Snorkel's Distress

Snorkel is an eight year old Terrier Cross that has been a beautiful patient at Essendon Vet Clinic for many years. He presented to the clinic feeling unwell, having had quite a few episodes of vomiting and was beginning to be disinterested in food. The Veterinarian prescribed Snorkel some medication to help with nausea and bloods were taken for testing. The blood results showed mild dehydration, likely due to vomiting episodes coupled with Snorkel’s loss of appetite. Unfortunately, Snorkel was not recovering from his symptoms and revisited the clinic the following day.

The Vet advised Snorkel’s owners that X-rays may be helpful to determine whether he had eaten something that may have caused an obstruction. Our clinic has now been fitted with a brand new digital X-ray system which allows us to capture clear, diagnostic X-ray images very quickly. This meant Snorkel did not require a lengthy sedation (or general anaesthetic).

The X-rays showed many pockets of gas and an unusual mass in Snorkel’s abdomen. As Snorkel was still feeling very unwell and was not eating, the Vet recommended an exploratory laparotomy (also known as an ex-lap). This is a surgical procedure whereby an incision is made into the abdomen and the Vet searches for the cause of the patient’s symptoms - in most cases this is a foreign body.  Low and behold, a stone fruit pip (approximately 5cm in diameter) was removed from Snorkel’s small intestine! Snorkel was prescribed pain relief and a course of antibiotics to aid in a comfortable recovery. Snorkel began eating normally the following day and was much perkier. He has made a full recovery and his owners are very pleased with the outcome.