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It’s that time of year again. Veterinary Practice News puts out the call for radiographs relating to animals that have eaten weird things. And veterinarians have responded in kind.
As usual, the entries didn’t disappoint. Veterinary Practice News team members, who judged the contest, selected Gary Sloniker, DVM, of Spooner Veterinary Clinic in Spooner, Wis., as this year's grand prize winner. He submitted a radiograph of a Lab puppy who chowed down on a fishing pole.
"This year’s entries show once again how important radiography is to the veterinary practice,” said Greg Stoutenburgh, director of marketing for Sound-Eklin of Carlsbad, Calif., contest sponsor.
Dr. Sloniker wins a digital single lens reflex camera and the two runners-up each win a digital point-and-shoot camera. Be sure to check out all of the winners below.
Grand Prize Winner
Gary Sloniker, DVM
Spooner Veterinary Clinic
The clients brought in 6-month-old black Lab Bailey, saying the dog had eaten something. They didn’t know what it was, but said they said they could see it poking out by its ribs. The radiograph seemed to show a small fishing pole.
We sedated the dog and pulled the jig pole back up and out its mouth.
The puppy went home the next day and back to its normal puppy life. The owners reported the pole was their most expensive jig pole.
Barry A. Lissman, DVM
John Corso, DVM
Howard Camay, DVM
Joseph Palmeri, DVM
Sachem Animal Hospital
A 52-pound, 1–year-old mastiff was presented to Sachem Animal Hospital. The dog had been adopted from a shelter the day before. It had severe diarrhea and coughing, was very thin and not thriving. Abdominal palpation revealed a large, firm foreign body.
Radiographs revealed a large metallic foreign body along with another metallic foreign body.
In surgery, an 8-inch ratchet wrench was removed along with the separated rachet pieces. The dog recovered and improved.
Harvest Kruggel, CVT
Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center
Our emergency clinic received a call from an owner stating that she believed her 3-month-old bull mastiff had swallowed a very large toy bone. Radiographs revealed an 8-inch by 3-inch rubber bone, plus a handful of rocks in his stomach. We then referred the client to her regular veterinarian, where surgery was performed to remove the items. The puppy recovered, and the owners now keep a very close eye on him.
Kjerstin Jacobs, DVM
Metropolitan Veterinary Center
Owners noted their 21/2-year-old cat playing with a 40-inch steel guitar string. They left the room briefly and upon return could not locate the string. Dr. Jacobs said, "I can only imagine the effort required on the cat’s part to ingest the whole thing!”
The guitar string spanned the GI tract from the gastric lumen to the ileocolic junction. Surgical removal performed via a single enterotomy was uneventful, and the patient is doing well.
Kim Rue, manager
Dalton Animal Care
A 9-year-old female bull mastiff was presented with the owner reporting that the pet had not eaten or drunk water in three days. Upon exam, she was depressed and salivating excessively. Her stomach and intestines were full of air. Doctors suspected that she might have a possible esophageal irritation or stricture and decided to do rads. Upon review, someone on staff exclaimed that the dog had eaten an alien.
This is not an actual object that had to be removed, just a coincidental image that caught our attention. The "alien” appears just above the intestines.
Kathleen Byrnes, DVM
East Marietta Animal Hospital
A 3-year-old spayed female Maine coon presented for gagging and vomiting for one week. Exam of the caudal pharyngeal area revealed a small piece of string. Exam of the tongue revealed a 1 mm metallic point protruding from the mid-body of the tongue. X-rays revealed a sewing needle embedded from the root to mid-body of the tongue. The string was cut from the needle and a 12-inch piece was easily removed from the esophagus. The needle was pulled rostrally from the tongue. The patient recovered with no problems.
Joshua Erde, VMD
Pitman Animal Hospital
A 10-month-old male neutered mixed breed ate a pin cushion with about 40 pins in it. One was stuck in the oropharynx and was pulled out during intubation. We thought we got all the pins out, but post-op rads revealed five pins in the GI tract. As the patient was starting to destabilize under anesthesia, the dog was awakened observed for passing the pins. Over the next two days, the puppy passed all five pins, confirmed by repeat radiographs, and is doing fine.
Molly Cable, DVM
Christine O’Leary, DVM
Indian Creek Veterinary Hospital
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Cosmo is an 8-year-old male neutered Bichon. He presented for vomiting after ingesting a whole rib bone two days earlier. The cranial abdomen was painful on palpation but all else was within normal limits. Radiographs revealed an intact rib bone extending from the diaphragm to the cranial abdomen. Perforation of the duodenum was of concern. Cosmo was taken into emergency surgery; no perforation was noted. The rib bone was contained completely within the very distended gastric lumen. It was removed easily and Cosmo is doing well.
J. Elaine Fowell, DVM
East Ventura Animal Hospital
George, a 10-year-old Australian shepherd, presented for gagging. Radiograph showed the patient had swallowed tweezers, which were successfully extracted using an endoscope.
Katie Domann, DVM
Hillside Veterinary Hospital
Salt Lake City, Utah
A client said her dog, Daisy, had vomited a few nails while riding in the car. Radiographs revealed that Daisy had a lot of nails in her stomach and a few in her small intestine. More than 100 finishing nails were removed via two gastronomy incisions. Post-surgical radiographs showed a few nails had escaped detection, but these passed and Daisy recovered uneventfully. The nails had been put into her water bowl (by a naughty neighbor boy), and the unsuspecting Daisy lapped them right up.
Dana Ellis, practice manager
Neartown Animal Clinic
A 46-pound English bulldog swallowed a 9-inch screwdriver. Dog did very well after cranial laparotomy and gastrotomy. However, after he woke up, he promptly ate his intravenous injection port.
