Gus, a 13 month old Shih Tzu X, was brought in to see us by his owner, Carly. Three days before Carly had noticed one of her stockings had gone missing. Gus had been fine up until the previous night when he had started vomiting and became very quiet in himself. Carly put two and two together and realised her lost stocking must have been eaten by the inquisitive pup and brought him straight in to see Dr Tania.
On presentation, Gus had a very tender tummy so he was given a light sedation and x-rays of his abdomen were taken to find out where the lost stocking might be. It was very difficult to see on the x-rays as stockings do not often show up well and the rest of his abdomen appeared fairly normal, but Dr Tania was still suspicious that there was a foreign object in his intestines. At this point Gus was quite dehydrated so he was given pain relief and taken to the AVC emergency centre for intravenous fluids and monitoring overnight.
Gus was brought back to Essendon Vet Clinic the following morning where repeat x-rays showed he now had fluid in his bowel loops, indicating that surgery was definitely needed to remove the foreign object blocking his intestines. Dr Tania gave him a general anaesthetic with the help of our nurses who closely monitored him throughout the procedure.
During the surgery, Dr Tania found the culprit! Gus had indeed decided to munch on the stocking and it had travelled down his gastrointestinal tract into his small intestine! It was wedged in a portion of his bowel and luckily had not yet caused too much damage. Dr Tania was able to remove the stocking through a small incision in his bowel which she closed up tightly with layers of small sutures.
Gus recovered very well from his procedure and was able to go home that night with some extra pain relief and antibiotics to prevent him from feeling unwell after surgery. His owner brought him back in to see us 3 days later for a post-operation check. Gus was looking much brighter and had started to eat food normally. We are glad to report that Gus is now back to his normal cheeky self!
Well done Gus for being such a brave little man. We are pretty sure his owner will be keeping him away from the sock drawer from now on!