foreign body

What do you think this is?

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Urinary Stones

These stones or calculi are caused by a buildup of crystals than can result from different types of minerals in a pet’s urine.  The crystals can bind together and form bigger, denser stones.  These stones can cause irritation and infection in the bladder, or a life threatening blockage of the urethra.  Some stones can be dissolved with food, but others must be removed surgically in a procedure called a cystotomy. 




Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus or Bloat

In this condition, the stomach fills with gas and twists, trapping the air inside.  It is often characterized by non productive retching and a distended abdomen.  It is more common in large deep-chested breed like, Standard Poodles and Great Danes.  This is a serious and life threatening condition that requires immediate surgery to repair.





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Foreign Body

This image is of a metallic foreign body in the stomach, possibly a penny.  Most foreign bodies are things that pets eat that will make them ill.  The most common problem is obstruction.  This is when a foreign body is unable to pass and causes a blockage in the digestive system.  This is a life threatening situation, often characterized by frequent vomiting, lethargy or not wanting to eat.  Foreign body obstructions often require surgical intervention to be resolved.  Linear foreign bodies, like string or dental floss, can cause a bunching of the intestines, which can be fatal.  Some foreign bodies like pennies, also have the ability to be toxic and cause things like metal poisoning.


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Urinary Obstruction

This is a condition in which, debris or crystals from the bladder cause a blockage in the urethra.  This blockage causes the pet’s body to be unable to urinate or remove waste products.  The buildup of waste products can cause severe symptoms including death in just a few days.  Signs of a urinary block can include: non-productive straining to urinate, vomiting, lethargy or pain when trying to urinate.  This condition is most common in male cats due to the narrow width of their urethra, but in the right circumstance can happen to any pet.  In order to relieve this obstruction, a urinary catheter can be inserted, as seen in the image above.



Bone Fracture

This is a traumatic injury, usually caused by large amounts of force being applied to a limb, like in a car accident or a fall.  The most common treatment for fractures is a surgical repair, which can involve pins and plates just like in people.  With an extensive injury like this, it can be a long and difficult road to recovery.



Spiders and lizards and frogs, oh my!

    (that's a scalpel handle in the front for scale)


 (that's a scalpel handle in the front for scale)

Have you ever wondered where your kids put all their toys? Apparently our friend Darwin was trying to help his children out and picked up after them. His owner noticed that Darwin wasn't feeling very well and he was seen by his regular veterinarian.  After physical exam and some bloodwork, his regular veterinarian recommended an ultrasound. Ultrasound findings were consistent with gastric and intestinal foreign bodies and emergency surgery was recommended. Our surgeon, Dr. Grafinger, did Darwin's surgery and said it was one of his most interesting foreign body surgeries yet. We removed many hard plastic toys, including three frogs, a spider, a lizard, a dinosaur, a barrette, and multiple hair scrunchies, all from Darwin's stomach. His intestines did not have any foreign bodies but did have some scar tissue that may have suggested that this wasn't Darwin's first time cleaning up around the house but escaped surgery that go 'round. We hope Darwin has learned to let his children clean up their own toys and just enjoy playing with them instead.


Submitted by Sarah Ignelzi