Jeff Sutton, DVM
Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital
Kitty Kitty, an 18-month-old neutered male domestic short-haired cat, presented for possible electrocution. The owner found him lying near the electric cord of a floor lamp. He had defecated on the floor and the electric cord had bite marks on it.
On presentation he was quiet, alert and responsive. He had burn marks on his tongue and was hyper-salivating. A digital radiograph revealed a radiodense material in his esophagus, stomach and proximal small intestines. The wires were removed in surgery, and recovery was normal with no complications.
Elaina P. Starman, DVM
Banfield Pet Hospital
An eight-month-old Basset hound ate a treble hook, which was removed by endoscopy.
Kingsdale Animal Hospital,
King City, Ontario, Canada
Dogo Argentina was presented because of anorexia and lethargy; no vomit or diarrhea. The question is, whose turn is it? Answer: Black, because Black just lost its knight.
Alexander E. Munroe, DVM
The Animal Emergency Clinic of Mid-Maine
The patient is a 5-year-old, three-quarter-pound male bearded dragon named Spanky. The owner was feeding Spanky his usual meal of calcium dusted grubs when a 2-inch-long foam Nerf dart caught his eye. Spanky must have thought he was staring at the Jabba the Hutt of meal worms, snapped it up and swallowed it whole. Spanky was brought in to us a few hours afterward. The next day he was transferred to the VCA in South Weymouth, Mass., where the offending dart was easily removed endoscopically.
VCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma County
Rohnert Park, Calif.
Little Loni is a 12-pound, 5-year-old poodle mix who presented with lethargy, inappetance and disuria. The referral films were dark and suggested possible foreign bodies. These are, to date, the largest stones taken from the smallest dog at the practice.
Eve Sheridan, DVM
Brooks Road Animal Hospital
A terrier mix puppy presented with acute gastrointestinal signs of vomiting and retching. After radiographs of the abdomen and thorax, we asked the client: Do you have kids who play with Nerf arrows?
Nanette Overway, LVT
Family Friends Veterinary Hospital
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Smore is a 3 year old golden retriever that was 60 days pregnant with 11 puppies. She presented with 5 large rocks in her intestinal tract. A cesarian and foreign body surgery were performed to save both Smore and all 11 pups. The radiograph shows puppy spines, skulls, and all 5 rocks.
Jessica Zelnik, DVM
Oquirrh Hills Veterinary Center
A two-year-old male neutered Siamese mix presented for vomiting and weight loss. Exploratory laparotomy was performed and approximately 50 elastic hair ties were removed from the stomach.
William V. Ridgeway, Jr., DVM.
Long Beach Animal Hospital, Inc.
Long Beach, Calif.
Sam, a 19-week-old, male Yorkshire Terrier-Chihuahua mix presented for on and off vomiting. Abdominal radiographs revealed a sharp pointed 4-pronged, oblong metallic object, which Sam passed with the assistance of 20 mls/hour of I.V. fluids, 2.7 mg of Anzemet, 5 mg of Famotidine, and multiple enemas.
Laura Klar, DVM
Animal Medical Center of Marquette
Sicily, a five-year-old domestic short hair, was dropped off with a three day history of vomiting, lethargy and anorexia. Her owner was graduating from college that morning (with a radiology tech degree), so we started with radiographs and quickly proceeded to surgery.
We took bets on how many hair ties were inside Sicily. They were chewed into pieces, so we couldn’t get an accurate count.
Mike Funk, DVM
Terry Animal Hospital
Rockville Centre, NY
Mylo, an eight-year-old male neutered boxer, presented with intermittent vomiting not associated with ingesting routine scheduled meals. Right lateral abdominal radiograph showed multiple soft tissue opacities within the gastric lumen. Mylo was referred out where 12 baby pacifiers were successfully retrieved intact by endoscopy.
Brian J. Green, DVM
Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Spaz, a one-and-half-year-old male golden retriever presented with vomiting. Rads revealed what appeared to be an intestinal obstruction with something that contained a safety pin. It turned out to be a bathrobe tie.
Amanda Mullins, RVT
Fairview Animal Hospital
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Henry, a one-year-old doberman pincher, presented acutely vomiting, not unusual for a dog with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. However on radiography, six hook-like figures were seen in the stomach.
After a quick guessing game of "What is that!?" and surgical retrieval of the foreign body, a bra was found to be the culprit.
Heather Becker, DVM
Animal Emergency Care Centers, Inc.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sophie, a two-and-a-half year old female, spayed bassett hound, presented for acute onset of vomiting and acting painful in her abdomen. After owners viewed radiographs, they stated that their neighbors had just had their roof replaced.
Sophie was taken to surgery and a gastrotomy and two jejunal enterotomies were performed. Thirty nails were removed from the stomach. A rabies tag was removed from the first enterotomy, and a nail was removed from the second enterotomy site.
Kevin Brumfield DVM
Northwood Animal Hospital
A gray rat snake presented at the hospital for ingestion of a family heirloom egg. Apparently the owner of the egg was using it in the nest of her hen to encourage nesting. We surgically removed the egg. Surgery went well and both snake and egg are doing well.
Heather Becker, DVM
Animal Emergency Care Centers, Inc.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Cash, three-year-old male, neutered boxer, presented for two hour onset of vomiting, diarrhea, and acting uncomfortable. After radiographs were taken, the owner stated that she did not recognize the object, but believed the neighbor’s dog played with those toys.
Dr. Katti Strahsmeier-Stoller
Metropolitan Veterinary Center
Agnes, a six-year-old, spayed female, Old English sheepdog, presented for chronic vomiting of a three week duration. Abdominal radiographs showed a very large amount of metal wire in the stomach.
A gastrotomy was performed to remove approximately 20 feet of sharp, Christmas cranberry wire tinsel from the stomach.
To see the winners of last year's They Ate What contest, click here.