Six year old Springer x Cocker Spaniel, Toby Kelly, became a familiar face in the small animal hospital this summer. He came in to see Catriona back in May following a spell of intermittent vomiting and diarrhoea. Symptomatic treatment had little effect so he was admitted to the hospital in order to have some routine tests done, including bloods. X-rays showed one area which was potentially a foreign body but this was not visible on ultrasound so a gastroscopy was performed.
This involves putting a tiny camera on a long tube down the dog's throat, with images showing on screen, to get an internal view of the stomach. Once again, no sign of any foreign bodies but a mass could be felt in his abdomen. In order to fully investigate the possible cause of the mass Toby needed an exploratory laparotomy (ex-lap), surgery performed under a general anaesthetic to investigate a potential foreign body in his intestines, which indeed there was.
However, Toby had had surgery for a foreign body years previously which had resulted in his intestines adhering into a ball which prevented access to the foreign body without breaking down the adhesions. This in itself was a very complex procedure with a high risk of peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity), perforating the gastrointestinal tract or traumatising the blood supply.
After speaking to Toby's owners and taking advice from a specialist surgeon it was decided that we would go ahead with the surgery here at OVH and a large piece of towel/cloth like material was removed from the intestine. Although the surgery had gone well Toby deteriorated overnight, suffering from suspected peritonitis.
The following day Chris performed an Enterectomy, where a portion of the intestine is surgically removed, leaving healthy intestine that had been unaffected by the adhesions. Toby needed a feeding tube inserting into his stomach at this point to aid his recovery. Due to blood loss during the procedure Toby underwent a plasma transfusion. He received intensive nursing from our dedicated nursing team and started to look brighter every day.
After eight days he went home for a few hours and left us completely a couple of days later, still on medication and having some feed via his tube. A week later he was tolerating gastrointestinal food well and his tube was removed. A couple of months after his initial admission to hospital he saw Catriona for a final check and is doing brilliantly, the surgical site has healed up well and he's got his appetite back.....well done Toby!!