James R. Speiser, DVM, DABVP, CCRT
May 1, 2015
Over 30 years of veterinary practice has taught me one lesson: the creativity of a dog’s appetite has no boundaries. If a dog can swallow it, they will! Here are some true and unique cases that demonstrate this observation:
The $10,000 diamond ring.
Two newlyweds went to their mother-in-law’s home for Christmas bringing their dog “Pete” as an unwelcome guest. But Pete did not reciprocate disgust for the mother-in-law, and actually enjoyed her company. Early one morning as the mother-in-law was “sharing time” with Pete in her bedroom, her $10,000 diamond ring dropped to the floor. Pete had never seen such a shiny treat before, so he promptly ate it. The newlyweds presented Pete to me to help undo the deed and preserve a tenuous “Merry Christmas” with the mother-in-law. An X-ray confirmed the ring in the stomach. The couple picked option one of going in with an endoscope and retrieving it, since option two “daily poop inspection” wasn’t going to cut it with the mother-in-law. An hour later, Pete and the newlyweds were headed home with the ring in hand, shiny as ever.
After eating a large meal, a German shepherd mix named Babbette decided a bottle of Gorilla Glue would be a tasty dessert. The owners discovered a chewed up, but empty Gorilla Glue bottle, and came to us for help along with a depressed and drooling Babbette. A call to the company revealed that Gorilla Glue will heat up and solidify anything in the stomach and will require surgery to remove. During surgery, a large and perfectly contoured cast of the stomach was removed and Babbette went home two days later. Babbette’s owners happily paid their bill and took the cast of Babbette’s stomach, which they now use as a one-of-a-kind display on their mantle.
(Note: the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.) Sheila arrived with her 50-pound mixed breed dog Benji, who had been vomiting persistently for the past two days ever since she returned from her two-week business trip. Her husband had taken care of Benji during her trip and was unaware of any reason for Benji’s persistent vomiting. X-rays revealed a largely empty stomach with a cloth-like gastric foreign body. Sheila agreed to an endoscopy, which accomplished the removal of a pair of very petite red, lacy underwear. Taking in the size of the foreign body, with some angst I revealed that it appeared that Benji ingested a pair of her daughter’s underwear. And the good news was that we were able to successfully remove them, and Benji was going to be just fine. Sheila, straight-faced, asserted she had no daughter and wished to see the source of the gastric obstruction. The request was obliged and Sheila neatly tucked the tiny, red underwear in her purse and paid her bill. As Benji and Sheila left, Benji glanced up at me. I got the distinct impression Benji was glad he could not talk.