this size often gets “stuck” somewhere – typically at some point where the bowel makes a sharp turn.
An intestinal obstruction can be genuinely life-threatening, with affected dogs usually vomiting uncontrollably, becoming dehydrated and going into shock. In some cases, the intestine’s own attempts to push the object along will actually result in a ruptured bowel, which if untreated rapidly leads to infection of the abdomen, septicaemia and death.
In this case, Rollo wasn’t in any immediate danger – but ultimately, it had to come out one way or another, and if he wasn’t going to pass it, our vets had to extract it more directly!
What was the outcome?
The toy came out whole (still in it’s yellow plastic egg) – “They got it out whole and put it on the side, so I got it and I built it! I wanted to know what it was!” laughed Libby, “it was a car.” Fortunately, surgery before a patient is seriously ill is much less likely to result in complications, and Rollo’s procedure proved very straightforward, under the circumstances.
How is he now?
“He is fine now, he just wants to play and eat!”
Did he learn his lesson?
“No! This is actually the second time. In the first week we had him he needed emergency surgery as well. Since then we have kept everything out of reach, this thing slipped through the hole in my pocket.”
How did your team respond to the experience?
“They did an amazing job and we all got a Kinder Surprise! Everyone was great, they all went out of their way to help. It was wonderful.”
If you are worried your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have please call us immediately.