Monday, December 26, 2016

The Two Sides of Bread

I'm going to digress from my trending posts on things clients say and move onto things dogs eat.  It has been an interesting (translates to busy) pre holiday season which explains the missed posts.  We had two cases come in, both dogs that had eaten something that they shouldn't have.  The cases are different, but there is a common thread that I thought everyone might appreciate.

Here is doggy number one.  Just for a radiography review.  The head is on the left, the spine is at the top.  Air is black (see outside of the dog and the lungs on the left side surrounding the grey heart).  Muscle and soft tissue are grey.  And metal would be white.  That's right, look at all that metal in the stomach and intestines.  Not supposed to be there.  The truth is that this pup had been dining on antenna wire as it came out of the wall to where the TV used to be pre cable.  The bad news is that this pup was vomiting off and on and I was worried about the wire penetrating the intestines and causing an infection. Or, the mass on the left getting stuck in the stomach and causing a blockage.  Unfortunately, surgery would be a challenge because we would need to remove all of the wires to eliminate the danger of perforation and peritonitis.  Also unfortunately, the dog had done something similar last year and the owners were tapped out financially from that surgery. Fortunately, this was a soft braided wire and not a stiff, sharp coaxial cable sort of wire.  Although we advised referral due to the possible complications of surgery, the owner declined and we were force to treat this case medically.  A meal of bread, a strong anti emetic to induce vomiting, and an enema and laxatives to move the whole mess through, and everyone was happy within 24 hours.

Ah bread, the staff of life.  Savior of dogs.  Except when it isn't baked.  Raw dough is a real problem.  Why might you ask?  I know I love to nibble on dough when I am baking.  Well, next time you're nibbling, think of what is going on in the dough.  Yeast, water, carbohydrates...  The mixture yields what?

Now remember the radiology lesson.  This dog is positioned the same way.  Less of the lungs are in the picture towards the left.  Less metal wire too.  But look at all that gas in the intestines.  Right, the dough (an entire bowl of doughnut dough) is rising in this dog's intestines.  The carbon dioxide from the yeast is making the intestines distended with gas.  Oh, and that's not all.  Beer lovers will know that carbon dioxide is not the only product of yeast and grain.  That's right, this dog was as drunk as a skunk.  We tried to get her to vomit up the dough, but most of it was out of the stomach.  So, IV fluids and supportive care was all we had to offer.  This case was this weekend, so it isn't over yet, but so far things seem to be coming out OK.

Keep these stories in mind for the rest of the holiday season.  Dog food for dogs, cat food for cats, raw dough for, well really no one and wire for electricians.

Happy New Year.